Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The Kerrs Enjoy La Boheme At Santa Fe Opera

June 27-29, 2019

Carla and Douglas Kerr drove to Santa Fe, New Mexico to spend the weekend of June 27-29, 2019 as an extension of celebrating their 20th Wedding Anniversary to see La Boheme at the Santa Fe Opera on Friday evening, June 28, 2019. We stopped at Clines Corner on the way up for lunch, but have vowed to never stop there again. We had to fight the flies off to eat our lunch and we were inside the restaurant. While there, I did manage to get a photo of the Barn Swallows feeding their young in the nest.

A Barn Swallow feeding the babies

On Friday, June 28, 2019 during the day, we drove to Madrid, New Mexico, a thriving artist colony about 20 miles southwest of Santa Fe. Madrid was an old mining ghost town that was taken over by artists, about 50 of them who revived the town. The Mine Shaft Tavern is a restaurant, a museum and an outdoor dining area called the Cantina all in one building connected by what they call the "Mine Shaft". Nothing was open when we first arrived so we drove back down Highway 14 to various artists homes and took pictures of their creations.

The Trojan Horse??
A fantasy creation out of wood at an artist's entrance
This is a bull and above it is a fantasy Santa with leopard spotted reindeer
Part of the fence leading back to the artist's workshop
This resembles an Eland
Various decorated shoes were incorporated in the fence design
We made our way back to Madrid and are now inside the tavern
Some of the artwork
Carla with enough food for a truck driver and it was delicious
A small alcove at the entrance with items for sell and the enchanting fountain
Entrance to the Mine Shaft Tavern
Outdoor dining area of the Tavern
Outside entrance to the Museum
We wanted to explore more, but I determined that it was too steep for Doug
Heading back on Highway 14, this is the school with this sculpture in front of it
The school playground has an outer space theme
Magnificent rock formations
This artist specializes in origami sculptures
I titled this sculpture "The Birth of the Paper Airplane"
Giant silver sculpture of lilies
This entire tower is made of origami swans
Rock, Scissors, Paper
Horse, Scissors, Paper??
Bicycles on poles
Another shot of the fantasy Santa and reindeer
More amazing rock formations
We returned to the hotel and took naps to restore our vigor. We then got ready to attend the opera.

Carla, waiting for the shuttle to take us up to the Opera House from the lower parking lot
One of many couples and families enjoying a tailgate dinner before the opera begins
The main entrance
Carla. We have made our way up via the elevator to the mezzanine floor
Attendees enjoying free champagne
As you can see the opera house is open on both sides and the back
Carla waiting for the opera to begin
The view out the left side of the opera house
The view out the right side of the opera house
This shows the two roofs over the main house and the mezzanine
Each seat has its own screen
The beauty of the sky as the sun is going down
The set is starting to come together
There is no curtain and the set is arranged in real time right before your eyes
Doug, during intermission
Picture of the Cafe being taken down on the lift
The setting for the third act
Photography is not allowed during actual performances so Doug was lucky to grab what shots he could at the proper times.

The performances were magnificent and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing La Boheme once again. It is our favorite Puccini opera. We had the pleasure of being "supernumeraries" in La Boheme in the Dallas Opera production some years ago. We were both in the second act and I was also in the third act. What great fun that was.

When we finally got to our car via shuttle to the lower parking lot, it was completely dead. Evidently, Doug had not completely turned the ignition off and it ran the battery down. We were most fortunate in that two young men who are parking lot attendants came to our rescue and used our jumper cables to start the car.

After a good nights sleep, we decided to drive back a day early to Alamogordo. On the way we came through the tiny town of Duran (not a ghost town because 35 people still live there) and noticed this unusual old building so we stopped and Doug took a picture of it. When we got home he investigated the history of the building and it turned out to be quite interesting.

General Store and Hotel built in the early 1900's
The badly faded lettering above the doors reads: "Dry Goods Furniture Hardware Grocery & Feeds". It is built of buff colored sandstone marbled with white. This building was owned by Anton. J. Coury, a man of Lebanese decent, who lived with his wife, Raffa, and their children, Fred, Anna, and Emma in the upstairs hotel. On September 3, 1921, the store  was robbed by five men and Mr. Coury was shot and killed right in front of his family. Raffa was also shot and severely wounded surviving because a potentially lethal bullet struck the metal clasps of her corset and was deflected. Young Freddy bravely drove the thieves away by relentlessly pelting them with canned goods when their gun jammed.

A search for the killers quickly began and Francisco Vaisa, Isodoro Miranda and Carlos Renteneria were quickly caught. Luis Medrano was caught some time later. The fifth man, Eziquel Machucha, was never caught and believed to have escaped back to Mexico. The prisoners were sentenced to be hung on July 28, 1922, but Vaisa appealed his conviction. On the appointed day, in Estancia, Mrs. Coury and her children observed the other three men being hanged. On April 6, 1923, Vaisa was also hanged in Estancia. He had the distinction of being the 75th and last person to be hanged in New Mexico.

Mrs. Coury died in 1972 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Fred lived in Albuquerque until his death in 1991. Their daughter, Anna Sandoval lived in Alamogordo until her death in 2004 and Emma lived in Santa Fe until her death in 2006.

Thanks to Douglas A. Kerr for the wonderful photography. Thanks also to J.M. House for the historical information online in his Wednesday, August 28, 2013 blog.

This is all I have to say for now.