Updated: Sunday, (Nov. 19), 11:36 a.m. A resident reports new vandalism occurred sometime between Friday and Sunday morning.
Questa, N.M. - There's probably no busier place in this mountain village at lunchtime than the post office, a little red building off State Road 38. Even when the window's closed, it seems like everyone stops in to get their mail, drop off bills and catch up – mostly they catch up.
And there was a lot to catch up on in the past couple of weeks.
Just before Halloween, the post office was vandalized with blue and black graffiti – including a Nazi-style swastika, phallus and the message "[expletive] the cops." Graffiti was also found sprayed on the highway near the post office.
"The post office is a real nice meeting place. It was a shock … just indescribable. You'd want to close your eyes," said Betty Richter, a longtime Questa resident.
She wasn't alone. Everyone at the post office asked by The Taos News about the incident was upset.
Tom Overby called it "a dirty shame."
On Sunday (Nov. 19) another resident found evidence of new vandalism when she went to the post office. "This time someone tried to kick in the glass front door, causing
it to fracture," said the resident in an email to The Taos News. "On the glass panel on the other side, there are partial shoe prints."
The resident said she called police to report the vandalism.
Postal worker Wayne Trujillo told The Taos News Wednesday (Nov. 15) the incident was turned over to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the law enforcement arm of the federal postal agency. The federal agency, Questa Police Department and village office did not respond to messages seeking comment by press time Wednesday. (Nov. 18)
However, the community took action to remove the graffiti and repair the post office.
Volunteers, including members of the local post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, spent the past two weekends sanding the graffiti off of the wooden, exterior walls of the post office and putting on a fresh coat of red paint.
Trujillo said the volunteers are planning to return this weekend to touch up the paint.
When it's all said and done, the "real nice meeting place" will be so again.