Sunday, August 21, 2022

Local Knowledge

San Antonio Church, Angel Fire

San Antonio Church

David Michael Kennedy at the church

David Michael Kennedy is one of my photography heroes so when he suggested a photo tour I was honored, excited and not a little daunted. Why would a Master hit the road with a journeyman I wondered. A few months back he told me, “I’d like to head north with you. Let’s see what mischief we can make” or words to that effect. What mischief, indeed, can an old hippy (his description of himself) and an octogenarian manage? He asked if I liked mushrooms. I replied that,” I love them sautéed in olive oil with chopped garlic or better yet in risotto with fresh herbs.”

Used Dodge, Elizabeth Town

David at the Elizabeth Town Cemetery

Then at last Friday he called and asked if I’d like to do a photo excursion around Taos next week. I answered, “Sure. I can do it any day. He responded, “ How about Monday?” And Monday it was.

Ruins on Upper Lama Road

Looking through Lama ruins

Inside Out, Lama

David in Lama

He arrived at 9:30am. I made him a cup of coffee and gave him a tour of our art filled walls. He told me he wanted to drive so he would be able to remember how to get to the remote locations on my go-to list. Turns out he had booked a photo tour in September. His repeat clients wanted to visit Taos and environs on of their days and he wanted to put together an itinerary. “Besides, I’ve got Cody with me.” Cody is his six-year-old Lab. A more devoted companion you will not meet. He only had eyes for David. He didn’t even know I was there.

Since I was to be the tour guide, I had a loop in mind. We would drive US 64 east from Taos to Angel Fire, photograph San Antonio Church a little east of the village. We'd return to 64 and proceed north to Eagle Nest. Along the way there are some abandoned buildings and a shuttered resort on the north shore of Eagle Nest Lake. From there we’d drive to Elizabeth Town. We’d continue on the Enchanted Circle through Red River, the westernmost town in all of Texas. Not really. It just feels that way. We’d grab a bite and continue west to Cuesta, nothing to see there. Then we'd turn south on NM 522 toward Taos where we’d photograph in the rural villages of Lama and San Cristobal.

Not every site was a knockout, but there was something worthwhile in each. San Antonio Church was a hit. The ruins on US 64 between Angel Fire and Eagle Nest were worth a stop. Elizabeth Town, one of my favorites, was disappointing. There were fences and no trespassing signs everywhere. The lovely little cemetery had gone to seed. The abandoned resort on the lake was locked up like Fort Knox. David photographed the Texas owner's contact information and pledged make contact and gain permission to enter the site. He'd attempt the same in Elizabeth Town. 

At the top of Upper Lama Road in Lama were a cluster of ruins that I've photographed many times. We had the run of all the houses even their interiors. David was in his element as was I. We're both drawn to the forgotten and forlorn.

Strewn throughout this post are selections of my efforts at San Antonio Church. Elizabeth Town and the ruins in Lama. Some are candids of my traveling companion, one David Michael Kennedy.

The dude likes the camera, and the camera returns the favor.


Blacks Crossing said...

What a wonderful thing that both of you seem to recognize the respective talents of each. Since David was leading a photography tour in September and you have the organizational skills and area knowledge to do, it was great that he enlisted you and you were a willing mischief maker. Kennedy has probably been photographed hundreds of times but I would certainly be tempted to do a photo shoot of him. That single full length photography of him is wonderful. The Inside Out, Lana is magnificent, as is the second shot of the San Antonio Church. You hit the jackpot on this blog, Steve! The official photography season is just starting, que no? I look forward to seeing more of the results from your next sojourns.

Anonymous said...

Love Outside Looking Through, Lama Ruins and Inside Out! Beautiful group of photos.