The Story of My Mother by Douglas Reynolds
Genevieve was born October 13, 1918, in Boulder, Colorado and grew up with two brothers on their parents’ farm east of Boulder. She had horses all her life and remembered the names of every one she ever had. After graduation from high school at 16 in Erie, Colorado, she studied cosmetology in Denver, then went to work as a beautician, operating her own beauty salon for twenty years.
She married Ray Reynolds in 1942 and they had three sons before retiring to Mexico in 1971, due to my father’s health issues. They arrived in Navojoa, Sonora, with our family’s German shepherd, leaving me and my brothers, Lincoln and David, behind. Al Gordon, proprietor of the El Rancho Motel, suggested they visit Alamos. They took his advice and met his wife, Darley, who ran the Tesoros Hotel there. A week later they bought the house I am now living in!
After fixing up the house, my mother and father brought the first Arabian horses to Alamos, a stallion named Consentido (spoiled one) and four mares from Ensenada, Baja, California. They were accompanied by a horse trainer and his entire family.
As a result of her equestrian ability she was invited to join a group called “Calbagata,” an exclusive international organization of dedicated horsemen and women.
Genevieve had learned to ride before she could walk. She rode horses virtually all over the world, from New Zealand to Europe, the Fiji Islands, and Mexico. In New Zealand they rode polo ponies and were entertained by the U. S. Ambassador at the American Embassy.
In Alamos, usually in the lead and mounted on Consentido, she rode with her friends six days a week for well over twenty years. I have several pictures on my walls of Genevieve astride this horse. I was fortunate enough to join them on rides to the top of Mt. Alamos and enjoy the spectacular view.
During her lifetime she made contributions to the Alamos community. For example, she started a school milk fund. It was arranged that fresh milk be delivered to Alamos children. Later she was one of the founding members of the Amigos de Educacion, the scholarship committee, which has blossomed and grown to its present size.
She had a passion for orchids, which she first grew in a Colorado greenhouse and later shared with her neighbors in Mexico. She gave planting advice to newcomers with similar interests. She loved beautiful things and took great pleasure in her garden.
Years ago the Alamos ladies were very independent. They would leave their husbands for a couple of weeks to tour Mexico in search of Arts and Crafts to decorate their homes. These friends included Elizabeth Nuzum, Catherine Frost, and Beverly Douglas, to name a few.
A few years after my father passed away, my mother made friends with Frank Rupnik, a Baatan Death March survivor, and they remained close for perhaps forty years, until his death.
Genevieve also was known as a master bridge player. She played often and everybody wanted to be her partner. She initially studied Spanish with Frank Robles and with her many Mexican friends. She made progress quickly. She took art classes with Dorothy Whitehouse. I have several of my mother’s paintings on my walls and they are on the walls of other houses in town. She loved to cook and took Mexican cooking classes with Lupina Valezquez, a former Alamos resident who later became the owner of the Monarch Panaderia in Navojoa. It was arguably the best bakery in Sonora.
She drove for the House and Garden tours when transportation was needed.
Among her other activities were jumping in her Lincoln when the weather got very hot in the summertime and driving around town simply to cool off. That was before a/c for homes. Evaporative coolers did not do the job because of the extreme humidity in Alamos during the monsoon season.
I inherited a love and respect for Mexico in general and Alamos in particular from my mother. Consequently, I hope to remain here forever.