From Obscurity to Notoriety, By Johnny Velazquez, PhD

The name is synonymous with, national recognition, achievement, fame, celebrity status, and success. Who is David Jet Black Horse, and where did he come from? Could he be considered an inspiration when given the opportunity? Would he be considered an overnight Cinderella story once he became an overnight sensation? In order to have a better understanding of such an awe-inspiring conundrum, let us travel back in time, as we search for the motivating factor that we feel will bring forth a response, which will enlighten those in search of an answer.

To his parents, he was a God-given, life-long dream, which brought them fulfillment.To his siblings, nieces, and nephews, he was bigger than life. To other family members, he was a mystery. To the Rock & Roll musician, he was the one who brought forth the essence of the artist, through his focused photographic genius. To the fashion world, he was an enigma, whose vision defied the daily drudgery of the industry, but simultaneously, overcame the status quo.

The name itself, Jet Black Horse, denotes a free spirit, unrestrained, no holds barred, soul searching individual, free to roam, and pursue that inner desire, that continues to gnaw at him. That mysterious force does not want to let go, so, all he can do is to lunge at it and take hold of that which seems to be a bigger part of him.

The name can only be deemed as that given to a Native American. To those who are wondering what the missing link might be, with respect to the mystery surrounding this most charismatic, adventurous, Renaissance man, we must go back in time to an era considered by most, as the emergence of the Western Frontier.

Geronimo, and the Chiricahua Nation. What is David’s connection to these historical names, and that particular era? Allow me to enlighten you. Geronimo: a name synonymous with strength, mystery, adventure, and courage. This name, instilled fear as well, among the earlier settlers in the Western, and Midwestern states. The travesty committed against this once proud and Native American Indian, not only by the white settlers, and the US Cavalry, but by the Mexican Military as well, turned this man into a bitter, vengeful individual. According to history, Mexican soldiers committed the unthinkable against him. They murdered his wife and children, thus fueling his hatred toward these soldiers.

That day in history, sealed the fate of Mexicans living around Arizona, and neighboring states. Geronimo went on a rampage, killing, and kidnapping Mexican women, and children, as he felt that this act would satisfy his vengeful heart. On one of those raids, a young girl was taken by his band of renegades. This girl would someday become David’s great-grandmother. She became Natividad to her family, and subsequent descendants. This explains briefly, David’s connection to the Apaches, a heritage that his father never denied throughout his life. This same sense of pride was instilled on David, and the rest of his siblings.

On his sixteenth birthday, David was presented with a camera. Most adolescents of that age, would have opted for something much more tangible, i.e. a new wardrobe, perhaps a used car, sporting equipment, radio, etc. This gift, not only captured David’s attention, but his imagination as well. This wasn’t just a camera, it was the beginning of greater things to come. From that genesis, the “Man Behind The Camera” was birthed. This seemingly insignificant instrument became the object with which he would embark on his voyage. One which would also introduce his artistic signature to that unreachable world, just as Geronimo, with rifle in hand, set out to leave his mark in the world as well. That sense of adventure, coupled with the fearless attitude demonstrated by his ancestor, would someday open doors of opportunities for David, who in turn rushed in headlong, without any apprehensions on his part.

Just as the artist presents a masterpiece on canvas, so did David, through his prowess with a camera. This camera became his easel, the shutter became his canvas, the print, became his sketch, and the end product, his masterpiece. In time, the music world, or Rock & Roll community, upon witnessing this phenomenon, seized  the opportunity that was being presented to them, and with salivating urges, captured this great gift. David became an icon, followed with accolades throughout his season. His photos were displayed on some of the leading magazines of the day, world wide. David, the explorer, or conqueror, had reached the pinnacle of his profession. “Veni, Vini, Vici.”  I came, I saw, I conquered.

One would feel that after having accomplished so much, David would stop at this juncture, sit back, admire his handy work, and utter, “I did it,”  Au contraire, mon ami. The force that moved Geronimo, beyond his widest dreams, continued to tickle David’s adventurous spirit. Desiring to expound on the legacy his Apache ancestors instilled in his maternal side of the family, he opted on becoming a fashion designer, of Native –American motif. David was not the least concerned of the outcome, as he was certain that this new and foreign venture would be easily conquered. The word defeat was not part of his vocabulary.

