Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Laughingly & Lovingly Taos Stories Part 1

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." re: George Santayana

It is with this quote in mind that I have posted these stories in 4 parts. We should learn from the lessons that history has to teach us, even when our history is quite silly. Hopefully they will make you chuckle as I have upon reading them. Although I have tried to organize them in an arrangement that will enhance and delight the reader, they are quite random. As with all stories, some of it is true. I thank you for your input and for reading.

 The next few blog stories are that of the writings of Spud Johnson for his publications of the 20’s & 30’s “The Horse Fly” & “The Laughing Horse” mixed into the lot are my own versions of similar tales. All are typical of the type of very DRY humour that Taos tends to be known for.

This reporter is pleased to report that he is still 'alive & kicking' after quite a turn of events.

The Sisters at Holy Cross Hospital bought a case of beer the other day, and that sounds like a party, doesn’t it?

Cynical Taos Poet Commits Suicide
Ramon Zarro, cynical & secretive Taos Poet, attempted suicide several times this week, according to an anonymous communication received by the Horse Fly this morning. The unsigned letter states that he “took arsenic on Tuesday, strychnine on Wednesday, cyanide on Thursday, & cut his throat with a razor Friday night." He is not expected to live, although, as a student of Emil Bisttram’s occultism, he may be reincarnated.
Efforts to check this amazing report have provided fruitless, although his few intimate friends admit that they have not seen him since Monday.
On the editorial page is printed what may be his last poem, a characteristic composition, which seems to indicate that his tragic act was the result of an unfortunate love-affair with a ‘lady poet’.

The Distaff Side of the Taos Art Colony
Helen Blumenschein is the only female artist in Taos who shoots band-tailed pigeons, a species which will soon be as extinct as the passenger pigeon unless the Federal Government restricts the venal commercialism of various State Fish & Game Commissions.
Elea Nora Kissel is the only female artist in town who shoots snow-birds and song sparrows for bird pie. Incidentally she is going to be a ‘sandwich man’ during fiesta. Watch for her.
Dorothy Brett is the only female artist in town (or out) who shoots pool: but her keepers won’t let her do it often.
Gentle Ila McAfee eats raw meat. Her husband Elmer Turner, complains she even has cannibalistic tendencies and has been known to gnaw on freshly killed Texans.
Marina Dasburg shoots New-Dealers or else scares ‘em to death. She wears the largest Wilkie button in captivity.

Of Man, Love is a thing apart from Life. It is a Woman’s Whole Existence. G. Bauman

The town of Taos will soon be rolling out the red carpet for the return of the quite “remarkable” Nancy Neva Gagliano. She will be an honored guest in residence at the Mabel Dodge Luhan house.

Taos School of Art to Embrace Dancing
E.J. Bisttram, Director of the Taos School of Art, has announced that next year the school will have classes in modern dancing; and that plans are afoot to later include music as well.
Mrs. Leon Bauman, formerly with the Martha Graham School of Dance, who has been teaching at the University of Kansas for the past year or two, will be in charge of the classes in dancing here next summer; and there is a possibility that Jose Limon may also be associated with the school as an instructor.
Mrs. Bauman and her twin sister, Miss Elizabeth Sherbon, who is still a member of the Martha Graham group, have been in Taos for several weeks, and before leaving for the east, they gave an interesting demonstration of their methods before a group of students in the Bisttram studio.

Artists evicted from Eve’s Garden
Mrs. Eve Young Hunter is reported to have shooed the entire U. of N.M. Art Class off of her premises the other day, with fire in her eye and pepper on her tongue. Instructor Loren Mozley refused to comment on the incident, except to remark bitterly that “Mr. Bisttram’s class of abstractionists has not yet been guilty of trespassing, as no one, so far, has homesteaded the infinite.

Pansy Stockton, who makes pictures out of ‘things’ instead of paint, has taken a studio at the Abbot’s for a short stay. Several examples of her work are on display in Plaza Shops.

One Legged man seen in Taos
Will anyone please identify the man spotted walking on crutches through Kit Carson Park last Saturday evening around sunset.

And speaking of the Hospital, John Dunn is said to have left it last week in a huff – but not in his clothes!

