Volunteering is Fun!

Volunteer Linda Dunning

This month’s volunteer profile features Linda Dunning.

In 2007, Linda’s husband, Napoleón Garcia, told her about El Rancho de las Golondrinas. He knew that she was interested in local history and he had participated occasionally with the Penitentes from Abiquiu during the Spring and Fall Festivals since the Morada at the Ranch was a replica of the one in Abiquiu. When Linda visited, she felt as if she had walked back in time. The peace and quiet and the authentic surroundings swept her away to another time. She signed up as a volunteer on the spot and was captivated by the activities going on in the placita. The weaving coordinator at the time, Beatrice Sandoval, made it her mission that Linda learn every aspect of the weaving process—from sheep to rug. Over the years, she settled into spinning on the malacate and colcha embroidery.

Napoleón caught her enthusiasm and he too signed up as a regular volunteer. He loved to weave tales from his native Abiquiu, which parallels the Colonial times of the Ranch. He particularly liked Spanish Colonial Days and entertaining the children. Once, at the annual volunteer luncheon, Amanda Crocker was highlighting attributes and contributions of various volunteers. When she got to Napoleón she said:  “Just for being there…” because he indeed looked as if he could have been the patron of the Ranch.

Linda and Napoleón continued to be regular volunteers at the Ranch, both earning their 1,000 hours bolo, until Napoleón’s health faltered in 2014 and he passed away in 2016. Linda maintains her connection with the Ranch and still volunteers occasionally.