In time, he became an institution per se. His name became synonymous with the likes of the elites in the fashion world. The fashion industry had met its Waterloo. This native New Mexican, descendant of Geronimo, kissed this industry, with the same reckless abandon, but shrewd manner, in which he kissed the print industry. His fame throughout Europe, was par excellence; not only in that part of the world, but in other parts of the globe, including of course, the US.

His fashions, caught the eyes of well-established celebrities. One notable one stands out from the rest. David’s designs captured her interest, which culminated in the purchase of multiple Native –American fashion apparel.. The celebrity we are talking about is none other than Cameron Diaz. Other icons, followed suit. David made his mark on the world just as Geronimo, his ancestor, did.

I have used the past tense, in writing this article, as we lost this phenomenal figure, at the peak of his grandiose career. He succumbed to a malady, which resulted from a fierce beating, by a group of men. Eventually, his debilitated body could not withstand the brunt of this cowardly attack, which forced him to forgo further involvement in his most precious and rewarding career. This wanton attack, caused his body to deteriorate slowly. His spirit cried out as he attempted one more charge at this unseen enemy.  His family will forever love him, and will cherish his memory. I met his family in 1965. I’m certain that I saw him as a young child, but alas, cannot remember him. His friends will remember him with fondness, and the industry, which embraced his genius, will remember his tenacity, and artistic eye. One thing that those who knew him well will remember well, and that would be, his engrossing laugh. “Good Hunting, David Jet Black Horse.”

   This writer was commissioned to write this article, by Sylvia (Star) Gutierrez.The information on this article, was also provided by Sylvia (Star) Gutierrez. Foot note: Star was the Apache name given to her, by her dad.

© All Rights Reserved©

Copyright by Johnny Velazquez

MERRY CHRISTMAS

No, I’m not yelling, I’m just making a “Bold Statement.”

Some of you will be offended, and will ask, “Why bring your beliefs into our holiday?” Have I got news for you! To quote a famous TV personality, this is how she answered that mundane question. “We bring our beliefs to your so-called, holiday, because without Christ, Christmas would not exist.” So truthful.
I love what Christmas stands for, which is the birth of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I can not, and will never succumb to the whims of those who would attempt to dispel this truth.

In order for you to grasp what I’m trying to convey, allow me to draw you a scenario. Many can’t hardly wait for the month of October, for to them, this is the time of the year, they have been waiting for, in order to celebrate their holiday, which is, Halloween. They go all out with respect to decorations. They will say to me, “Happy Halloween.” They never say, happy holiday. They call their day what it is, Halloween. I don’t get offended, nor do I threaten to sue them.

Thanksgiving, a favorite of mine is also celebrated. People will say, “Happy Thanksgiving.” Again, they call this festive day, by its proper name, Thanksgiving. I haven’t heard any one say, or utter the phrase, “Happy Holiday” in this regard.

Now, why in the world, would the so called politically correct crowd, which I prefer to call, politically wrong crowd, be so adamant on insisting that we say, Happy Holidays, when we are referring to Christmas? Why do they persist in their efforts to remove Christ from Christmas? This is the only festive phrase that has become verboten in this country.
Well, I’ll continue to wish everyone, A Blessed Merry Christmas. Try not to get offended. You have your beliefs, which I respect, and for which I served in the Military, in order to preserve your rights. Well, I have my rights also, so try to go along with my beliefs, and when you hear someone say, Merry Christmas, just smile. You don’t have to respond. Just enjoy the ride.

Dare To Doubt Your Doubts

This year, some of you will experience feelings of uncertainty, apprehension, hesitations, distrust, and at some point, disbelief. You will question your ability to birth that master piece you have longed to write, and because of deep rooted doubts, will procrastinate. You will sit at the computer, type a few sentences that have swirled in your head for some time, but after writing the first paragraph, doubts will begin to inundate your mind, after reading said sentences. You will question yourself, punish yourself mentally, and without hesitation, delete what you have written. “Why, you might ask, can’t I just finish what I start?” Well, I might have some answers, and suggestions for you.

