Santa Fe, Turquoise, and Zozobra
I always thought “turquoise” was the most delicious word to wrap my tongue around. So much is going on with its delightful twists and turns.
Some summers saw us travel to Santa Fe, New Mexico to spend time with family who lived in an adorable adobe house. I loved it there. It was dusty and hot and full of colors and sounds and smells that we didn’t have in Detroit.
Our family has a long history in Santa Fe. Before and during WW2, my parents used to hang out in Taos with Georgia O’Keeffe and D.H. Lawrence. I wish I could remember more of the fascinating stories they told about that time but I was an extremely obnoxious teen and ignored mostly everything they ever said.
During those trips to Santa Fe, of course I had to have an elaborate fiesta dress and lots of turquoise jewelry. This was probably when I first fell in love with this exquisite rock. I surely wish I still had my little fiesta dresses for Angel Girl, but all I have is my mom’s dress.
We would go to La Fonda and the Plaza where the Native Americans spread their treasures on blankets and we’d spend hours walking around.
This isn’t very PC but one day a little girl yelled at her mom and pointed to me and said, “Look at her, mommy! That’s a real Indian girl!” I always thought that was the coolest thing although I’m sure it was because I was very tan from being outside all day (no sunscreen back then) and my hair was plaited in two long braids.
Sometimes we’d be there for Fiesta and the Burning of Zozobra, an event to dispel the hardships and travails of the past year. Zozobra is the creation of Will Shuster, one of Los Cinco Pintores, a group of artists who made their way to New Mexico in the 1920s. Shuster’s creation first burned in his backyard in 1924 as a 6-foot effigy, and over the years, has grown to a towering 50-foot high marionette.
Photos of Santa Fe from SantaFeSelection.com
Somewhere there’s photo of me (with pigtails) standing on the steps just beneath the not-yet-burned Zozobra but I couldn’t locate it. When I do, I’ll update this post. Since I was afraid of literally EVERYTHING when I was little, I can’t believe my parents got me to stand by myself so they could snap a pic.
I’ll keep searching for that photo, now I’m on a mission.