New and old ghosts

ledoux2Every time I walk down Ledoux Street in Taos I am reminded of my friend Tally Richards. Her gallery used to be at the top of the street. It’s harder and harder to keep track of what’s there now. Perhaps that’s the reason why us old timers tend to refer to places in terms of what has been there in the past – not what is there now.

This is a little excerpt from her memoirs – materials she left with me – maybe for safekeeping or for carrying a torch for what it was like to live in Taos as a transplant in the past. It’s an idea of Taos the way it used to be. Not what is here now.

11 October 1972

I learned from Fritz [Scholder] to think in terms of selling paintings for what I need. For instance, one day he said, “If you sell “Tired Indian” ($5,000) you can get a pickup.” Before he said that I would think, “Who’s going to help me now?” Crazy. My goals now are to pay all my bills, especially what I still owe to Wade, by October 31 and to have two thousand by January 1, 1973.

The new movie theater on the Plaza is finally in operation, plus a film club on Thursdays. There has been such a rash of good movies and I was so hungry for them that I’ve really been indulging myself.

A couple of weeks ago Daddy sent me a painting of a little boy kneeling by a brass bed with an old-fashioned quilt. Above the bed is one of those old-fashioned plaques that says: “Be it ever so humble there’s no place like home.” Below the painting is written: “Dear Lord please make Mamma and Papa stop fightin’ ’cause it’s hard to take sides when you love them both an’ besides I’m ashamed to face the kids.” On the outside of the package Daddy had written, “Explanation follows.” I’ve received no explanation so I still don’t know whether it’s a personal statement, apology or whether he thinks I should represent the person who painted it. If it’s a personal statement then I’m deeply touched.

I had no money to repair the adobe fireplace in my office, so one morning it was cold and rainy and I decided to do it myself. I scooped up some adobe that had washed off the walls, added some straw and slapped it on. I was so proud of myself when the smoke went up the chimney.

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