Self-doubts can stem from a variety of emotional variables. You were repeatedly told that you would never reach any goals, were not good enough, never received any accolades, but instead, received continuous criticism. No matter how hard you tried, you were never praised nor for that matter, recognized. Your self-esteem is so low, you can’t even scrape it with your nails. You can’t seem to receive compliments, as you don’t feel you deserve them. When you actually accomplish anything worthy of mention, you get into that, “Impostor Syndrome,” e.g. The inability to accept praise for what you have accomplished. Not only can this malady hurt you Psychologically, but Physiologically as well.
So, here you are today, an adult who still thinks as a child. Well, time to grow up, and begin that arduous trek that will catapult you onto that self-perceived unreachable mountain top. “How do I reach that mountain top?” Let’s begin, by taking it one step at a time.

Sit down at your computer, write something you find positive about yourself. It can be one sentence, or even a short paragraph. Here’s what you have to do:
1: Study what you have written. How does it look to you? Are you pleased with it?
2: Read it over, and over, until you are fully satisfied with its contents.
3: Now, write another paragraph of what you have accomplished in the past, no mater how minute. How does it feel? Are you slowly feeling the rush? Hmm! Not yet? It’s OK!
4: Write three paragraphs, in which you describe your goals for this year, 2014.
5: Instead of reading it to yourself, stand in front of a mirror, belt it out, and smile as you do.How did it come across to you? Were you pleased as to how you looked? Were you pleased with the way you read it? Was your killer smile still there? You’re on your way.
6: Now, begin telling yourself, that what you just wrote is very good. Pat yourself on the back, walk straight, and not in a defeated manner. Maintain that killer smile, and above all else, give yourself kudos.

As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Well, so what! You are not Rome. You are a great gift from God to the world. He gave you a gift, and the ability to share it with those around you. You have been crawling far too long. Time to start walking. As I previously stated, take it one step at a time. Don’t give up, but rather, increase your speed each day. You’ll be at full speed before you know it.
You are there. Just reach up, and touch the top of that mountain.

DISCLAIMER: The above should not be considered as Psychological advise, but rather, suggestions.

The Dreaded Dental Visit

Dentist! The title, itself, sends chills down my spine. What is it about dentists? They are not your enemy, nor your nemesis. You could say that these well trained and caring doctors, are there for your well being. I don’t know about you, but I do cringe at the thought of having to visit (did I say visit?) one of these clinics.

About a year ago, I broke part of a tooth, and the first thing that came to my mind was, you got it. The Dentist. Well, I made up my mind that no one would be poking my mouth, nor torturing this macho man! No sir! I saved that part of the tooth, visited the local pharmacy, purchased some temporary dental paste, and proceeded to fix my tooth.
It worked! No dentist for me. I should open my own practice! Well, a few weeks later, as I drank some juice, that part of my tooth came loose. I repeated the previous process, and felt quite pleased with the results. Guess what! You got it again. Hmm! How can I avoid that dental visit. By the way,why do we call them visits? Well, time to heed my wife’s advice, and make that appointment.

Aware of how I feel about Dentists, she found one close to our neighborhood. Two days later, I was on my way to who knows what. We arrived at the clinic, and to my delight, the place was jammed packed. Perhaps they’ll cancel the appointment. No such luck. The woman at the front desk asked me to sign in. I looked at her long and hard, but she just smiled. I kept looking around for the nearest exit. Maybe I could make a break for it. I looked back at my wife, and gave her a sheepish smile. I signed my name, walked back to the waiting area, and sat next to her.

After what seemed like an hour to me, a young woman called my name, and told me to follow her to the next room. After an arduous, and torturous walk(well not really. It took me about five seconds, as I was seated next to “that” room, but to me it felt as if I had walked for hours), I entered the room. One thing I do remember. I thought I had heard someone cry out, “Dead man walking!” Hmm! The nerve. I was instructed to sit, and she introduced herself as Stephanie Paiz. I really thought she was going to say that her name was Igor. She was quite pleasant, and joked with me, as she attempted to ease my apprehension. She must have seen the horrified look on my face.

