Monday, September 14, 2015

I Don't Live There

Shadows and light in Taos

Once again I have been asked about where to live in Taos. And once again I had a difficult time explaining to the friend of a friend that I do not live there. Would not live there.

I lived in Taos County for nine years and so wanted to leave that county I was willing to get a divorce to do so. I live on the other side of the mountain now. I try to explain to people how very different this side is.

The Mountain Between us
We're the wet side. We can drive through the pass to the other side in 45 minutes to an hour. But there is a huge cultural divide between the two sides. Taos was on the Camino Real and settled by the Spanish who took the land from the Native tribes who lived there. Then they enslaved them.

The Moreno Valley was settled by miners at Elizabeth town and homesteaders who took advantage of the 1862 homestead act to settle the Black Lake area and the Moreno Valley grasslands. The Trujillos and Torres built huge ranches by blending their 160 acre homestead plots together. They were invaded by the Texas ranchers who had already overgrazed Texas and came west to overgraze this rich grassland. We had our own version of the range wars. Texas is still invading. They are called tourists.

Meanwhile the New York artists invaded Taos to turn it into an art county.Then fought against the hippies in the 60's. Now they believe they are the only place on earth able to paint and will not allow artists from my side of the mountain to compete in their shows. Even Music from Angel Fire had Taos artists for their posters 33 out of 35 years. The trust fund babies from New York are the last invasion. They say no to all development.

Frankly, I try not even to shop there. Las Vegas has a better Walmart. So does Trinidad. Amazon delivers. And even when I lived in Taos County I shopped Alamosa. Santa Fe is a hell of a lot more fun to visit. Cimarron cheaper. I feel safer in all those places because they have less gangs or none. And they prosecute crimes against women. Taos doesn't.

So why is it I am suppose to know where to live in Taos? Why won't anyone believe me when I say I do not know. Why do they think all residents of New Mexico are Taos wannabes. Hell, I went through my first ten years in Black Lake trying to explain where I lived without mentioning Taos. And when Taos posted signs declaring themselves the Soul of the Southwest I started the rumor if that was so they needed and exorcism. And now the Santa Fe New Mexican is trying to force us to buy the Taos News after closing our newspaper.

I don't live there. I don't want to read about it either.

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