Jewish Book: Saving Myself, a Los Angeles Childhood
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A Los Angeles Childhood – “Home-Lands: How Women Made The West" Part II
Saturday, 16 July 2011 10:38

I lived in Los Angeles for 53 years. When I first moved to Santa Fe in 1993, to 1 and ½ acres of land, into a house that I designed, I told my friends I lived in the wilderness.

As I walked along the railroad tracks with my heart sister Pat and said the same thing, she laughed at me. "Wilderness, you say? You haven't got a clue," and the reality was that she was right. The country is one thing, the wilderness, quite another.

Another one of my friends asked me if I had a gun, and I told her, "Why?" "Because you live in the country." At the time she lived in San Francisco and we had both come from Los Angeles. "That's a different story. My home..." There I said it for the first time..."My home is safe. Who will I shoot, the rabbits, the coyotes?"

"You're not afraid of the people? What about snakes coming in?" "No. Why would I get a gun when my neighbors are classical musicians and a lawyer, and when I lived in Los Angeles two blocks from drug dealers, I left my doors unlocked?"

I read an article by Pam Houston in the museum magazine, El Palacio. The quote she gives when talking about why she bought a ranch in Creede, Colorado, is: "One thing I was looking for when I bought the ranch, was a place I'd be comfortable sitting still." And I think, I came to Santa Fe to live in the country to learn to shut up, away from the roar of a big city and the earth-moving tremblers that seem to agitate Los Angeles at any given time. I had a friend who used to call Cal Tech daily to see what the news was from the Richter scale. It always was at least a 1 or a 2.

The show has one of my favorite paintings by Pablita Velarde (Santa Clara), done on seven panel masonite. The piece was purchased by the Autry National Center just for Home Lands. It is entitled, The Green Corn Dance and shows an annual harvest celebration. She is one of my favorite artists so what a wonderful surprise seeing this along with so much more information, women who I never knew but will get to know.

Other names left to explore include Justina Ford, the first African American doctor in Denver. She settled in Denver in 1902. She was born in 1871 and held an M.D. degree from Hening Medical School. Who knew?

I realize that there is so much more to consider with this important exhibition. I have already made a time to go back this coming Wednesday. All of this right here in my HOME town. Stay tuned in and,

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