I was instructed to open my mouth, and some square little things were placed inside my mouth. Some creepy contraption was place on top of my head, and I said to myself, “Aha! The torture begins! Where’s my last meal? Again, she set my mind at ease. My teeth were being X-rayed. We completed this phase of the visit, and I was taken to the torture chamber. Well, the other, ROOM!

Stephanie sat me at the dental chair, brought out a few instruments, (I didn’t hear any music) and stated that the doctor would be in shortly. As I sat there, petrified, I kept looking for that ten inch needle these dentists love so much. The good doctor came in, and to my dismay, looked too young to be a dentist. He introduced himself as Dr. Zachary Currie. He asked that I open my mouth, and to be still. He proceeded with the poking, but there was no pain. No needle was used, thank God. After a few minutes, he asked if I had brought the part of the tooth that had broken off, which by the way, was a gold inlay. I showed it to him, and to my surprise, was told that he could attach it permanently.

He brought out the drill, and began to clean out the area. All along, he walked me through everything he was doing. Throughout this process, I felt no pain whatsoever.
After he finished, He told me that all went well. I thanked them, examined the work he had done, and voila, it looked perfect. This is the first time in my life, that I feel good about a dental visit. Dr, Zachary, and his assistant, Stephanie, demonstrated a totally professional, and caring attitude throughout this process. What a team!
For those residing in Albuquerque, NM, I highly recommend this clinic.
Cottonwood Mall Dental Practice. 10000 Coors Bypass, NW # G-218
Albuquerque, NM 87114 They are located inside the Mall.

Is Your Dream Dead?

Do you ever day dream? What do you dream about? Are these realistic dreams, or just fantasies? Have you ever taken the necessary steps to make these dreams a reality, or did you pass on them for fear of failure, rejection, or ridicule by those around you? Did you ever confide on those who are close to you, like family members, friends, your teachers etc. regarding these dreams, and how did they react? Do you find yourself in a rut because you did not pursue your dreams, and how has this decision affected you?

There are so many heartbreaking stories of individuals, who find themselves in the aforementioned predicament, as they chose to go with the flow, instead of exploring those dreams further. They find themselves in dead end jobs, meaningless careers, lack of education, and as the years fly by, they have resigned themselves to what might be considered, lack luster lives.

As a child, I always dreamed of becoming an Automotive Engineer. I had a very sound support system in my dad, and mom. They never dissuaded me in any way what so ever, but rather, would encourage me to explore this possibility. I also dreamed about the music industry. I always felt that someday, I would become the next force to be reckoned with in this field. Coming from a musical family, many felt that this would be a given. Well, my Automotive Engineer dreams came to a screeching halt in High School. After exploring this industry in depth, I figured that music would be much more lucrative, and less demanding. Boy, was I wrong! Nevertheless, I chose music, and never looked back. No regrets.

Did I make the right decision? To some of you, perhaps not, but did I allow those dreams to fade away? Of course not! Some of you might be thinking right now, that it was easy for me to follow music, based on my family’s musical background. Yes, and no. It was not difficult, due in part to this inherited trait. Difficult, as I was forced to put all my energies in this most demanding profession. The hours of practice, the personal sacrifices, the dedication, the commitment, and the willingness to do everything within my power, and will, in order to achieve this dream. Although, I was able to achieve it, and did well in my chosen field, I did veer from this “Highway to Personal Glory,” and eventually sought higher education, and became a Behavior Therapist, but that’s another story.

Some of you who are reading this post, have dreamed of becoming writers, in Genres of your choosing. Many have experienced some rejections, and others have been shunned by those who would feel superior to you. You have made it to adulthood. No one dared to stop you from achieving this status. You are strong, focused, able to think, self made, and above all, able to decide your next move. Don’t be sidetracked, and diverted by some microscopic obstacle you can crush with your bare hands.

