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 Ed Sandoval Gallery's Newsletter

102-B Paseo Del Pueblo Norte, Taos, NM 87571
(575) 770-6360
Remembering Wilfred - How Polio Struck My Family and Took My Brother
Since our newsletter launch a little over a year ago, I’ve talked about my childhood and life in general (happy or fun stories for the most part). This one is different. It’s about my older brother, Wilfred, who passed away when he was seventeen and I had just turned three. His story has been in the back of my mind, but I didn’t feel like sharing it because it’s so sad and makes me emotional. But now – at this moment in time – I feel compelled to tell you about his life, his death and the strength of my mother during that tragic time.
Wilfred Sandoval (1931 - 1948)
Wilfred was overjoyed when Danny and I were born because we were the first males born into the family in 14 years. I suppose he was a bit tired of getting more and more sisters... He would light up when he saw us, laugh and play with us in the yard or down by the creek. Sometimes, he would put me on his shoulders and walk around the farm, showing me all the animals. When he was home, I would follow him like a puppy dog. I wanted to be where Wilfred was.

Wilfred attended a boarding school in El Rito, NM, but he came home on the weekends to help around the farm. One day, he was working in the fields and told dad he didn’t feel well. He went into the house to lay down, and he didn’t get back up. I remember standing by his bed. He was sucking on a lollipop, and I must have looked at him longingly because he gave it to me. I promptly popped it in my mouth.
A day or two later, he was rushed to the hospital. The August 7, 1948 edition of Santa Fe's newspaper reads: “Wilfred Sandoval, 17-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Herminio Sandoval of Nambe and Santa Fe County’s first polio victim this year, today was placed in an iron lung at Carrie Tingley Hospital at Hot Springs [now named Truth or Consequences] .... Sandoval was stricken Monday after swimming…. His ailment was diagnosed as infantile paralysis and he was rushed to a Santa Fe hospital. Later it was decided to take him to Carrie Tingley for treatment.”
My mother, Lucinda, was beside herself with worry, but things got much worse when I got sick too. The same day Wilfred went to the hospital, I became feverish. Everybody was frantic. They thought I had contracted polio from that lollipop and rushed me to the same hospital. I remember the ambulance ride but not much else. They put me in a room right next door to Wilfred’s so my mother could go back and forth to comfort her two sons.

Mom told my sisters, who later told me, that Wilfred kept hearing me cry in the next room. He didn’t know I was there and asked, “Who is the little boy crying in the next room?” Mom said she didn’t know. She didn’t want him to worry about me. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been for her…with Wilfred immobilized in an iron lung…asking about me… She had to be strong and put on a brave face, all the while thinking that she would probably lose two of her sons.

After a day or so, the doctors determined that I didn’t have polio, but Wilfred passed away. My mom was absolutely heartbroken. I don’t think she ever got over it, to the point where she didn’t want to live in the same house where Wilfred had grown up. My father, who was also grieving, agreed and started building a new home. Eventually, we moved into the new house and moved on with our lives, but there was always an empty space our hearts.
Children in Iron Lungs ( Source )
Wide Hallway at Carrie Tingley (Source)
We forget how devastating polio was. In 1948, there were 27,680 cases and 2,140 deaths in the U.S., my brother among them (Source) . New Mexico was fortunate to have Carrie Tingley . A 1942 brochure, Hot Springs New Mexico: Health Capital of the Southwest , says it was: “limited to the medical and surgical treatment of crippled children...between the ages of 6 months and 21 years inclusive. Those financially able are expected to pay the cost of hospitalization at the rate of $5.00 per day…. This fee covers room and board, nursing care, physiotherapy and heliotherapy ."

I recently found a picture of the long, wide hallway of Carrie Tingley. The author of the article explains, “The hallways had to be wide enough to allow two iron lungs to pass.” The image of children in iron lungs being wheeled down hospital hallways makes me shudder. I’m so thankful that polio has been eradicated and no other family has to suffer what we did.

I said at the beginning of this story that I felt compelled to share Wilfred’s story at this particular moment. As I was trying to figure out what to say, I was shocked when I realized this month is the 70 th anniversary of his death (August 1948).

Maybe Wilfred reached out to me – he wanted to be remembered by the little tyke who used to ride around on his shoulders. Even to this day, I still think about and miss him. Since my mom gave me his portrait before she passed away, I have had it hanging in my gallery. It won't come down.
Featured Paintings

To inquire or to request a high-resolution photo, please contact Ed at 575-770-6360 or by email at edsandovalart@gmail.com.
NEW: "The Chile Farmer" (36 x 36 )
"Light Behind The Clouds" (22 x 28)
"Chimayo Hilltop" (48 x 60)
NEW: "Blue Lake" (18 x 24)
"San Acacia" (48 x 72)
Upcoming Summer Events in/near Taos
Big Barn Dance Music Festival w/ Michael Hearne
Sept. 6 - 8, Kit Carson Park

"Nestled at the feet of the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains, fans can look forward to experiencing some of the best Folk and Americana music around while enjoying the natural beauty that only New Mexico can offer.” See the artist lineup HERE.
We will have a booth again this year! Swing on by and say hi!

Tickets and other event information here: http://bigbarndance.com/
PASEO Outdoor Art Festival
Sept. 14 & 15
Taos Historic District &
Taos Fall Arts Festival (TFAF)
September 21-30

This year's TFAF poster artist is David Vedoe: “Harvest Dancer” (above).

The Taos Fall Arts Festival helps "to encourage the growth of emerging artists, and to create an event where our artists can come together to exhibit and market their works for the delight and appreciation of the larger community."

More information HERE.
Music from Angel Fire
Aug. 17 through Sept. 1
Various venues around Northern NM

"Opening Night in Taos (Aug. 17) will feature the incredible miracle of music and humanity, Robert Mirabal, in a set comprising of his own special programming. The 2018 Composer-in-Residence Andrea Clearfield’s Compass Kaleidoscope  will be performed by the stars of tomorrow, the MFAF Young Artist Woodwind Ensemble, the Triacanthos Quintet. Mozart, our 2018 theme composer, will be represented by one of his great works for piano trio."

2018 Season Cover Artist is Ed Sandoval! Hope you can join us for a reception with Ed after the Aug. 17 concert.

More information HERE.
Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta
Sept. 23 – 30

"The Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta is an annual five-day weekend of events featuring the culinary artistry found in Santa Fe, New Mexico’s many excellent restaurants coupled with the sophistication and wines of national wineries."

Film Fiesta
Guest Chef Demos
Guest Chef Luncheons
Guest Chefs Luncheon & Auction
Wine Seminars
Reserve Wine Tasting & Auction
Grand Tasting
5 th Annual Gran Fondo Bike Ride
Gruet Golf Classic
Champagne & Dirty Boots Brunch

Full schedule and descriptions HERE.

Would you like to be a featured collector?
If so, please send your personal story and photo(s) to edsandovalart@gmail.com.
Ed Sandoval Gallery  
 102-B Paseo Del Pueblo, Taos, NM 87571
www.edsandovalgallery.com | (575) 770-6360 | edsandovalart@gmail.com