Friday, 28 April 2017 20:53

The Wedding at Three Cities of Spain

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In the 1960s, my favorite hangout and date place was a coffee shop on Canyon Road called The Three Cities of Spain.  It was owned by Bob Garrison and Dave Munn, and they presented an ecletic mix of entertainment, the likes of which Santa Fe hasn't seen since they closed in the 1970s.  It was there that I first saw the movies of W.C. Fields, Busby Berkeley, Buster Keaton, and all of the great films of the 1930s and 1940s.  They also presented a steady stream of folk musicians like Ian and Sylvia, The Dillards, Spider John Koerner, Dave "Snaker" Ray, and Tony "Little Sun" Glover, Utah Phillips, and Ramblin' Jack Elliot.  An enormous Italian espresso machine dominated the east wall and they served various pastries, a world-famous cheesecake, and coffees.  The room was about 20 by 50 feet, held about 20 tables, and every seat was fantastic.  I never missed a show and got to know the musicians pretty well, as they played there more than once.  I was playing guitar and singing then and I learned quite a few songs by watching them.

This story is about the most memorable night I spent there.  It was New Years Eve, 1965, and the artists were a young folksinger from Portales named Gary (I forget his last name,) and Ramblin' Jack Elliot.  Although they had no liquor license, Bob and Dave turned a blind eye toward patrons bringing in their own liquor.  Even me and my date, although I was 20 and she was 18.  Jack played 2 sets that night and by 12:30 in the morning almost everyone had left.  Remaining were Dave and Bob, me and my date, Gary and his date, Jack, and a Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court.  We were all quite drunk and Gary kept kissing and cuddling his date.  We were teasing them that, since they felt so strongly about one another, they should get married.  Suddenly, Gary got down on one knee and proposed.  She accepted.  We discussed what to do next, when the Supreme Court Justice said that he would marry them right then and there.  I found a napkin and a pen, drew up a primitive wedding license, and had them sign it, with Jack and me as witnesses.  (Did I mention that we were drunk?)  Then, with Jack playing The Wedding March on his guitar, the Justice (who almost fell down several times during the ceremony) had them recite their vows and pronounced them man and wife.  Suddenly, Gary sobered up and asked if this whole thing was really legal.  He was quite worried.  The Justice assured him that it wasn't, but I've spent the last 50 years wondering.

--Mike Lord
 

Friday, 28 April 2017 16:25

El Vecino

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Friday, 14 April 2017 00:34

Holy Week - By Gloria Mendoza

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Remembering my Mom today and all our neighbors and relatives that lived in our neighborhood.

The week before Easter we went to confession. We would go shopping for our Easter outfits. We would spring clean the house. We went to church each day for Holy Week. On Holy Thursday we would all go with my Mom and Aunt to the Santuario. However starting early in the morning we would visit each church in Santa Fe, pray a rosary at each church and light a candle. We would then visit each church on the way to Chimayo. We would arrive late afternoon, visit the posito, get Holy dirt and holy water. When we got home we would cook some Lenten foods early for Good Friday because we needed to be done by noon time. On Friday morning we woke up early and started cooking immediately. We had to finish by 11:00 am. My mom would have a tray with small crystal clear bowls lined up. We would serve some of our food into the small bowls and then cover the whole tray with a tea towel embroidered by my Mom, starched and ironed. We would take a tray to all our Aunts and Uncles who lived in the neighborhood. Then we had to finish by noon time because all radios, music and disconnected phones were shut off for the Holy three hours. We would kneel in front of a nicho that our Santo Nino de Atocha sat with candles lit, rosaries, scapulars and other small tokens surrounding him. We prayed a rosary and other prayers led by my Mother and Grandma. My Grandma’s prayers were in Spanish. We could not talk or do anything for those three hours. After our three hours we continued to deliver trays of food and finally sit to eat our meatless Lenten Meal when Dad got home from work. I have continued this tradition for 50+ years.

Sunday, 02 April 2017 19:19

Northern New Mexico Folk Art

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I believe that folk art comes in many different mediums.  Paintings, carvings, sculptures, weavings and others.  Folk art also includes the written word.  A quintessential example of this is the book "Lo de Mora" written by Manuel Alcon.  Sr. Alcon, a native of Mora, educator and World War II veteran, meticulously compiled this book over a 40-year period of time.  The book is a very detailed history of Mora which is one of the most beautiful communities in northern New Mexico.  He was inspired by his father, Ben who kept a daily diary and encouraged him to attend college and his mother Rosaura who instilled in him the love of reading.  Sr. Alcon, well into his nineties, should be congratulated for his accomplishments.

