New Mexico State Fair 2021

Even at this young age the billy goats butt heads, sometimes forcefully, sometimes tenderly

Even at this young age the billy goats butt heads, sometimes forcefully, sometimes tenderly

New Mexico State Fair 2021

New Mexico State Fair is a great place to meet all kinds of people. We’re all so different, yet, so alike. You’ll find yourself in conversations with woodworkers about lathes, to the keyboard player in a rock band, to the Seventh-day Adventists telling me of “the End of Days,” to the exuberant fresca maker from Mexico, to the Horny Toad conservationist, to the couple in Dia del Muerto masks on stilts, to asking what a drop stitch is at the knitters guild and being shown all everything about that. Decorum, rules of engagement, civility, our societal ways, besides the fact that if we don’t talk to each other we’ll never pull this world together. Seems like a longshot, I know. Politicians like to think that they’re going to fix everything, but you can plainly see what a big mistake it is to look to politicians for our essence. I come away every year from the State Fair with good feelings about my fellow human beans.

I love that backdrop of the pirate ship ---- I learned the difference between Sea Lions (pictured) and Seals! Things I didn't know ---------- The trainer has quite a witty delivery, after the routine of balancing the ball he says to the audience, Now, some people accuse my Sea Lions of cheating, then he asks the two Sea Lions (I forgot their names) and the first one shakes it's head No (it wasn't cheating), and turns to the other who shakes head Yes ----- [laughter] then the trainer shows how the whiskers help hold the ball up

I love that backdrop of the pirate ship —- I learned the difference between Sea Lions (pictured) and Seals! Things I didn’t know ———- The trainer has quite a witty delivery, after the routine of balancing the ball he says to the audience, Now, some people accuse my Sea Lions of cheating, then he asks the two Sea Lions (I forgot their names) and the first one shakes it’s head No (it wasn’t cheating), and turns to the other who shakes head Yes —– [laughter] then the trainer shows how the whiskers help hold the ball up

Every year I make a beeline for this Aguas Frescas stand ---- I call him the Jack LaLanne of Mexico, he is so exuberant about his frescas, and let's you sample all of them ---- I had Horchata (de arroz ---- rice ---- with cinnamon & vanilla)

Every year I make a beeline for this Aguas Frescas stand —- I call him the Jack LaLanne of Mexico, he is so exuberant about his frescas, and let’s you sample all of them —- I had Horchata (de arroz —- rice —- with cinnamon & vanilla)

Now, that will be the End of Days when we can't have our Deep-fried Oreos

Now, that will be the End of Days when we can’t have our Deep-fried Oreos

The other night we watched one of those David Attenborough documentaries/pleas/warnings called EXTINCTION and it put us to bed very unsettled ---- especially, the footage of the last two Northern White Rhinos

The other night we watched one of those David Attenborough documentaries/pleas/warnings called EXTINCTION and it put us to bed very unsettled —- especially, the footage of the last two Northern White Rhinos

The smells drive your hunger, I'm a carnivore after all, no excuses ---- Food seems a major theme at the State Fair

The smells drive your hunger, I’m a carnivore after all, no excuses —- Food seems a major theme at the State Fair

As we tentatively emerge from Covid-19 Lockdown Protocols there is esperanza (hope)

As we tentatively emerge from Covid-19 Lockdown Protocols there is esperanza (hope)

It will be famine and desolation
and unpollinated crops when insecticides
wipe out the little flying and crawling things
that will bring about our End of Days, not
quite as the Book of Revelations sayeth,
more like: Oops

Later in the day on the main drag ---- I think most of the people were gravitating toward the fun zone rides

Later in the day on the main drag —- I think most of the people were gravitating toward the fun zone rides

Fried pickles? Maybe later, dude ---- This is in the waning time after lunch and those are the Sandia Mountains where I'd normally be tramping

Fried pickles? Maybe later, dude —- This is in the waning time after lunch and those are the Sandia Mountains where I’d normally be tramping

Almost time for my afternoon siesta as well

Almost time for my afternoon siesta as well

Midafternoon summer stasis ---- You can feel all the ghosts of horses that have been here clear back to the Comanche

Midafternoon summer stasis —- You can feel all the ghosts of horses that have been here clear back to the Comanche

Horse stables and Sandia Mountains at the fairgrounds ---- Most of the horses this year were for the races

Horse stables and Sandia Mountains at the fairgrounds —- Most of the horses this year were for the races

