86 – Dragonfly, Millicent Rogers Museum, Two Graces, Last Aperitif

George invites me to the Dragonfly for a quick meal. It’s a little restaurant, not much choice but everything is good and especially their delicious cakes.

I decide to visit the Millicent Rogers Museum, which is close by. I stay more than an hour in this small museum full of wonderful things: Hispanic and Navajo blankets, jewelry, pottery, basketry, furniture, paintings, religious art. It’s always moving, in all these house-museums, to discover the owner through the choices she made. On display are the jewelry Millicent Rogers designed and made, her tools, and the clothes she wore that sparked Southwest urban chic in Santa Fe and Taos. Appropriation by city folk of clothes originally for the farm.

I hurry on to the antique shop in Ranchos de Taos. I had visited the store, Two Graces, at the very beginning of my stay. I look again at the beautiful moccasins, the metal box frames, the books, the small objects, and the jewelry. Stumble on a very special necklace that I hadn’t noticed the last time. Robert Cafazzo, co-owner with Holly Sievers, asks me
– “Have you ever seen one like it before.
– “No.”
He then explains to me:
– “Necklaces like this carry a piece of New Mexican history: “They are made with the ‘remains’ of a train wreck. The Indians of Santo Domingo village salvaged the red formica from the carriage tables, the batteries, the vinyl records, the bits of plastic… and used them to make up for the lack of semi-precious stones during the Depression. They are called battery-backed jewels or depression-jewelry. Today’s collectors buy them for large sums. Especially the ones made with the records.”
– “Sorry, I invited some friends over. I have to run. I’ll be back on Saturday for sure.”
– “Yes, but not before 3 pm, I’m going to the funeral of a dear friend, a potter; look at the pottery over there, that’s hers, Mary Beatrice Witkop.
She died on April 13.”

George and I leave on Sunday, so we invited the others to an aperitif: wine, niçoise olives, cheeses, fruit… We chat about everything and nothing, about what we think of our stay here. Some find theirs unnecessarily long, others too short. We all agree that the setting is exceptionally good for creativity. To be alone in a casita and absolutely free to do what we please. Also, to meet other artists, writers, painters, photographers, and musicians.

The night falls, we say goodbye.

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