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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
He fought. A lot. But in the end, he lost. Heavy treatments. More than 3 and a half years of illness... Klaus' life ended this Friday, May 26, in our house. He was 69 years, 3 months and 24 days old. Since then, our cats have been looking for him everywhere. His absence is devastating.
On an afternoon in June or July, at a date and location yet to be determined, all those who wish to greet Klaus will be invited to gather in his memory, or have a thought for him from the other side of the world.
Christine Janvier, Klaus’ partner Saint-Nazaire, Loire-Atlantique, France
Il a lutté. Beaucoup. Il s'est battu. Mais finalement il a perdu. Des traitements lourds. Plus de 3 ans et demi de maladie... La vie de Klaus a pris fin ce vendredi 26 mai, dans notre maison. Il avait 69 ans, 3 mois et 24 jours. Depuis, nos chats le cherchent partout. Son absence est dévastatrice.
Un après-midi de juin ou juillet, à une date et en un lieu encore inconnus, tous ceux qui souhaitent le saluer pourront se réunir en sa mémoire, ou avoir une pensée pour lui de l'autre bout du monde.
Christine Janvier, sa compagne Saint Nazaire, Loire Atlantique, France
Er hat gekämpft. Sehr. Leider hat Er letzt endlich verloren. Schwere Therapien. Mehr als 3,5 Jahre Krankheit... Das Leben von Klaus ging am 26. Mai zu Ende in unserem Zuhause. Er wurde 69 Jahre, 3 Monate und 24 Tage alt. Unsere Katzen suchen ihn überall. Seine Abwesenheit ist verheerend.
Einen Nachmittag im Juni oder Juli an einem noch unbekannten Datum und Ort können alle, die es wünschen haben zusammenkommen an ihn zu erinnern oder aus aller Welt einen Gedanken an Ihn zu senden.
Christine Janvier, Seine Lebensgefaehrtin Saint Nazaire, Loire Atlantique, Frankreich
Terrific photos and great commentary. Almost as good as being there. It really is the place where New Mexicans of all stripes happily mingle.
Love your photographic poetry Mark – your esperanza and appreciation for all that’s different is a breath of fresh air. Thanks for the inspiration