Teresa had lived in Santa Fe for a while many years ago, and wanted to see how the town had changed. We headed for the picturesque Town Square and immediately found La Fonda, the hotel with the restaurant that our friend Bill Bailey had recommended. But we first visited the Cathedral Church of St. Francis of Assisi, which houses the “longest
venerated Madonna in the United States of America.”
In the main sanctuary there was a lady “drill sergeant” in the chancel, shouting shouting orders and telling people how to come forward and retire in an orderly way. It was Sunday, and it appeared to be a Communion service like no other I had ever seen. The crowd then reorganized at the back of the Church with banners and marched forward. I had to ask what was going on and it turned out they were rehearsing for Confirmation the following Sunday.
Along the side were six marimbas. I want to come to the services when they play those marimbas. It has to be a great sound.
Next on our agenda was the historic Governor’s Palace. We stopped at a little jewelry store to get directions, and she answered, “You mean where the Indians
hang out?” with edge in her voice that was unmistakeable. The Indians, dozens of them were lining the front sidewalk with beautiful jewelry for sale. Her attitude was base on economics, not race. They occupy their spaces with municipal permission.
We visited both the History Museum and the Governor’s Palace which gave us a good feel for the history of place. Beneath the floor of the current palace, visible through glass panes are the stone foundations of the previous palace, which had a different foundation plan.
Lunch at La Plazuela Ristorante in La Fonda hotel was excellent, especially my Chile Relleno.
By then it was way past our scheduled time to leave for Dodge City, so we hit the road.
At one of our rest stops we met a family of five in the parking lot who were staring up
at the sun with double dark goggles. I immediately remembered that there was to be an eclipse of the sun. Sure enough, when I looked with the goggles they loaned us, you could see a small piece of the sun was being blocked by the earth. The sun began to be obscured by clouds, and so they left to drive to find clearer skies. They were a serious eclipse hunting family.
On the road again. Flashing lights behind me. Sure enough, I was being pulled over for speeding. He came up with his flashlight. “How are you doing?” he said. “Not so good, I guess”, was my answer. He said he saw me slow down as I entered the town, but I had been speeding before that, and I didn’t slow enough, or soon enough. He let me off with a waring.
This was another of our longest drives, and this time we arrived in Dodge City a little earlier, 1 AM.