Chamisa Fourth Graders Celebrate New Mexicans

Chamisa fourth grader Alanna Fresquez chose Frank Chavez of Duke’s Car Club in Albuquerque as the subject of her Wax Museum portrayal. The fourth grade classes pick important New Mexicans to impersonate. They research the figures and tell visitor’s their story. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
Rafael Matt-Jinks as Forrest Fenn. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
Los Alamos Daily Post

The third and fourth grade students at Chamisa Elementary presented the annual Wax Museum Wednesday.

The students dressed in costume and performed the part of their chosen important person. They thoroughly researched the personage they would portray and gave a prepared presentation when visitors dropped a ticket in their box. They also prepared cubes that told the story in three dimentions Third graders were allowed to choose anyone they liked, but fourth graders concentrated on important New Mexicans.

Moorea Montaño as Georgia O-Keefe. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/

Most students chose historical figures, but the figures chosen by two students are very much alive.

Alanna Fresquez chose Frank Chavez of  the Albuquerque Chapter of Duke’s Car Club. The club is the oldsest car club in existence and was founded in Los Angeles in 1962 as an alternative to gangs. The Albuquerque chapter is 20 years old, Chavez said.

“This is the first time I’ve had a story done about me or been interviewed,” Chavez said. “Alanna was very thorough!”

Chavez was recently inducted into the Lowrider Hall of Fame, the first person from outside Los Angeles to be chosen, but he said, “this honor tops it!”

Rafael Matt-Jinks chose to portray Forrest Fenn. Fenn, 84, a former military pilot, avid fly fisherman, business owner and artifacts dealer claims to have hidden a chest of treasure worth around $1 million in the mountains north of Santa Fe.

Fenn corresponded with Matt-Jinks and answered a series of questions. “The hardest thing to do is to get started,” Fenn told the fourth grader. Fenn said he loves proving people wrong when they say he can’t do something.

Justin Vest as General Leslie Groves. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
Ani Gurule as Mabel Dodge Lujan. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/