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mayhem

One thing I know is to cut a wide berth around a guy wearing a shirt that says “mayhem” on it. Another thing I know is that the shirt and his aggressively gold watch needed to be photographed. And the last thing I know (in this context, I mean) is that it was a good thing I was shooting with a zoom lens.

Santa Rosa, New Mexico
photographed 7.31.2022

tatters

At some point, that billboard presented crucial information to travelers. That point, however, was not the day I was there…

San Jon, New Mexico
photographed 7.30.2022

…and the walls came down, 3

I spent the hour I had to fill up walking around the collapsed church wall, taking photos and getting a little bit teary thinking of how one of the things I’d come to count on seeing in Santa Rosa was just…gone.

I presume that the thunderstorm’s winds the afternoon before had pushed those walls down, so that meant they were only standing for an hour or so after I saw them leaning away from the rest of the building.

The thing is that people drove by while I was there and no one stopped or slowed down or even (as far as I could tell) glanced over to see what had happened. It hurt my feelings, which is sort of ridiculous and also made perfect sense.

Now I am worried that by the time I get back over there, the other three walls will be down, too.

Saint Rose of Lima Cemetery
Santa Rosa, New Mexico
photographed 7.31.2022

…and the walls came down, 2

I’ve been here many times, so many times that I nearly didn’t go on this particular day. I had an hour or so to wander and without making a conscious decision to go back, I found myself making the turn from Lake Drive to South 3rd Street.

I was a half-block away when I saw the devastation. It quite literally took my breath away. And it illustrates why going back to a familiar location is not a bad idea: even if you think you know what’s there, you may be surprised.

Saint Rose of Lima Cemetery
Santa Rosa, New Mexico
photographed 7.31.2022

…and the walls came down, 1

On Saturday, July 20, 2022, at about three o’clock in the afternoon, I saw this church building. The north wall was leaning out a little more than it had been on my previous stop.

About an hour later, a thunderstorm came through town, bringing heavy rain and strong winds. By six o’clock, the storm had passed and clear skies had returned.

And then, the next morning, that wall was all the way down.

Saint Rose of Lima Cemetery
Santa Rosa, New Mexico
photographed 7.31.2022

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