Monthly Archives: September 2013

Rose of Lima


This is part of what’s left of the old church at the St. Rose of Lima cemetery; a marker just inside the fence says the cemetery was established in the early 1800s, and was “replaced to its current location” in 1907. I don’t know how long the church has been without a roof. Or a floor. Or windows. But it’s still standing, maybe out of habit as much as anything else.

This is another example of the way a building can eventually devolve into just its textures – and this one’s got plenty of textures, with the weather-rough wood, the initialed plaster, the stones.

And it even has a flower, tucked into a break in the plaster underneath the window.

Santa Rosa, New Mexico
photographed 9.21.2013



Meanwhile, back in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, this place slowly falls apart.

It’s got a lot of company:  there are many buildings in town that have seen better days. But you know me:  I love places like this.  I like the way they fall apart, the way someone tries – without success – to stop the decay, the way even the patched parts start to fall apart, too.  I love the textures of the different building materials. And the way the weeds grow up, seeming to guard whatever’s still inside.

And, I love the mystery of the two front doors.

(My weekend was a WordPress weekend. I met up with blogger Donna Catterick in Santa Rosa and we spent Saturday and part of Sunday taking pictures. And, also had a couple of great phone conversations with Ehpem and Brett Erickson. What a weird thing, blogging!)

Santa Rosa, New Mexico
photographed 9.21.2013

Bad door!


I don’t know what infraction of the Door Rules this door broke, but it was evidently something pretty serious for it to end up being labeled “bad.”

There are a number of wrongs it could have committed: it slammed shut on someone’s hand; it left itself unlocked overnight; it has a hinge that squeaks. But, I think it’s probably the sign for Coors Light that got it into trouble.

One of my favorite authors is William Least Heat-Moon; he ends his essay on beer, “A glass of handmade,” by quoting his traveling companion, the Venerable Tashmoo, who takes a hearty swallow of a beer with no flavor and says, “Did I miss my mouth?”

I want to think that perhaps the Venerable Tashmoo had something to do with the designation on this door….

Chamberino, New Mexico

…and other times I don’t


But for all that big talk yesterday about my urban travels, here we are in Fort Davis (population 1,250).

I was in Fort Davis in August and I checked out every street in town* to see what I could see. I saw dogs. A lot of dogs. They all seemed to be unhappy that I was there, and it made me nervous. (Dogs always make me nervous. Cats? Never.) But that’s neither here nor there.

In addition to unhappy dogs, I saw this gem of a place, with its appliance graveyard, melting adobe house, and (this is for you, Ehpem) some very nice corrugated metal.

Fort Davis, Texas
photographed 8.17.2013

*It didn’t take all that long. There aren’t many streets.

Sometimes I go to the city


I can understand why anyone who stops by here on a regular basis might think the largest town I’ve ever been to is Muleshoe, Texas (population 5,217), but I have actually gone to some larger towns. Like Brownfield – population 9,675. Or Levelland – population 13,517. Or Sweetwater – population 10,447.

And this one time? I went to Dallas.

downtown Dallas
photographed 3.19.2011

Full disclosure #1: If you think I chose the town examples because their names are funny and/or descriptive, you are correct.
Full disclosure #2: I’ve actually been to Dallas more than just the one time.

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