One more time: Happy New Year!
Also, I was originally going to post the next installment of the Martha and Michael Chronicles tomorrow. But then I thought, hey! How often do you get a chance to post on the first day of the first month of a new year? So, I figured, what the heck?
And here we go:
You’ll recall that we had just left the Memorial Service for Martha’s friend Shirley -- she was my friend, too, of course, but it was they who shared a real bond.
We got to the car and considered one another. We were kind of at a loss for what to do with ourselves. We had thought we were going to be occupied that afternoon with clean-up at the Church, and particularly in its kitchen. But, as I said, we’d underestimated the number of Shirley’s friends and their devotion to her. The church kitchen was crowded with volunteers, and I suspect it and the rest of the church, were spotless even before we left.
So, what now?
After a bit, we decided we’d work our way back to the B&B via a round-about route. Specifically, we would travel north along Tramway. That’s one of our favorite drives in Albuquerque. It takes your through what little remains of undeveloped land on the edge of the city, with some great views of the mountains, and then west, past the Sandia Pueblo Reservation (with obligatory Casino), then south-by-southwest back into the city, and finally, by means of a hop, skip, and standing broad jump, to Old Town.
We elected to go into Old Town and have a quick look around. We knew we had limited time and energy, so decided to restrain ourselves to the Albuquerque Museum (https://www.cabq.gov/artsculture/albuquerque-museum) and a leisurely tour of the Plaza --that is, Old Town’s main square. That’s where the San Felipe de Neri Church can be found, along with the old park (complete with cannons that date back to the Civil War) and a number of shops.
About the photo: as per norm, this has nothing to do with the story. But Martha is a fan of Hello Kitty. So when the Hello Kitty van visited Albuquerque in 2018, we dropped by to give it a look.
Sometime, remind me to tell you about how her (former) doctor was utterly appalled that she would be amused by a Japanese Kwaii character...and told her so. Note the "former" in that sentence.
In particular, we wanted to go to the Museum because they were presenting an exhibit of the photography of Lee Marmon, who was one of the first ever professional Native American photographers (https://www.cabq.gov/artsculture/albuquerque-museum/exhibitions/lee-marmon). His work has to be seen to be believed, and ranges from portraits of village elders at Laguna Pueblo (his home) to portraits of celebrities.
He was also the father of a famous writer and novelist, Leslie Marmon Silko, whose most notable works are probably the novel Ceremony (1977) and the collection Storyteller (1981). She was also my favorite professor when I was an undergrad at the University of New Mexico. She is an amazing person, a superb writer, and an excellent educator--tolerating my youthful arrogance and boundless self-assurance. (At that age, we’re all going to be the next Hemingway. Well, in my case, it was the next F. Scott Fitzgerald. Which, really, is kind of like the same thing, but with more flappers and fewer wars.)
She also encouraged me *not* to go to graduate school--“people can be so cruel there.” I didn’t listen to her the first time, when I got my MFA, and, again, the second time, when I decided in middle age I wanted to be a history professor. In retrospect, I realize I should have listened. (Oy! How I should have listened. Ah, well, we live and we learn. A little too late, sometimes, but we do.)
But, getting back to the story, we’d heard the exhibit was amazing. So, we went. And it was. I’d seen some of Mr. Marmon’s work before, but not so much of it, and not all in one place. I can only say it was kind of breathtaking, and that if you have any interest in photography, or in Native American life in the second half of the twentieth century, and you happen to be in Albuquerque over the next few months, then do yourself a favor, and go.
We exited the exhibit and found seats in the lobby of the Museum. There, we did an audit of ourselves. How much energy did we have? Could we still manage the Plaza? Yes, if we didn’t overdo. Great...and so, squaring our shoulders, and holding hands, we ventured out into the lot...
Where, we suddenly felt a light rain on our faces. It was sprinkling.
Around us people were running to their cars or to get inside the Museum. But, we hadn’t felt rain for months. So we walked slowly, luxuriously, serenely...
Taking the rain, and cold, as a blessing.
More to come.
Before I go, here’s some links that you might find useful.
First, Here’s Lee Marmon’s Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Marmon . He also has (had?) a webpage, but it doesn’t seem to be functioning at the moment.
Second: for more information on Leslie Marmon Silko, her Wikipedia page is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leslie_Marmon_Silko
Her Amazon author’s page is here: https://www.amazon.com/Leslie-Marmon-Silko/e/B001IGSWUK
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I provide these blog postings for free. That’s fine and I’m happy to do so. But, long ago and far away, I was told that if you give away your material, that means you don’t really think it has any value.
So, to get beyond that, I’ve decided to make it possible for you to leave me a “tip” for my posts.
If you like what I write or the videos I produce, and feel you could make a small contribution to support my efforts, please go here:
That will take you to a Gumroad page where you’ll have the option of leaving me a few pence by way of encouragement.
Again, I don’t mind if you don’t. I just want to provide you with the option so that I won’t feel quite so much like I’m just tossing my works into the wind.
Either way, thanks hugely for dropping by the blog :-)