A piece of White Sands Missile Range history walked through the Missile Ranger doors last week when Marice Delgado, who lived on the Missile Range in the late 40s, brought in several old copies of what was then called the Wind and Sand.
Delgado said the Missile Range holds a special place in her heart, so much that she kept the first couple of newspapers, printed in the 1950s, in pristine condition. After 64 years, Delgado traveled from California back to WSMR to donate her newspapers to the WSMR museum.
Delgado remembers WSMR as her first duty station she and her ex-husband, then Cpl. Ralph Gonzalez moved to in 1948. For Delgado, the Missile Range was a place where friends gathered for any event worth celebrating.
“This was the first assignment for me. It was an exciting time in my life to become an Army wife. This issue brings me back to the first days as an Army wife,” Delgado said
Delgado said she kept the first couple of issues of the newspaper because her ex-husband contributed to the newspaper masthead design. The newspaper had a different name back then, the Wind and Sun, with similar human interest stories and events that are still covered over 60 decades later. The front page consisted of a welcome letter from then Col. G.G. Eddy.
“I feel it’s something that’s historical to the Missile Range,” Delgado added.
Delgado, a native of Tracy, California, held on to several memories of White Sands Missile Range, then known as White Sands Proving Ground. Along with old newspaper issues, Delgado also brought in an old scrapbook of her time at WSMR, which included several community events and menus for restaurants in Chihuahua, Mexico.
“It was a time between wars. We weren’t living in fear of war. Things were very new to me and these bring back all of the memories of exciting, and happy times in my life,” Delgado said.
Delgado said her ex-husband also painted two additional murals on the installation during that time. “He was a very good artist,” Delgado said.
After leaving the Missile Range, Delgado and her ex-husband had two children. Delgado has since moved back near her hometown, but recalls the missile range as the place where it all began and will always hold several fond memories of her time on the installation.
“It was a great place,” Delgado said.