Eugene Vigil Retires After 30 Years With UPS
Submitted by Rose Vigil
Eugene Vigil started his United Parcel Services (UPS) career as a delivery driver in 1986 as a seasonal employee for the Christmas rush season. After the initial training as a delivery driver he was hired full-time with the company in May 1987. On March 3, 2017 Eugene retired from 30 years of dedicated service to UPS and returns to his first two passions in life: weaving beautiful Chimayo/Rio Grande textiles and returning back to college to add to his education.
A recognition plaque was given to him, which says “In appreciation of your many years of dedicated service to UPS” and it also has a quote by Jim Casey who is the founder of United Parcel Service “Our horizon is as distant as our mind’s eye wishes it to be”. During his daily UPS deliveries he would encounter different scenarios each day on his UPS delivery route. Eugene always made every person in his delivery area his priority as he knew every package meant the world to the person, family, or business. He was dedicated to his job and rarely took a day off, because he knew people were depending on him for those important deliveries.
Eugene was trained as an electrical journeyman and a traditional Chimayo weaver, but the UPS corporation offered him a steady income with benefits in the Teamsters union, health care, and legal insurance for his family. He is retiring with a full benefit from the Teamsters union. Eugene also wove beautiful Chimayo/Rio Grande textiles on the weekends and vacation time for the past 20 years to exhibit in art shows and guild gathering through the southwest. He was accepted into the Spanish Colonial Art Society in 1995 to show and sell his textiles during their markets.
Eugene’s professional artist statement is listed below:
Since I was born and raised in the Chimayo Valley, I have always had an interest for the traditions of the area. My goal is to preserve and promote all aspects of Hispanic weavings, from the most traditional to the contemporary. As my ancestors came to Chimayo Valley in the 1700’s they faced many different hardships and the only reason they survived the hardships is because they worked as a family unit. Without the family members working in unity, the job of the other one would not be completed. The same holds true today. Without my wife, Rose, my textiles could not be completed. She is the foundation of the traditional textiles I weave, by washing, carding, spinning and dyeing the wool. It is after her job is completed thus I can then begin to weave the textiles on a loom that both of us have built together.
The feel of the hand spun yarn is of a rustic land. The color from the plants that surrounds us in Northern New Mexico comes from local vegetation picked by our hands. We create the dye by extracting the natural pigmentation from the plants we gathered during our field trips. The design is of my culture, with simple stripes, twills, serrated diamonds, block design, hourglass, chispas, and seamed textiles.
It is all of these elements that create a Rio Grande/Chimayo textile. As a weaver, I try to incorporate these elements into a contemporary flair. As a seventh generation weaver, I am proud to keep and pass on to future generations the Spanish tradition of weaving.
Eugene is the co-owner of Los Vigiles Living Traditions Fiber Studio and Supply at 776 State Road 76 in Chimayo. He can be found creating his one of a kind Chimayo/Rio Grande blankets most days and waiting for his UPS deliveries and shipments NOW!