Blonde Nudist at Large Naked man Parades Ledoux
A naked night prowler has been reported by various residents on Ledoux Street within the past week. Not even those who have seen him, know WHO he is, for they’ve never had anything but the merest fleeting glimpse; and not even those who have heard of him, have any idea WHY, because no senoritas have been ‘accosted’ or ‘attacked’. And as for WHEN, that’s another mystery, as he doesn’t seem to have any regular hours at all. He just pops up now and then, naked as a snake.
“I saw him night before last,” or “He was out quite late on Tuesday,” is about the extent of the information so far reported; although one woman declares positively that he has fair curly hair.
The Police request an immediate and complete report, next time anybody sees this wanton fellow. Help Keep Taos Pure!

Taos Council approves Oil Lamps as Street Lights
Nude Prowler Spurs Officials into Action
To avoid the prohibitive cost of expensive electric equipment and current, yet to provide much-needed illumination, the Village council is now planning installation of oil lamps as street-lights.
The argument at the last council meeting was brief. Taos streets are dark and rough, quite often full of mud-holes; a nude man terrorized our women-folk only last week; Taos electricity is expensive; and Taos Village is poor. Ergo: Kerosene.
The plan is to have attractive lanterns designed by local artists, executed by local tin and black-smiths, then donated by our more affluent citizens or clubs as memorials. Thus, a ‘Dr. Martin Light’ at the corner of Bent & Pueblo; a ‘Dunton Lantern’ in the Loma Plaza, et cetera.
This should not only solve the Town’s double problem of illumination with economy; but will certainly be unique and, if well done, most attractive as well.
We’re for it!

“Nude Prowler” returns but refuses to prowl!
It’s true, he’s back in town again, that man who stalked Ledoux Street, stark naked, last July. But this year he absolutely refuses to ‘Prowl’, nude or otherwise. Can you imagine that! Just when we needed a good front page story. And what do you suppose he gives as an excuse? He just repeats, over and over helplessly: “You don’t understand; I’m married now!” However, we did manage to persuade him to pose for his picture; and we are pleased that our staff photographer has this year managed to catch him just a wee bit nuder than he did last summer. Somehow it makes our account more authentic.
There is a rumour around the Plaza to the effect that the entertainment committee of the Lion’s Club is attempting to persuade the now infamous nude prowler to appear as a fan dancer at their annual baile this evening out at the Sagebrush Inn; but when questioned on the subject by our society reporter, he stubbornly insisted: “I tell you I ain’t prowlin’ no more: I’m a married man and my wife don’t like it.” Meantime Turk Griffith, State Policeman stationed here, has announced with considerable impunity that if the Lions attempt to pull any such stunt, he will not hesitate a moment before not only stopping the performance, but arresting the ‘nude prowler’ on the spot!

Nude Prowler
Of Ledoux Street struts his stuff; ‘Civic Virtue’ Comes to Town – in the Flesh! That might have been our headline, complete with illustration, for the performance on Wednesday night at the Bisttram Studio of famed artist-model Nelson Bennett.
But we decided he didn’t deserve it!

Leon Gaspard says he has a lamb out at his place that got kicked by a horse, then had a fever, and then went stark naked on them. So his wife made the poor little thing a suit of red flannel pajamas, which it is now wearing to the delight of everyone – except the Gaspard bull, which is in a dither over it.

Cady Wells was a Taos visitor Thursday, on Heptagon business.

Socialites Chased by Big Black Bear
Four attractive & popular young women of Taos report that they were chased by a bear up in the mountings the other day while out hunting for a proper-sized hill – that is, two of them saw the tracks and two of them heard him roar (or was it only a grunt?) The names of the four young ladies were: Bert, Dot, Mim & Dor.
And what do you suppose they did?
1.   Ran? 2. Screamed? 3. Went for help? 4. Climbed trees?
5. Shot the Brute? 6. Talked an arm off of him?
Check the right answer and receive a cellophane-wrapped ski-kit-pack containing real bear-skin ear-muffs as a prize.

From Coast to Coast and across the sea
And, by the way, it may interest you to know, particularly if you are an advertiser, that our subscribers are scattered through twenty three-states of the Union and in Canada, France, England & Denmark. This, we admit, will not help our advertisers to sell a pot at .98 cents, or a hat at $3.76, or a used car at $250: but 
My sincere apologies for the "amp" after each "&" symbol, it seems to be impossible to delete!

1 comment:

  1. dry humor is right! especially mr. Cafazzo's. thanks for pulling these reminders of some of the big taos news items (ie unverified suicides and nude on Ledoux) past.
    and for referencing yours truly as remarkable.>>> remarkable in that i was part of yet another very remarkable time in Taos.