Martha and and her husband, Al Haywood, arrived in Alamos with their 17-year-old daughter, Judith, in 1954. Al bought hundreds of acres, extending from the highway over to, and partway up, Mount Alamos. The couple restored the old office of the Tequila Factory (in operation in the early 20th century) on the property into a small but charming hacienda with a long palm-lined driveway, beautiful formal gardens, a fruit orchard, and several out-buildings.
The big fiestas at Rancho Colorado were legend, and they were well-attended by the Mexican community, and from as far away as Huatabampo, as well as the local gringos.
When we met in 1977, Martha was recently widowed. She was a feisty little 4’11” lady. After her husband’s death, Martha became somewhat of a recluse. She occasionally visited Pat Manning’s mother, Ada Greever, who lived at Obregon #34. However, for the most part, she enjoyed her home, the gardens, and the lovely views.
My husband, Torf, and I were Martha’s only close neighbors at that time. Ramon Ortriz, our next door neighbor and Martha’s loyal friend and gardener, came often to our gate to announce that, “The Señora would like you to come at 5:30 for cocktails.” Thus, Torf became her frequent and favorite bartender. Usually it was the three of us. I well remember Martha’s dry comment after she gave the property for the hospital,“I might as well give it to them because they’ll take it anyway!”
After Martha could no longer make the long drive to Alamos, we saw her once more at her home in Massachusetts, where she was bedridden until her death in 1995 at age 96.
Judith Jacoby now became the “patrona” of La Colorada. She was a lady in the true sense of the word. No one I have known has better deserved the name.
Because her husband, Dean, was still in the work force, she came each year for just six or eight weeks to Alamos.
We were still her closest neighbors, and she became our very dear friend. This time, she was more often at our house then we at hers!
Ramon continued to maintain the gardens, and Judith struggled with the maintenance of the aging hacienda. She did find time to enter in the life of our community, and still kept contact with her mother’s old friend in Huatabampo.
Judith supplied oranges for the food boxes that we assembled at Christmastime in the early years of the Comadres. And she always brought orange juice to the very special Easter sunrise services up on Guadalupe Hill at the home of Ann and Arch Gould—a wonderful tradition, sadly, now long gone!
A few years after Judith’s arrival, Ramon chose to “retire,” and Pablo and Carmen and family moved into the house next to the orchard. Pablo continued to produce magnificent flower garden borders. Sad to say they have now fallen into neglect.
Dean retired and they began to winter in Alamos. However, they had decided to put the hacienda and 10 acres surrounding on the market. It remains so today.
In the States, Judith spent much of her time working with and for her alma mater, which, as I recall, was Bryn Mawr.
In her final year in Alamos, Judith was suffering a great deal of back pain, and puzzled as to its source. When she returned to their home in Concord, Massachusetts, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She died at home the following November, with Dean caring for her to the end of her life. The following spring, Dean and his sons, Karl and Dean Albert, had a memorial service in the mosaic patio at La Colorado… and an era was at an end!