Archive for the Time Travelers Category
Jamie (Anuvue’s Art Teacher) and I traveled tonight to Burbank, one of the cutest little sleepy towns in Southern California. Burbank has Jay Leno and the Disney Studios…but more important, it has Shiela. Now Shiela and I go back…way back…oh just forget about how far back people! What’s important here is that Shiela has more talent in her baby toe than most people have in their whole family…say 4 generations back. She’s a sculptor, painter, illustrator, author, admirable Mother and I believe she still may even remember how to play the clarinet (though I don’t ask for fear she’d break it out). Sheila is also one of the most wonderful people God ever set on the planet, one of the few people in the world to know all my hidden secrets and still love me and I am astoundingly proud of her and so glad to have her work at the gallery.
Currently she is working on a large Golfing figure (in her driveway, where else?) for a local golf course and a Tycho drummer for an award winning Architect. I have featured her large sculpture that sits in front of the Burbank Police and Fire Station and has been on TV many times, especially after 9-11 on the West Coast. I remember going to the unveiling celebration of “The Guardians”. “No big deal” she said. When I saw the “fly over” I had the sneaking suspicion it was just a little more. I sat teary-eyed on my folding chair, along with the rest of our lifelong schoolmates, thinking about how far her work had come. I still have my graphite sketch from high school that she did of my beloved (back then) Paul McCartney. I think even he would have approved.
Shiela studied art at Long Beach State, met and married fellow Artist Ray, who is amazing in his own creativity and the nicest guy on the planet. I think the best part of the match was that she finally got her big Italian last name to go with her French Italian heritage. The woman cooks a mean pot of meat sauce people! They have 2 beautiful children…and lets just say… all that talent…well it all got passed on. It gives me the greatest, proudest pleasure to have you meet Shiela… one of my 3 dearest, lovely, lifelong friends.
As side note, I should say (because it’s important to her) that the angel below is a study (re-creation) of an early Master (I’m guessing Botticelli) and it’s not an original idea…although…take a look…would you care? It’s beautiful. Also a reminder, as in all the Artist’s portfolios, these shots do not do begin to her work justice.
I live in a sleepy residential area, close the the ocean. It consists of mostly seniors who bought their homes in 1964 or beginning families that were lucky enough to inherited or purchase their parent’s homes. There have been 2 God-awful car collisions at a small intersection within a 4 way stop… around the corner from my home. All these collisions have happened with a minor behind the wheel, driving upwards of 90 miles per hour, about a stones throw from the local elementary school. Just 2 weeks ago, 3 cars full of teens racing side by side, clipped a neighbor with his wife, his 3 small boys…ranging 5, 3 and 18 months and another 5 year old neighborhood girl while they were on their way to a birthday party. This little family got away unharmed, thank the Lord. One passenger (in the back seat of the car that clipped them) died on the scene after smacking a cement telephone pole. He was 14 years old. The driver’s 17 year old girlfriend had her entire face sheered off. Her face was gone people! GONE…and she lived!
Today, yet another teenager, with his own father as the passenger, drove through this intersection at a very high rate of speed (according to all eyewitnesses at the local liquor store at the intersection)…and this time they hit my neighbor…3 doors down. I don’t even know my neighbors, but this quiet, unassuming man, walks his dog faithfully everyday…so I’ve noticed him and waved. He, I learned later, was the man who went through my entire neighborhood taking down my Halloween signs after the event was over because he knew I would be tired. A man that I’m embarrassed to say… I didn’t even know his name! Well, his name is Malcolm and I am sick and tired of people driving wrecklessly, with no regard to other’s. Tell your kids, no… yell at your kids and make them understand. While you’re at it, tell yourself…to F—ing slow down…because it matters!
HUNTINGTON BEACH – Two drivers and one passenger were transported to the UC Irvine Medical Center this afternoon after a yellow Ford Mustang crashed into a black Toyota Camry at Bushard Street and Banning Avenue, police say. That accident occurred in the same intersection where 14-year-old Phoenix Nguyen was killed on March 15.
According to the Huntington Beach police department, the 17-year-old driver of the Mustang carried one passenger, 56-year-old Gregory Jackson. The Camry was driven by 76-year-old Malcolm McKenzie.
McKenzie and Jackson have multiple injuries but are in stable condition, and the Mustang driver, whose name was not released because he is a minor, suffers from minor injuries, according to a police news release.
Huntington Beach police and paramedics responded to the collision at 3:20 p.m. The preliminary investigation indicates that the Mustang was going at a high rate of speed southbound on Bushard Street and ran a stop sign before hitting McKenzie’s car, which was going eastbound on Banning, the release said.
Lots of folks have visited the caverns in New Mexico. This was my first visit, possibly my last, as it was very hard to go down a mile deep. I started my panic breathing when the elevator hit the bottom and went to the restroom to splash cold water on my face. I knew I would make myself stay. I had waited so long to see them and wasn’t about to leave. I stayed underground 5 hours. Mike stayed above. I knew he couldn’t do it and I wasn’t going to ask him to. I can’t say that I’m claustrophobic but there’s something about being in a cave…way down… that can be a terrifying thing.
I wandered around the well marked trails for a little while on my own and then went on a guided tour of the rooms with the most adornment. I can honestly say I’m so glad I was able to make this trip because it was so very beautifully and moving… things nature makes usually are.
