Homer and Edna enjoying a sunny day with friends at Ashley Pond. Photo by Sharon Snyder
By SHARON SNYDER
Los Alamos Historical Society
Two snowy white geese on Ashley Pond have captivated the community in the past months. The male goose, Homer, has lived on the pond for several years, but in January, an elegant companion was seen swimming next to him. She was soon referred to as Homer’s “girlfriend,” his “feathered beauty,” and sometimes “Homer’s Honey.”
Although those tributes were nice, it was clear that his lovely lady needed a name. At that point, the community gladly became involved, submitting ideas for the name. The Daily Post accepted suggestions, and two names—Edna and Marge—were the most popular. Votes were sent to the newspaper, and in the end, Edna won out.
A number of residents were disappointed, but historically, Edna was a good choice. Our geese aren’t the first couple with those names in the history of New Mexico.
In 1927, a young man named Homer Pickens traveled from the Texas Panhandle to join his older brother, Albert, at a mountain camp near Cuba, NM. Albert Pickens was a hunter and trapper and ultimately worked for the U.S. Biological Survey. In the time Homer spent with his brother, he observed and learned and eventually was also hired by the Survey.
With a secure job, Homer’s thoughts turned to a girl back home, and he asked Edna Burton to marry him. She agreed, and they rented an apartment in Roswell, where Homer was based with the Biological Survey. His first assignment after they were married took him away for two weeks. When he returned, Edna put her foot down and decreed that she would go with him when he returned to the camp. “I was going to live in the tent with him,” she recalled.
These articles are written by the Los Alamos Historical Society Staff. Many of these articles were originally published by the