Are you willing to make what ever sacrifice it will take, to make your dreams come to pass? Before you answer that, set an imaginary target date before your eyes, and aim for that goal. You’ll never know whether or not you can achieve that haunting dream, if you don’t wake up, and pursue it. It might not be as simple as it sounds, but hey, you’ll never know if you don’t. Go for all the gusto. Blessings.

Re-blogged on Sept. 15, 2014.

Thank You!

Viet Nam Era Veteran. The phrase itself is frowned upon by a vast number of individuals, namely those who still view said veterans as baby killers, war mongers, and so forth. To the families of these veterans, it brings back memories of loved ones lost forever, to the casualties of war. To many of these veterans, it is a constant reminder of the hatred, lack of respect, psychological and physical maladies, and unfathomable insults, they have had to endure through the years. We veterans from that era are not looking for accolades, pats in the back, nor any grandiose recognition. A simple thank you for your service, and welcome home, will suffice. That’s all we are asking for.

A few weeks ago, while searching for the best deals on tires for my car, I contacted a number of dealers. When I asked whether or not they had special deals for veterans, they all had similar answers, “Sorry, we don’t.” A veteran does not give up that easily, therefore, I pressed on. I finally had a positive response from a very amiable young man, whose name is Freddie Montes, Service Manager at Big O Tires. Imagine my surprise when he indicated that they do honor veterans, and do have special rates for them, even on items that are on sale. I was floored!

We scheduled an appointment for the following day. Upon my arrival, Freddie greeted me as a long lost friend, thanked me for serving my country, and welcomed me home! Wow! Is this kid for real? I venture to say, “Yes!” There’s still hope for America. We chatted for a while, and needless to say, Big O hit the jackpot when they hired him.
Not only is he a totally dedicated employee, but one who is currently furthering his education, in order to better serve his employer. Freddie conducted a thorough inspection of the tires, brakes, and the under carriage. Once this was completed, one of his workers proceeded to install the much needed tires. A front end, and rear end alignment was performed, as well.
The vehicle was test driven by the technician who performed the alignments, and results were reported as positive.

Prior to releasing the vehicle to me, Freddie described in detail, what was inspected, and what might be in need of repairs. He went over the total cost, which also entailed the percentage given to veterans. To say how pleased I was, does not begin to describe my elation. As I prepared to leave the premises, Freddie thanked me one more time, and repeatedly told me to bring the vehicle to the shop, should any of the work done, not be up to standard.

If you happen to be in the area, and find yourself in a desperate need with respect to vehicle repairs, do visit this shop, which I highly recommend. They are located at: 1560 Deborah Road SE, Rio Rancho, NM 87124. Go and see Freddie, you won’t regret it. Give them a call. (505) 892-6622.

Thank you Big O. The positive treatment I received from you, and Freddie, has said to me in a loud voice, THANK YOU, AND WELCOME HOME! That’s what we veterans want to hear.

Post, 9/11

Well, here we are, September 12, 2013, the day following the anniversary of that heinous attack on the World Trade Center. For a fleeting moment, many were transported back in time, to Sept.11, 2001. Some cried, others fumed, and others chose, for some reason or other, to forgo any participation what so ever, in any of the commemorative services.
Those who chose to observe a moment of silence might wonder what possess a person to behave as such.

Don’t they care about the families of those defenseless victims who were dealt such a horrific blow? Is there no empathy with respect to the endless suffering these families have gone through, day after day, month after month, and year after year? These are legitimate questions that can only be answered by these quiet ones.

These are individuals who have chosen to erase certain “bad” memories from their minds, as they can not cope with trials and/or tribulations. To them, 9/11 is one of those dark areas they would rather block from their memory banks. Events, such as that which was perpetrated on our fellow citizens, could be deemed as destructive to their well being. Therefore, if there is no participation, there is no memory of that day, and no flash backs. Since there are no flashbacks, then it would stand to reason, that all is well. We can not blame them. That is their make up.

