Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Yesterday, a former classmate emailed me a file of photos taken in the early 1900's of our hometown, Cleveland, Ohio. He doesn't know that I spend a lot of time in my head back in that time period, not in Cleveland but in the Territory of New Mexico. The photos were of extraordinary quality and the details were mesmerizing: the hairstyles, facial expressions, and clothing; the mixture of horse-drawn vehicles and autos on the streets; the buildings -- some already old and others in progress; the hustle and bustle of people going about their business on foot. Since Cleveland is situated on Lake Erie there were many photos of people at the beaches and people boarding excursion boats. The details were delightful! When I look at photos taken during the same time period in Las Cruces, New Mexico, the people and streets look much the same with some exceptions: the streets are not paved and are dusty with more horse-drawn carriages and wagons and an occasional auto; there are no factories or tall buildings with awnings at nearly every window which contrasts with the abundance of adobe structures and the occasional brick or wood one or two-story building; and, of course, no lakefront but lots of desert sand! But the people are much the same as their eastern counterparts, with the occasional difference in headwear or footwear. And, of course, the slower pace of life is clearly evident, too. Viewing these photos brought me full circle from the origins of my own past into the origins of my writing here in the west. The women in those photos were dressed similarly to Lily and the other women in Tierra Red, women who lived far, far away from the "civilized" society of our country. I am sure their daily worries and duties were similar as well. Thank you, Dan, for that photo file! It definitely made my day, one that was filled with yet more research and writing (yes, that sequel is in progress) . . . .