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Thanks for the Hoppy Memories




Carmen Duran was Instagram famous without even knowing what an Instagram was.

Some called her a legend but everyone who knew her or knew of her loved that she seemed to be living her best life even at the ample age of 102.

The brewery-hopping grandma’s physical life came to an end last month but her memory and inspiration lives on in the brewing community.

Duran stepped into the spotlight in 2019 when her granddaughter Carmen McClelland, 27, began taking her out to local breweries and created an Instagram page to document it all. Known by her Instagram handle hoppygrandma, she gained a local following. She became a favorite of servers and they didn’t even mind that she asked for salt with every beer.

The duo fondly became known as the Carmens.

McClelland, who is named after her grandma, was one of Duran’s caregivers and sat with her two to four times a week. One of those days was always Saturday and instead of sitting at home, she decided to take her grandma out with her while she visited local breweries. At first, Duran was resistant to the outings and then she came to expect it.

“She would say ‘It’s Saturday night. Where are we going?’ ” McClelland said. “And then we would go.”

Shelby Chant, marketing director and co-owner of Steel Bender Brewyard, said the Carmens brought a lot of warmth and smiles to the taproom. She admired the relationship between the two women.

“Hoppy Grandma threw her arms around craft beer and the special community that surrounds it, and we all threw ours right back around her and her granddaughter,” Chant said. “… She became a willing and fun(ny) celebrity, seeming to find so much joy in the simple act of enjoying a pint while doted on by taproom staffs.”

Born July 1, 1919, Duran grew up on a farm in Mesilla and at a young age, she became a bootlegger according to her daughter Gerri Duran. Although, depending on the day, she might not admit to it.

“She even had an uncle that went to the big house,” Duran said. “She was a runner. There she was, 12 or 13 years old, driving a double-clutch truck. She said ‘I was willing to do anything to keep me out of the house and not do diapers.’ ”

Duran came from a big family and anyone who stayed at home was expected to help with chores, including looking after the younger siblings.

She came Albuquerque in her late 20s, married and began raising a family but that didn’t dampen her feisty personality.

Her son Gilbert Duran said his mom had a cutting edge to her and wouldn’t hesitate to put someone in their place. He recalls the time his mom was out back hanging clothes and she heard the dogs barking. She never locked the front door and when she went back into the house there was a man trying to steal her purse.

“She tore after that guy,” Gilbert Duran said. “And she got her purse and he ran away.”

When Duran turned 102, Ex Novo hosted her birthday party. Gilbert Duran said the place erupted in claps and cheers when she arrived.

“She turned to me and said ‘I don’t know these people. Did you invite them?’ ” Gilbert Duran said. “I told her ‘They know you from Instagram and they are buying you drinks.’ She said. ‘Oh, OK, then that’s good.’ ”

McClelland called her grandmother her best friend and said the two hit almost every local brewery in Albuquerque. They had started to migrate to Santa Fe and the East Mountains. Duran didn’t really understand the internet, much less Instagram, so didn’t quite grasp how people knew about her.

That didn’t matter.

There was an outpouring of support on Instagram from her followers and local breweries when she died. Tractor Brewing staff said they were heartbroken and she was their favorite customer. Many others talked about how her adventures inspired them.

“Her impact will always be with us,” Bosque Brewing wrote. “Thank you for sharing her with all of us.”

The post Thanks for the hoppy memories appeared first on Albuquerque Journal.



Seymore’s Late Goal Lifts United to Road Victory




New Mexico United’s Daniel Bruce, front, battles for possession against New York’s Steven Sserwadda on Sunday. (Courtesy of USL Championship)

The second half of Sunday’s game in Montclair, New Jersey, was not necessarily New Mexico United’s finest hour.

Second-half stoppage time made up for it.

Will Seymore’s header in the opening seconds of stoppage time netted the decisive goal as United escaped with a 2-1 victory over New York Red Bulls II at MSU Soccer Park. New Mexico secured three points and kept its impressive road streak intact, but only after receiving a scare from the USL Championship Eastern Conference’s last-place club.

United coach Zach Prince conceded that things were tighter than his team might have liked, but the outcome was exactly what he had in mind.

“I’m really proud of the result,” Prince said in a postgame interview. “When you look at the first half, we could’ve completed some of those chances and it wouldn’t have been so close at the end. But at the end of the day we came here for three points and that’s what we got.”

A nail-biter seemed quite unlikely in the first half, when United wasted little time grabbing the lead. Neco Brett converted his team-leading seventh goal of the season on a tap-in, set up on a cross from Jerome Kiesewetter, who drew the defense to him on a run up the left wing before sending the ball across the box to Brett.

New Mexico (10-3-8) thoroughly dominated the first half, outshooting the home team 7-1 and putting the only three shots on target. But United was unable to cash in on numerous opportunities to extend its 1-0 lead, missing the frame on several occasions and watching New York goalkeeper Giannis Nikopolidis turn aside a late blast by Brett.

But after putting up little resistance over the first 45 minutes, the Red Bulls suddenly found some life after halftime. Steven Sserwadda misfired wide at an open goal in the 52nd minute, but he capitalized on an opportunity four minutes later. A bounding ball deflected off two United defenders and settled at the feet of Sserwadda in front of the New Mexico goal, where he tucked it under goalkeeper Alex Tambakis to make the score 1-1.

Suddenly energized, New York (2-16-3) continued to apply pressure over the next 15 minutes, forcing Tambakis to make a pair of saves to keep the score even.

Prince made a handful of substitutions that seemed to help New Mexico regain its form, including bringing on recent signee Romario Williams and New Jersey native Amando Moreno along the front line. It was Moreno’s first action of the season after recovering from offseason ACL surgery.

New Mexico then got a break when New York’s Hassan Ndam picked up his second yellow card in the 75th minute. The resulting red card left United with a man advantage.

It appeared the Red Bulls might preserve a draw until United earned a corner kick in the final seconds of regulation time. Justin Portillo served a well-placed ball in front of the goal, and Seymore rose to head it home for a 2-1 New Mexico lead. It was Seymore’s first goal for United and Portillo’s fourth assist of the season.

“This has been coming for Will,” Prince said. “I’m sure he’d like to score more goals but he’s such a big part of what we do. I’m happy for him.”

New Mexico missed a chance to seal the win when Nikoplidis stopped a Portillo penalty kick in the 95th minute, but United did not allow the home team to seriously threaten until the final whistle sounded.

The victory improved United’s road record to 7-1-3 and extended its overall unbeaten streak to seven matches. NMU has not lost a road match since April 16 at Phoenix.

United’s returns home to host Sacramento Republic FC on Wednesday.


New Mexico 1 1 — 2

New York 0 1 — 1

Scoring: NM, 9th, Neco Brett (Jerome Kiesewetter); NY, 56th, Steven Sserwadda; NM, 90+1, Will Seymore (Justin Portillo). Shots: NM 13, NY 6. Shots on goal: NM 6, NY 3. Corner kicks: NM 7. NY 5. Goalkeeper saves: NM (Alex Tambakis) 2; NY (Giannis Nikopolidis) 4. Records: NM 10-3-8, NY 2-16-3.

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APD Investigating Suspicious Death Near Railroad Tracks




Albuquerque police are investigating a suspicious death next to the railroad tracks near Downtown.

Rebecca Atkins, a police spokeswoman, said Sunday evening that officers were called to the tracks near Mountain. A individual was found dead next to a building in the area.

No other information was immediately available.

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Six Juveniles Escaped the Bridge City Center Early Sunday Morning




Authorities are investigating another breakout at the Bridge City Center for Youth Sunday morning.


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