The book had a limited print run and there are some copies still available.  If you are interested in purchasing a copy, you can email Sr. Alcon's granddaughter (and my friend), Allegra Pacheco at:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The price of a copy is $20 plus shipping costs.

Saturday, 01 April 2017 17:23

Underground Pit Cooking in New Mexico

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When I was growing up in Tesuque, every fall my father would host a party for all of his friends and their families.  He would cook a quarter beef underground.  This method of cooking in New Mexico was thought to originate with the pueblos and then passed on to the Spanish.  The method was quite simple. A large hole was dug and lined with rocks.  A large fire was built and allowed to burn down to coals.  Whn the coals were ready,they were removed,  the wrapped food was placed in the pit, the coals were put back into the pit, a cover was placed over the food, and the whole thing was buried.  After several hours, the pit was dug up and the food was served.

My dad used the same method, but the materials were updated.  His hole was lined with brick, and the cover he used was old roofing tin.  At 3:00 on the morning of the party, we would fill the pit with firewood and let it burn.  In the meantime, he prepared the beef.  He salted and peppered it and wrapped it in cheesecloth.  He wrapped several layers of wet burlap (which had been soaking overnight) around the meat and secured it with baling wire.  4 hours later, when the coals were ready, they were removed from the pit, the meat was placed on the bricks, and it was covered with the roofing tin.  The coals were shoveled on top of the tin and everything was buried with the dirt.  It took 8 - 10 hours to cook.

The photo is of my dad (right) and Herman Barkmann pit cooking at the Santa Fe Winter Sports Club in the 1960s.

--Mike Lord

Friday, 24 March 2017 00:28

El Vecino

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In 1942, the NM State Tourist Bureau comissioned artist Wilfred Stedman to create the map "Battlefields of the Conquistadores in New Mexico."  It displays all (or most) of the battles that were fought on New Mexico soil from the coming of the Spanish through the American occupation.

Attached is a high resolution image of the map that can be downloaded, enlarged, and examined in detail.

Saturday, 18 March 2017 17:38

Indian Detours Harveycar Tour Map - 1928

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By the 1920s, tourism had become a mainstay in New Mexico.  This map, issued by the Harvey Hotel's Indian Detours company in 1928, shows all of the tours that were avaliable.  Harvey had a stable of over 50 tour cars based in Santa Fe.  Tours were accompanied by a driver and attractive young women who were schooled in the history and culture of the places they visited.

Attached is a high resolution download of the map.

Friday, 24 February 2017 17:28

Georgia, Sarge, and Me - By Sandra Dippolito

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When I was growing up, my mother ran the La Fonda Beauty Shop in Santa Fe. In the summer of 1966 (I was 14,) the phone rang at home. It was my mother. She told me to run over to the shop right away. I did not question  why, being such an obedient child!  My best friend Tinka and I ran barefooted to the La Fonda all the way from Casa Solana.

As we approached the front entrance of the hotel on San Francisco Street, we noticed a black limousine parked up front.  I looked at it and thought that maybe that the Beatles were in town!  It was none other than Georgia O'Keeffe!  I had met her several times at the beauty shop as my mother Dolores was her beautician.  My name was called out from the limo "Sandra....come here!"  Continuing to be a very obedient child, I went to car as Georgia opened the car door and told me to get in.  Who would do such a thing today?  I proceeded to get into the limo, and there was a huge box, with two chow chow puppies inside.  One was red, and one was black.  She then asked me which one I wanted.  I chose the red one.  It was like a dream.  Being a kid, I was not so focused on Georgia, but of course the puppy.  I said thank you and started to climb out of the car, when Ms.O'Keeffe said, "where are you going?"  I said: home!  She then said, "Where do you live?"  I replied, "Casa Solana," so she instructed Juan Hamilton, her driver at the time, to listen to instructions from me!

So much for another hot boring, summer day that had not ended up that way.  I thanked Ms. O'Keeffe again and she pleasantly smiled at me and said "you're welcome!"  My summer was no longer boring, for I had a puppy to train and take care of.  I named him Sarge, because he had a marking on his tail that looked like a Sargent's stripe.

Ms. O'Keeffe asked my mother several times if she could paint my portrait, but we never got around to it.  Could have, would have, should have.

--Sandra Dippolito

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