It’s not our imagination! The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler. that means it will be Halloween soon! Be sure and plan your autumnal vacation in Taos to include a ghost tour! We need 24-hours notice, and there is one evening during the Halloween weekend we will not be available — the Friday, the 27th of Oct. Wednesdays are also not available, but everything else is open as of today.
I have worked on a couple of books that have originated with friends that have passed away. While I am working on them I feel the presence of the person, not only through the papers and note we made while they were living, but I hear their voices as I read the words and compile all the steps it takes to get the manuscript through all of its phases.
I’ve had Tally Richard’s memoirs for ages – not the ultra limited edition printing she did a few years before she died, but the original manuscript. There is no end to the wisdom she had about the town and people.
Each time I delve into them, it is as if I can smell her cigarettes and the instant Nescafe she used to drink. Dear Tally, you are loved and missed. You were so fun to be around in those days. How wonderfully you took me under your wing.
In this journal entry, she is talking about Dennis Hopper and Tony Price.
From Tally’s Memoirs
October 5, 1970
(46 years ago)
It’s difficult to understand why in a brief meeting, one can feel such warmth and goodwill towards some and a coolness and reserve towards others. I suppose if one could figure that out and control it all wars would cease and man would discover the true meaning of brotherhood.
I also enclosed a catalog on Tony Price’s work. Though obviously not the most saleable work I’ve come across, it’s undoubtedly the most original. I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of someone who will buy his sound sculptures, made from discarded parts from Los Alamos, or a place that would be right for them.
With 80 speakers atop Tony’s Piano Box, it seems the perfect place would be the natural echo amphitheater belonging to the government and north of Albuquerque – or is it south of Cibola? I think that Tony would even trade the piece for an isolated place to work – his sounds are drifting down the Rio Grande causing a little concern to some of the residents along the river banks.
Dennis Hopper has Tony’s Atomic Reject – an enormous thing that looks like a thirty-piece orchestra without men. It’s under Dennis’s grape arbor in his front yard.
I spent a very weird evening at Dennis’s house, which is still called the “Mabel Dodge Lujan House.” I find him very magnetic and feel lucky that his girlfriend, Michelle, arrived the next day. Gordon and Virginia Wagner took me over and Dennis seated me at the head of the table next to him! I was so embarrassed and felt so conspicuous. Later he took me outside and “played” Tony’s Atomic Reject, which made strange, mysterious sounds in the night. I suggested he borrow the Santa Fe Opera stage for a performance. I can see it all now Saki and I have made up and broken up a couple of times lately. He was in his glory in September with the D. H. Lawrence Festival since he has so many of Lawrence’s paintings. He didn’t even charge admission to his office to see them.
– Tally Richards
Ghosts of Taos tour guide Melody Romancito had a group of ghost hunters, mediums, and sensitives for last night’s tour. It was a delightful sharing of stories and a real pleasure to spend the evening with Seth F. and friends from Manitu Springs, Colorado. We’re sorry we don’t have a photo, but everyone left their cameras in the car :)
We just got an email from some visitors who asked if the road through Taos Canyon, especially right there in Cañon, was haunted. They said:
Email 1: Good morning, We just spent Sunday night in Taos and have a question. Is there a ‘ghost story’ involved with highway 64 – within the first few miles, leaving the plaza headed up to Eagle Nest? Or locals that may like to play tricks on people driving by? We saw something very interesting and are just curious.
Reply: There are lots and lots of ghost stories along Highway 64, which is understandable. When I first moved to the area in 1986, I lived 10 miles up the canyon, and that first year there were two road deaths right in front of my house in the short time I lived there. Another man who was well-known in the community committed suicide at the Shady Brook Inn in the late 1980s. Also, when I would drive into town, it sometimes looked like a man was trying to wave me down. I doubled back , but there was no one. Another time, I thought I saw a car off the road and signaling with headlights for help. I called the Taos County Sheriff but there was nothing. I’m not even going to talk about the other creepy, weird things I used to hear at night. So … what did YOU see? :)
Email 2: Oh wow! We were going to turn around but decided that we didn’t want to know that nothing was there. We haven’t been able to shake the feeling yet. Something just wasn’t ‘right’ about it! We saw a woman with her hands up to her face on a curve just a few
miles out. She was wearing a lace dress that was blowing in the wind.
Reply: Oh my goodness! That sounds like La Llorona, or the Woman Who Weeps. Sounds like you had a classic sighting! Very exciting, but a good thing you didn’t stop!
Email 3: WOW, well I just got chills…..again! That is what we saw, both of us. The only difference in what my boyfriend (he was driving) and I saw was that I thought she was facing us and he thought her back was more towards us. The feeling we had was sad when we saw her. Both hands up to her face as if crying or screaming, black lace – long dress that was flowing in the wind. The dress was old, from another time period. Very strange and exciting! Thank you for sharing the information with us, I appreciate it very much! Maybe we can ‘shake’ the feeling a little bit now.
We had a great group take the tour last Thursday, even with the rain! Visitors from Santa Fe and Tulsa, Oklahoma braved the elements. Photo by Jim Cox.
Reading “The Raven” to the Plaza Ravens
I read upon the Plaza, sweetly,
but no corvid came near to hear me.
Though the sun’s rays tilted and then filled me
with the golden light of settling day.
So, I read to all who’d gathered with me by the biggest tree.
They knew the poem and even one mouthed it along with me.
But if you thought you may have seen them
sitting there with me as the daylight mellowed into gold
Perhaps you did, but I was essentially alone.
There was no one there, you see.*
– M. Elwell Romancito
*with apologies to the style, ways and good name of E.A. Poe