Turn Left at the Sleeping Dog: Scripting the Santa Fe Legend, 1920-1955

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Anglos have been coming to Santa Fe for centuries, and early in the last century the city's beauty and exotic cultural mix became particularly attractive to artistic immigrants looking for freedom from the greed and competitiveness of mainstream American culture. By the late twentieth century, many New Mexicans felt, Santa Fe's unique charm was nearly overwhelmed by the evils that people had moved there to escape. The interviews collected in this book preserve the old Santa Fe, the one people are still looking ...

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Overview

Anglos have been coming to Santa Fe for centuries, and early in the last century the city's beauty and exotic cultural mix became particularly attractive to artistic immigrants looking for freedom from the greed and competitiveness of mainstream American culture. By the late twentieth century, many New Mexicans felt, Santa Fe's unique charm was nearly overwhelmed by the evils that people had moved there to escape. The interviews collected in this book preserve the old Santa Fe, the one people are still looking for. The interviewees represent a cross-section of Santa Fe during the best of times: native Santa Feans, both Spanish American and Anglo, artists, immigrants, those who came by accident, those who came intending to stay, those who fought to preserve the older cultures' traditions and values. The author, unlike most journalists, has known the people he interviewed his entire life. Most of these men and women were old timers when the interviews took place, and many have since died. Most readers of this book will not remember the good times it evokes. But the lively stories told here will enthrall all Santa Feans and would-be Santa Feans, as well as visitors who can only dream of living in the City Different.

Interviewed in Turn Left at the Sleeping Dog are Amalia Sena Sánchez, Consuelo Bergere Mendenhall, Fray Angélico Chávez, Katherine "Peach" Mayer, Anita González Thomas, Josephine E. Baca, Chuck Barrows, Hazel Frederickson, Alice Henderson Rossin, Calla Hay, Letitia Evans Frank, Paul Frank, Tom and Doris Dozier, Samuel Adelo, Richard Bradford, J. I. Staley, Miranda Levy, Jerry West, Margaret Larsson, and Carol Smith. Interlaced with the interviews are comments from other Santa Feans: historian Myra Ellen Jenkins, cultural geographer J. B. Jackson, and anthropologist Oliver La Farge, the author's father.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
La Farge, son of writer Oliver La Farge, here presents oral histories from a wide variety of Santa Fe residents Anglos, Hispanics, Indians, artists, politicians, historians, and others whom he has known his entire life. These Santa Feans tell us in their own words about what it was like in "the good old days," evoking with their fascinating stories their hometown's unique charm and culture and giving us a real taste of the city's community in the early 20th century. La Farge concludes that Santa Fe has been cosmeticized for the tourist trade and that its former small-town feeling and original lure has been lost. Recommended for collections with special geographical interest. [Most of the men and women interviewed in this book have since died. Ed.] Gwen Gregory, Colorado Coll. Lib., Colorado Springs Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826320148
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

John Pen La Farge, a native of Santa Fe, is a freelance writer and historian who specializes in intellectual history.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
The Layout of a Town 11
A Santa Fe Girlhood 14
The Jewish Merchants 28
Family Life and Scandals 29
From Mora to the Mission 34
Santa Fe and Indian Dances 42
Watching the Town Change 49
Fiesta 54
Before the War 74
Colorful New Mexico Politics 99
Politics 105
The Ranch at Rociada 122
Man and the Land 133
An Artist's Santa Fe 134
Indians, Attitudes, and Artists 146
Federal Indian Policy 156
Indians 163
A Santa Fe Life 177
A Journalist's Story 193
Remembering Mabel Dodge Luhan 209
Landscape as Text 217
A Personal View of Santa Fe 222
How I Came to Santa Fe To Die 225
La Fonda 244
An Indian View 253
Santa Fe, Pecos, and a Bit of Lebanon 263
Changes in Rural Life 277
Turn Left at the Sleeping Dog 280
Department of Amplification 298
A Texas Rancher at the Opera 303
The Belle of the Ball 323
An Artist's Child Grows Up 334
The Family Vernacular 350
Santa Fe by Accident 351
A Physician in the Fifties 356
Santa Fe since the Fifties 367
Postscript 377
Suggested Reading 381
Index 383
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