In addition to the aforementioned, we have those who still harbor so much resentment, that year after year, all they think about is, “Revenge.” “How can I pay them back for what they did? How can I make their families feel what I still feel?” These ones don’t seem to be at peace. Do I feel for them? Yes I do. No matter what they try, they will never leave that muddled zone which has brought not only hatred, but fear as well. Some are still in that thinking mode which is, “I’ll get you before you get me.” Sad to say, these terrorists have changed the lives of these poor souls forever.

Yesterday I visited several Face Book accounts, and to my dismay, some of the comments were so anti-victims, that it prompted me to chastise some of those involved. These individuals don’t really care, nor do they have any empathy for the victims, nor the families that lost loved ones. Now, these are the ones I would personally love to send to one of these countries. I venture to say, that one day among the terrorists, would have them crying for mercy, and who knows what else. To me, these are cowards.

America is a unique country, and the best one in the world. Each individual is also unique. We think, act, behave, and view the world, differently from one another. We are many cultures meshed into one. That’s what makes us so strong.
My message to those individuals I have described is the following: We are in this together, and we are a huge family. Be more sensible, and aware of the needs of those around you. Never forget what was perpetrated on our way of life. Remain alert at all times, and remember this, the only ones we can count on are God, and each other. God Bless America, and may we never experience such atrocities again.

Where Were You On 9/11?

Do you remember where you were, and/or what you were doing on that day? What went through you mind, and how did the news of this attack affect you?
I do remember where I was on that fateful day. My wife and I were living in Southern California at the time. A few days before 9/11, she and her sister went out of town, and visited their brother, in order to lend a helping hand at his restaurant.

On 9/11, bright and early, I decided to call my wife, and to see how she were doing. My brother-in law’s wife, who always answered the phone in a very sweet manner, sounded quite distressed and very agitated. She asked whether or not I had watched the early news on TV. I told her hat I had not, and asked what was so important. She urged me to turn on my set, and to watch the horror that was unfolding in NY. I did as she asked, and could not believe the horrendous images being splashed all over the news. I could not believe my eyes. My NY was under attack. How could this be? Was the entire state under attack? I thought about my family, and wondered if they were safe, and out of harm’s way. What could I do? I became very angry, and wanted to go after those who had done this. At that moment, I began to pray for my family’s safety.
Attempts to contact them were to no avail, as telecommunication was down. I was finally able to make contact that evening. Thank God all were safe and sound. But, what about the families of those who had perished? My heart went out to them. Their lives would be disrupted forever. I began to pray for them, and asked God to see them through this nightmare.

As an Army Veteran, I felt the need to do something, but what? As I sat there, numb, and in disbelief, I kept asking myself, “Who in their right mind would be compelled to commit such an atrocity!” But then, my mind raced back to the early 90s, and the attempt by terrorists to bring down the Twin Towers. Well, they were successful this time around.

Every 9/11, I sit at the computer, in an attempt to write about this infamous day, but have not been able to focus, as I try to erase the images of what I witnessed that day, on the news. This is the first time how ever, that I have been able to write about this infamous day, when our country was being attacked.

I’m from Brooklyn, and was able to witness the completion of the Twin Towers. They sat on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge. They were quite visible from our building, which was located near the Navy Yard. What an awesome sight they were. Every time we visited the city, (Manhattan) we would see these enormous, majestic buildings, as we crossed the bridge. Sadly, they are gone forever. Whenever I see pictures of the NY skyline, I always say, “No more twin towers.”

It took me a while, but I was finally able to forgive the evil individuals, who caused so much suffering.
Life goes on, and the perpetrators of this horrific attack, are no longer around. In spite of what they did, I do pray for their families, in the hopes that they will find the truth, and do repent. Am I wrong? I venture to say, NO! God loves these people too, so who am I to wish them eternal doom? What is your take?

Can I trust You Also?

I woke up this morning, the 16th of July, 2013, prepared, as many would say, “to conquer the world.” Yeah right! I guess it all depends on what world you’re referring to. It was a beautiful morning, the weather was somewhat crisp, and cloudy, with a few dark clouds, hovering over our majestic New Mexico skies.