The guide took us into an area where there was a low rock border where we could sit…turned off the existing lighting…and then told us this story… I want you to keep in mind a place so dark that I could not see my hand as it touched my nose.
In 1898, a 16-year-old, Texas-born cowhand named Jim White entered the caverns for for the first time in record. He had a kerosene lamp. Jim loved what he saw and kept right on going back. Now remember, this was a rough and tough, don’t make em’ like they used to, real life cowboy. On one of his visits, when he was pretty far into the cave exploring, his lantern went out. He panic and ran…right into a wall. When he woke up, he sat on the floor of the cave in the darkness. Now I can’t even begin to think of the terror I would feel, but at 16, I would have never made it out.
Here’s what Jim did. He sat..and thought…and reasoned. He had 3 matches in his pocket. He decided on the best course of action. He would light his first match to find his lantern. So…he lit the first match…looked and located the lantern. Whew! The second would be used to refill it will oil… He lit the second…and before he could start, the match went out, leaving him once again in total blackness. He was left with one match. In his wisdom, he filled the lamp with the oil without using the last lonely match but he spilled quite a bit on himself and didn’t know what had made it into the lamp. At this point I would have had a coronary…but not ol’ Jim. But I do bet he held his breath as he struck the last match and lit that old lantern. The flame rose and the lantern lit the whole room…and Jim made his way safely out…so that people like me could learn and understand his love for the beauty of these caves.
They say after that he never went inside the caverns without 2 other people from that day on. They also say that was the beginning of the Cave rules still used today. Take 3 people, each with 3 light sources and tell 3 people where you are going. Sounds like a good idea to me…
About Acoma Pueblo (Via New Mexico Tourism Info)
Acoma Pueblo is popularly known as Sky City. It was built on top of a 357-foot sandstone mesa many hundreds of years ago for strategic defense against raiders. Spanish conquerors learned the hard way of this defensive stronghold when they entered New Mexico in the 1500s. Acomans claim that their 70-acre village is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the United States.
The pueblo was nearly destroyed when Gov. Juan de Oñate and 70 of his men retaliated for the killing of 13 Spanish soldiers who were hurled off the side of the cliff by warriors when they tried to take grain from the pueblo storehouses in 1598. The San Estéban del Rey Mission was built by the Acomas in 1629 and completed in 1640 under the guidance of Friar Juan Ramírez. Both mission and pueblo have been designated as Registered National Historical Landmarks.
Fewer than 50 Acomans live in Sky City year-round today with the rest living in nearby villages. Throughout the year all the Acomans gather on the mesatop to observe their cultural and social calendar. Census 2000 figures indicated a total of close to 3,000 Acoma villagers.
From my view: We arrived at one of the most beautiful Visitor’s centers that I believe I have ever seen. It included a wonderful gift shop filled with locally made items, a restaurant with fabulous hand made fruit pies (yes, I did), a museum and (thank goodness), a small bus to take us the almost 400 feet up the side of the plateau. We were greeted by so many kind, helpful people…beaming with pride. I loved it the moment we arrived. We met our guide (about 6 of us) and ventured up the hill. We were given an old blessing and started on our way. Along the tour, some of the Acomans came out to greet us and show their hand made pottery. It was a great way to have a conversation and for them to make a small amount of cash. I hadn’t purchased anything until our guide called out to his Auntie. How could I refuse an Auntie (being one)? I asked Auntie about her life at the Pueblo and she old me in all her 70 odd years, she had only left once, to go to University. She studied teaching and returned to her people to pass that education on.
I would like you to know that these people have no running water, nor electricity…and it gets mighty cold way up at that plateau. Their water comes from natural pools they’ve created around the village and fill by lugging water up from a stream. But, the sheer peacefulness and the haunting beauty make it a place that even I, a 2 shower a day woman, could get used to. I’d be bringing my water home in a pail but I could do it.
I saw 2 dogs along the paths. One was a very dark brown with totally black eyes. The other was snow white with solid white eyes. I was very startled because I had never seen anything like them before. They looked like dingos. They were magical, I decided, because they were so free. Our guide told us (while inside their chapel) to rub our hands upon the earth floor…and to place them over a portion of our body…and to ask for a small prayer. I did and felt honored in doing so. I loved the adobe buildings and especially all the the ladders. They were everywhere, leading to secret places and unknown things. More magic maybe? It was so wonderful to see a place so old, yet still well cared for. So many important things are gone and long forgotten. The Acomans are proud. They should be.
I remember, as we waited for our ride down, our guide told us the world’s people used to respect each other for their differences. They learned from those differences. Now the world needs prisons because the people have no pride. A plain truth from a man that called me Sister…and upon farewell…wished me happiness in my life.
Recently I was very fortunate to be able to visit Acoma Pueblo in the beautiful State of New Mexico. But at this moment I am preparing to take a a few family members to visit China Town and Alvera Street in Downtown Los Angeles…to see the sites, make a few purchases…and EAT! So, this is only a photo of the road that leads the way…
Acoma still awaits showing. In the meantime, so you’re not left in darkness…Acoma Pueblo, a 70 acre village, happens to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the USA. I figure a few more days waiting won’t hurt. There are fewer than 50 Acoma Indians living on the mesa top year-round and though quite camera shy, I was lucky enough to meet 10 of them… Apparently their cows are shy too because they all tried to pry themselves into this cement drainage tube when they saw me coming. 😉