New Mexico's

"Home on the Range"


Rudy Ulibarri

I was unable to attend the tribute to one of my best friends. I didn’t get acquainted with Rudy till the1980s—it was in Roy for a school reunion. A bunch of us were in Roy Rigonis’ backyard visiting John J.Delgadillo, Roy and Ethel Rigoni, Jack Main, Elmer and Jodi Rigoni, Coach and Lotie Hern, George Harris, Chappy Libby, and a lot more. Everyone knew Rudy, and I couldn’t figure out who he was. So I walked over to him and asked “Who are you?” he told me his name... that didn’t ring a bell...then he told me that he was a brother to Effie and Jude—I knew who he was then—he and my brother Jack attended U.N.M and rode to Albuquerque in the same car—Rudy out of the Navy and Jack out of high school. About two or three days before they left my mother went to Rudy’s house and told him that she wanted to give him several checks for Jack, and to give Jack one a week. If Jack had them, he would have blown all of them in two or three days.Rudy told me this, and laughed as he said that he was really elated that a nice gringo lady would trust a poor Mexican with her money more than she did her own son.My wife and I were in Albuquerque a lot and got with Rudy every time. He would always call and send cards for the holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays, etc. I would stay with him sometimes. He was more like family than a friend. We always tried to have a Roy mini reunion while I was there.Rudy was one of the best known people from Roy that ever was. He knew people every place we went. He knew more history about families from Roy than anyone else. We tried to get him to write a book, but he never did. All of that history is lost now... He had a write up in the National Geographic Magazine, and also The New Mexico Magazine. He was a great man and never met a stranger. Charlene and I send our thoughts and love to his friends and family. We will miss you very much Rudy, and we will never forget you. Your friend, Buck Main