Leaving a week with a great class….
And the fabulous Freddie…
Leaving Santa Fe doesn’t quite have the same ring as, Leaving Las Vegas, but there you go. It’s what I’m doing. Wheels up and goodbye to the Land of Enchantment, Sister Moon and Brother Sky. And, this week, we had a visit from Uncle Indigestion.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love teaching at Santa Fe. Reid Callanan and Renie Haiduk have put together a wonderful atmosphere for learning about and teaching photography. Love it down there. Even the cow skulls over the all the fireplaces are growing on me.
I guess I’m just not cut out for Mexican food. And when that south of the border stuff goes wrong….
I had a great class who thrived, learned, and shot great stuff despite half of them being hampered by the aftermath of a visit to one of Santa Fe’s regular Mexican family style restaurants. It was a fun evening to be sure, filled with pixel banter, gregarious waitresses, paint thinner margaritas, and….southwestern food.
Hmmm, good. Green chilies, red chilies, refried beans, black beans, salsa slop, sour cream, taco this and that. Sorry folks, I fail to see the attraction.
The stuff all runs together in the middle, ya know? It congeals into this weird eddy of colors that looks suspiciously like the Cuyahoga River in the fifties. You might remember the Cuyahoga. It was such a pungent mix of effluvia, hospital waste and spilled diesel that it would regularly combust on it’s own and give the fire department the fits. I mean, how do you put out a river fire? More water? Open bottles of Evian and throw them in? Dunno. I lived in Cleveland as a kid, and the flaming Cuyahoga was always in the news. It must have been tough for the folks at the chamber of commerce to spin that positively.
Anyway, my valiant class bull dozed their way through a bunch of intestinal difficulties and found some great stuff to shoot. I told them about being in England as a photo student, and the whole bunch of us eating at the local kebab house down the block. We’d all be printing, and inevitably one of those kebab puppies would get legs and the unfortunate consumer would have to do a Carl Lewis to the john. This would occur so regularly that we developed a code word, which was, quite predictably, “KEBAB!” It would be shouted in the dark, and we all cover up the paper and make way for whomever to dash for the white light.
So, “KEBAB!” became a bit of a class joke this week. Tough to concentrate at the lens when you feel like you’ve just ingested the equivalent of a welterweight boxer. Jab jab! Poke! Jab! Combination! Then of course the whole deal heads for the exit ramp with the insistence and force of a busted water main. I mean, it’s gotta go somewhere.
Anyway, I digress. In the air. Heading north. Lots of air time on this trip. Great flight attendant. She has one of those knowing looks, you know what I mean? Been in the skies for a while, this one. She gave the seat belt demo with an indulgent smile and a wicked gleam in her eye and for all the world she could have had a neon sign on her forehead that was blinking, “And now for all you complete, utter morons.” Click! She also encouraged us to fasten the belt “low and tight around the waist.”
Not goin’ there, sweetheart. Given the reverb of all that spicy food, I was thinkin’ high and loose, or all those folks on that tiny plane we’re gonna have a problem with me.
Speaking of morons, she had a few on the plane, by the look of it. I got one across from me for sure. We’re on a commuter hopper and he tried to stuff something the size of a hockey bag into the microscopic overhead. It had unzipped pouches at either end of it, and stuff just started pouring out. Watch, cell phone, loose change, Tonka toys, Etch-a-Sketch, you name it. He was wearing a ball cap. Think it said something like, “Did You Get Yours’ Today?”
I had my Ipod on, listening to Bruce Cockburn’s “If I Had a Rocket Launcher.” Had to stifle myself. Good thing I’ve got Annie’s voice in my head much of the day. “Inside words, honey…..”