My wife and I have a daily ritual which consists of the following. We print out a daily crossword puzzle, prepare some Chai Tea, read the Bible before delving into our routine, and once we are settled in, we work on our puzzle. This particular morning, we drank our tea, and guess what! No puzzle. What! How can this be! Then I remembered why. This was the day I would take my car to the, ugh, dreaded auto mechanic’s shop. As I thought about it, my heart began to beat a bit faster than normal, my hands became sweaty, my speech somehow hurried, and my anxiety level, also elevated. I reminded myself that I was not going to the hospital for any major surgery, I wasn’t going to appear before the judge, or worse yet, work on the yard. I was going to the auto mechanic’s shop, that’s all!

Now, you might wonder__ what is so bad about visiting your local, friendly shop? What harm can come out of this? Aha! Glad you asked.
Whenever that little light comes on in your car, the first thing that comes to mind is_ how much is this going to COST ME! You have no idea as to why that little light is on, but you certainly know why that light goes on, in your wallet. So, you resign yourself to the inevitable, drive to your prescheduled appointment, and truly hope that the cost will be minimal. That’s what I did, but along the way, my defensive mechanism shifted into high gear, and I was ready for my confrontation with the cigar chomping manager. I was as ready as can be. I felt bigger than life, stronger, wiser, and prepared to counter-punch.

I arrived at the shop, “Just Brakes”, located on the corner of Montano, and Coors Blvd. in Albuquerque, NM. The parking area was filled with quite a few cars. I walked into the shop, my adrenalin was on speed dial, and as I stepped into the waiting area, I was greeted by a young and friendly, “Hercules.” This guy was built like a body builder. His smile was not what we would call as, grinning from ear to ear. It was more like, from wall to wall. The immediate thought that came to mind was, that I had walked into the middle of a photo shoot. Surely, this cannot be one of the workers. They must be shooting an ad. I stepped out briefly, looked at the sign again, and sure enough, it read, Just Brakes. I finally realized that I was indeed, in the right place, but who in the world is this body builder? I walked in once again, greeted the customers in the area, and was again greeted by Mr. Hercules. By the way, his name is Chris Castillo, and he is the Albuquerque Group Manager for this company. And yes, I kept waiting for him to pull out a cigar butt, and chomp on it. To my relief, none of this took place.

I gave him my name, and right away he addressed me by my first name. So far so good. We chatted for a few minutes, I provided the required information, and once we were finished, another worker came in, introduced himself as Chad, and asked for my car keys. We walked out together, as I was not letting MY CAR out of sight. As we approached the car, another worker greeted me. He introduced himself as Aurelio, and told me that he would be test driving it. Sounded good to me. Chad and I went back to the waiting room, and another worker, by the name the of Jesus informed me that he would perform the preliminaries, once Aurelio had test-driven the car. I figured that I couldn’t go wrong, if someone named Jesus worked on my car.

Seeing so many seemingly satisfied customers, I decided to get their opinions regarding Just Brakes. They all voiced similar sentiments. I was assured that these were honest technicians, and they would only conduct repairs, as needed, no more, and no less. Quite a satisfied group.

These technicians worked on my car, went beyond what I expected, the results were amazing, and to top it all, I was not charged one dime. The reason being, that I had taken my car to Just Brakes the previous year, and they honored the warranty. I had no idea that all the work that was performed, would be free of charge. I inquired as to this, and Chris, the manager, indicated that they do honor their warranties, no questions asked.I must say also, that a thorough check was done on the car, and no additional, “repairs” were deemed necessary. Was I pleased with the whole process? You had better believe it!

I do recommend these Techs, at Just Brakes. They are honest, knowledgeable, friendly, meticulous, and you won’t find any of them chomping down on cigar butts.
From Chris, the Mgr. to Chad, Jesus, and Aurelio, these are the ones I will visit, the next time I encounter any problems with my car. Allow me to give you their information. Just Brakes, 4311 Montano Rd. NW.. Albuquerque, NM 87120 Store #011.
This is my take on another honest company. Comments are most welcomed.