Normally this barn would be full of cows & sheep & goats & pigs but the FFA decided not to subject the kids to Covid dangers this year (we had no Fair last year because of the shutdown) --------- But, there were three Texas longhorns! magnificent beasts

Normally this barn would be full of cows & sheep & goats & pigs but the FFA decided not to subject the kids to Covid dangers this year (we had no Fair last year because of the shutdown) ——— But, there were three Texas longhorns! magnificent beasts

So much of it disappears
Or just falls through the cracks
The sense of it is lost, having come
Unmoored from the gestalt of those days
Nobody alive that lived in those times
              to possibly explain how it was

And here we are now
With guesswork interpretations
The shadows having no voice

The Ortegas, a family that goes way back in New Mexico

The Ortegas, a family that goes way back in New Mexico

Tom McCain of the Horny Toad Conservation Society showing one of his casted pewter hornytoads ------ I learned that Horneytoads have a third eye on top of their head, that in most species is disguised as a scale, but in some is purely evident, and that it perceives light, who's main function is as a thermometer ---- I told him I've been seeing them frequently up in the Sandias, he called that high elevation shorthorn species

Tom McCain of the Horny Toad Conservation Society showing one of his casted pewter hornytoads —— I learned that Horneytoads have a third eye on top of their head, that in most species is disguised as a scale, but in some is purely evident, and that it perceives light, who’s main function is as a thermometer —- I told him I’ve been seeing them frequently up in the Sandias, he called that high elevation shorthorn species

Woodworkers -------- Remember when cartoons were subversive? You'd go to school all week where you were taught acceptable behavior and civics and patriotism, then on Saturday morning Rocky & Bullwinkle and the 3 Stooges would dismantle all that ---- No wonder so many of us grew up to be anarchists ----- photos by MW Sept 13, 2021

Woodworkers ——– Remember when cartoons were subversive? You’d go to school all week where you were taught acceptable behavior and civics and patriotism, then on Saturday morning Rocky & Bullwinkle and the 3 Stooges would dismantle all that —- No wonder so many of us grew up to be anarchists —– photos by MW Sept 13, 2021

Dave Turner Nothing But Groove quartet in the Budweiser Pavilion (I saw Bo Diddley there years ago!) ---- During the soundcheck, playing a jam tune, the keyboardist slid in a line I recognized from the Doors, and at the break I said Hey was that your Ray Manzarek Memorial Lick? and we both laughed, he (Ryan Clement) said Yeh, it seemed to fit so I stuck it in, I said "Works for me! what tune was that?" Ryan thought for a minute, said, "Riders on the Storm" ---- And so, during their set, I think on a Robin Trower song he stuck it in, again, and I gave him the thumbs up, and we both laughed ---- That's what the Fair is, bruh, pure fun ---- Great band, they even played "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed," that warmed my heart

Dave Turner Nothing But Groove quartet in the Budweiser Pavilion (I saw Bo Diddley there years ago!) —- During the soundcheck, playing a jam tune, the keyboardist slid in a line I recognized from the Doors, and at the break I said Hey was that your Ray Manzarek Memorial Lick? and we both laughed, he (Ryan Clement) said Yeh, it seemed to fit so I stuck it in, I said “Works for me! what tune was that?” Ryan thought for a minute, said, “Riders on the Storm” —- And so, during their set, I think on a Robin Trower song he stuck it in, again, and I gave him the thumbs up, and we both laughed —- That’s what the Fair is, bruh, pure fun —- Great band, they even played “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” that warmed my heart

KOAT-TV free sunglasses! Cheesy bacon fries, anyone? Ironically, it was "Healthy Living Day" at the Fair, well, I can't claim any virtue on that, and cut it down the middle and had a Rex's green chile cheeseburger, scrumptious (w/ water, do I get points for that?) ---- We all had to show proof of vaccination to enter the Fair

KOAT-TV free sunglasses! Cheesy bacon fries, anyone? Ironically, it was “Healthy Living Day” at the Fair, well, I can’t claim any virtue on that, and cut it down the middle and had a Rex’s green chile cheeseburger, scrumptious (w/ water, do I get points for that?) —- We all had to show proof of vaccination to enter the Fair

2 Comments

  1. Mary

    Terrific photos and great commentary. Almost as good as being there. It really is the place where New Mexicans of all stripes happily mingle.

  2. Lisa Towles

    Love your photographic poetry Mark – your esperanza and appreciation for all that’s different is a breath of fresh air. Thanks for the inspiration

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