Sunday, May 26, 2024

Lindsey with Love

Bill Manns and Lindsey Enderby by Bob Dempsey

Bill Manns and Lindsey Enderby by Bob Dempsey

Goodbye Lindsey by Peggy Immel

Big Al Johnson holds court by Steve Immel

Friday evening at 6pm I first heard that Lindsey Enderby would be heading home to Dallas the following Tuesday. By that I mean leaving Taos forever. The move was in the works, we all knew it, but a four-day notice was as shocking as a five-alarm fire. That night I told four of Lindsey’s friends who in turn told their nearest and dearest and the Taos telegraph went into overdrive.

Kim Treiber and Chipper Thompson by Steve Immel

Dick Kimberly, Lindsey Enderby, Greg Moon and Kimberly Casara by Steve Immel

Saturday morning Peggy and I met the same friends for coffee at The Espresso Bar in the Taos Valley Lodge. I picked up Lindsey thinking it could be the last time we’d see him. By then the Tuesday departure had become Wednesday, or did it? Even Lindsey didn’t know when he was leaving.

Dick Kimberly, Lindsey Enderby and Others by Bob Dempsey

Dick Kimberly, Lindsey Enderby, Kimberly Casara and Greg Moon by Steve Immel

Roger Eiteljorg, Alden Cockburn and Mindy Eiteljorg by Peggy Immel 

Mindy Eiteljorg, Kimberly Casara and Pete Wells by Peggy Immel

I’d already decided I’d check in on him at the Taos Enchanted Village every day since there was so much uncertainty about his departure. So, on Sunday at 2pm I went to his room in the assisted living facility and learned that he was at his house. That was no surprise. He’d been at his little rancho three of the last four times I tried to visit. So, I decided to drive to the Enderby spread. I was walking to my car when it dawned on me that I should leave a note. I scribbled a few lines and went back to his room. When I got there I saw Kim Treiber and Chipper Thompson entering and told them, “I don’t think he’s there. He’s probably at his house.”

We’d met on one occasion many years ago, so I reintroduced myself and explained that Lindsey had been at his house my last few visits. Kim said to Chipper, “Let’s go over there right now.”

I replied, “I’ll do the same.”

We drove south on Camino del Medio to Lindsey’s place and sure enough he was there. After quick hellos he told us he wanted to get some things out of the barn. He was driven to find a violin of all things. The case was there but no fiddle. About that time a white haired cowboy found us in the barn. He looked familiar but I had to ask his name. It was Pete Wells.

After sorting through all manner of stuff, Lindsey is a hoarder, we fell into a conversation centered on the realization that Lindsey would be leaving town in two days. One of us, it may have been Kim, responded that we better arrange for a going away for Lindsey tomorrow. We chose 4pm. Yes, that was 24 hours to plan a proper shindig.

Through the miracle of modern technology, we began emailing and texting every person who would want to say goodbye to the most loved human in Taos if not in the western world. Conveniently, Lindsey had a list for us to use.

What happened is hard to fathom. At 4pm on Sunday something like forty of Lindsey’s closest appeared, most with food and beverage to share. That wouldn't have happened with anybody else I’m certain. I called Big Al Johnson, the cowboy’s cowboy, who replied, “Amy and I will be there at 4.” Pete called Bill Manns at his ranch in the Galisteo Basin south of Santa Fe, and he arrived a few minutes after 4. I called Sidney Bender who was in New Haven visiting his son and family. Sidney told me, “We arrive back in Albuquerque at noon. We should be there with no problem.” Sure enough Sidney and Marjorie arrived as the clock struck 4. No way folks were missing the grand adios.

From this outpouring of love for a Taos treasure will come a blurb book to memorialize the goodbye party that should have been impossible to pull off. Between Peggy’s, Bob Dempsey’s and mine I’m sorting through a couple hundred images that I hope will capture the tone and essence of Lindsey’s goodbye soiree. Peggy’s and Bob’s made with iphones are better than mine taken with a so-called real camera. I am duly chastened.


Blacks Crossing said...

What an amazing and, might I say heart-warming story about friendship over the decades from people near and far for Lindsey Enderby! Thanks for putting together the gathering, and for making a Blurb book to commemorate the party! It will be a story for the ages!

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written, Steve! I love this about our quirky little town. We love each other, and things fall into place , Taos style. Thank you for being a driving force in this synchronic moment. ❤️🙏