Mike Lord

Mike Lord

4th generation Santa Fe Gringo.

Friday, 30 November 2018 18:39

A Basque Family in America

This 1916 photo is of my great-grandmother on my mother's side, Graceus Marie Inda, and her family.  Graceus Tahista came to America in the late 1800s at age 18 from her home in Aldudes, France.  She was to marry John Inda, a Basque man 20 years her senior, whom she had never met.  Arriving in New York, speaking only French and Basque, she boarded a train and traveled to her new home in Los Angeles.  She raised six children, one of whom was my grandmother, Mary Grace.  I never knew her, but I know that she was a very tough and determined woman because both my grandmother and mother were.

My mother Grace was born and raised in Los Angeles.  She met DeForest Lord, a Santa Fe native, during WWII when he was attending dental school at USC.  They married in 1944, and in 1946 she came to Santa Fe, where she raised five children and spent the rest of her life.

On a side note, my great-grandmother was named Graceus Marie, my grandmother's name was Mary Grace, and my mother's name was Grace Mary.  This naming tradition of daughters in my mom's family is very old and goes back for generations.

Saturday, 27 October 2018 16:10

Tesuque Pueblo Boy Buffalo Dancers, 1931

Tesuque Pueblo boys Pete, Tim, Paul, and Clyde Vigil preparing for the Buffalo Dance.  During the depression, Tesuque Pueblo dancers travelled to different venues throughout the southwest to perform for tourists.  Times were hard and people did what they could to make ends meet.

Tesuque Pueblo boys Pete Tim Paul and Clyde Vigil preparing for Buffalo Dance. 1931

Friday, 05 October 2018 00:04

Basque Sheep Herders in New Mexico

Many of the northern New Mexico sheepherders were Basque. They seemed to have no problem with the months of isolation and always had a dog or two for sheep control and company. Near the top of the trail from Cuba to San Pedro Parks there are a large number of aspen trees with Basque carvings (some pornographic) which was one way these guys occupied their time.

About 25 years ago, Kathy, a close female friend, and I backpacked into a high mountain lake near Platoro, Colorado. Shortly after establishing our camp, a Basque sheepherder, his flock, and his dogs set up camp on the other side of the lake. He came over that evening to visit. He spoke only Basque and Spanish, so our friend, who spoke Spanish, became the interpreter. He was young (early 30s?) and could not understand why our friend wasn't with a man. We kept expecting him to make a move on her, but he was very polite. That night, we slept surrounded by sheep, and, by the time the sun rose the next morning, they were gone.  We stayed another night, but he didn't return.

One of my favorite events of Fiestas de Santa Fe is Saturday morning's Desfile de los Niños, also known as the Pet Parade.  Since the 1930s, kids have dressed up their pets and paraded around the Plaza.  My father did it, I did it, and my children did it.  From a kid's point of view, it's exciting to have perhaps your first moment in the spotlight, and from the adults point of view, it's the cutest thing ever.  But participating is not without its' difficulties.

In 1952, my parents decided that it was our turn.  Not satisfied with putting crepe paper flowers and a tutu on our dog, my dad found a burro that he rented for $20.  My mom made my brother David and I little Mexican peon outfits, complete with sombreros.  Mom later told me that she stayed up all Friday night finishing "the g-- d----- things."  Saturday morning, we met the guy with the burro at the beginning of the parade and saddled up.  The owner said that he would meet us at the end.  It was really fun being the center of attention.  For maybe a block.  At that point, Señor Burro had had enough and came to a dead stop.  With the parade backing up behind us, my dad and a friend of his tugged, pushed, cursed, and slapped him on the rump, to no avail.  As the rest of the parade squeezed by us, I remember standing on the curb and realizing that our parade was over.  That burro stayed right where he stopped until long after the parade had passed.  His owner finally showed up, took up the halter rope, and led him docily away,  Why my dad didn't have him stick around during the entire parade I never found out.

In the mid 1970s, we entered our daughters and our dog Sophie.  This time it was much simpler - crepe paper flowers and a tutu.  Unfortunately, this was the one year that the Fiesta Council decided to hold the parade in the afternoon rather than the morning.  A half hour into the parade the pavement had gotton so hot that dogs were heading for any shade they could find and refusing to move.  I ended up carrying Sophie for most of the route while my kids got to wave at the crowd.

It seems to be more fun watching the parade than participating in it.  But, given the chance, I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

Saturday, 01 September 2018 21:45

Santa Fe Fiesta Program - 1922

This is the official program of the Santa Fe Fiesta, 1922.  In the early days of the Fiesta, the events were catorigized daily per the page shown below.  Santa Fe Trail Day, De Vargas Day, and Indian Day, which featured the first Indian Market.  The Entrada was celebrated, as well as the Santa Fe Trail, which had ceased operation only 45 years previously and was still remembered by many folks.  There was no Zozobra, Pet Parade, or Historical/Hysterical Parade.  The State Armory mentioned was on Washington Avenue, right behind the Palace of the Governors, where the Fray Angelico Chavez library is today. Thanks to Ron Trujillo for providing the program.

 

Santa Fe Fiesta program 2 1922

Program of events, Santa Fe Fiesta, 1922

Armory Santa Fe 1919

New Mexico State Armory, 1919

Indian Fair display Armory Fiesta 1922 First

Indian Day display, State Armory, Santa Fe Fiesta, 1922 

Thursday, 23 August 2018 04:38

Recreational Map of New Mexico - 1946

In 1946, the New Mexico Tourist Bureau issued this map showing off the recreational, historical, and otherwise interesting places in the Land of Enchantment.  Click on the green link below to download a high-resolution copy that can be examined in detail.

Thanks to Sam Jackson for finding this.

--Mike Lord

Friday, 17 August 2018 17:35

Señor Piñon - Frank Gormley of Santa Fe

Santa Fe's Frank Gormley was one of the first people to sell piñon nuts on a large scale.  Between 1915 and 1939, 16,000 tons of piñon were legally harvested in the forests of New Mexico.  Most of these were shipped to New York and other major east coast cities, primarily to satisfy the demand of new Italian immigrants who used pine nuts as part of their diet.

 GormleyPinonRoom1925

Gormley piñon room, 1925

 

GormleyElPalacio1925

Gormley piñons on the Plaza, 1925

Thursday, 16 August 2018 18:18

Come With Me, Santa Fe - With Tommy Macaione

In 1961, Ewen Enterprises published a small book featuring Tommaso Macaione highlighting Santa Fe businesses.  It is a delightful look at the Santa Fe of 50+ years ago.  The entire book can be downloaded at the green link below.

This small wagon trace was found at the site of the ghost town of Chato, NM, located at the western edge of the Estancia Valley in central New Mexico.  Abandoned in the 1930s, Chato was a farming community that contributed to New Mexico's pinto bean dominence.  The trace was severely damaged and then repaired by a local blacksmith.  He straightened and reshaped the right side, adding a hand made U-shaped piece.    While not elegant, the repair is perfectly functional and illustrates the resourcefulness of the person who created it.

Friday, 15 June 2018 17:14

Santa Fe New Mexican - 1898

This is a page from the Santa Fe New Mexican in the spring of 1898. Attached is a high-resolution image that can be downloaded, enlarged, and read.  A fascinating look at the news and ads from 120 years ago.

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