Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the tag “New Mexico”

Church-Going

I have been to both ends of the spectrum of churches the past two Sundays.

Yesterday, Sugar and I attended a Cowboy Church service held at an indoor riding arena in a metal building north of Fort Collins, Colorado.  The congregation is called Riding for the Brand.  I am guessing that there were maybe 20 people in attendance.  Five of them were the preacher’s wife and four kids.  The preacher wore his cowboy hat except during prayer.  The sermon was pretty good — very folksy and down-to-earth.  One illustration was about something “as useless as teats on a boar hog.”  After church was a pot-luck dinner.  After the dinner, anyone who cared to could practice roping steers in the arena.  Obviously, church-goers needed to bring their horses, who did not participate in worship, being tied to trailers.  I’m pretty sure that Christ is fond of horses, being born in a barn Himself.

The Sunday before, we were in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where we worshiped at a cathedral built in 1869, Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi.  St. Francis is another fella who likes animals.  The Roman Catholic Mass was, of course, very liturgical. The priest wore robes and a stole, but no cowboy hat.  He too gave a very good sermon — with a Spanish accent.  It was uplifting to worship the Lord in such a beautiful sanctuary.  I am guessing that there were 500 people in attendance.   See link at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_Basilica_of_St._Francis_of_Assisi

I reckon the Good Lord attends both services.  I felt His Presence.  He gets around, ya know.

After the PowWow

Previously, I wrote about my introduction to Native American people, aka Indians.  Now I will tell you the rest of the story. 

As a dedicated young cowboy, interested in the American West, I enjoyed family trips  to places like Fort Robinson, where Crazy Horse was assassinated, and the Black Hills, sacred to the Sioux.  The Pine Ridge Reservation is in South Dakota on the border of Nebraska.  We visited Wounded Knee in the Pine Ridge. 

So, when I had to pick an 8th grade history project, I wrote about American Indians and learned a lot in the process.

Later, during my higher education, I signed up for a class called “Concentration in Cross Cultural Communication”  because it included a three week field trip as part of the requirement.  Some of my classmates went to Africa.  I arranged to go to the Pine Ridge Reservation.  In preparation, I read Dee Brown’s book, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee.  Unfortunately, at the time I was to go there in the spring of 1975, the American Indian Movement folks like Russell Means had a standoff with FBI agents and took some hostages.  So, I was told that it was not a good time to visit.

Instead, I redirected my field trip to New Mexico, where I stayed at Ghost Ranch near Abiqui.  I was there three weeks.  I visited the seven northern Pueblos, including the Taos Pueblo.  I enjoyed the experience, meeting some nice folks and learning a lot.  As it turns out, many years later, I still enjoy northern New Mexico.  My trophy wife, Miss Sugar, and I frequently make trips to Santa Fe, Taos, Abiqui and Ojo Caliente. 

Miss Sugar has made friends with some artisans in that area and gets materials such as turquoise and silver to use in her own jewelry making business.  She likes the SouthWest stuff.  So do I.  Actually, our log house on the ranch is decorated with cowboy decor, including SouthWest items.  Plus, I use guns and antlers in much of my decorating.

Fortunately, Miss Sugar shares, no, improves upon my taste in decor.  Of course, there is a good reason why.  Not only did she grow up in Texas, but she is an Indian princess, no less than 1/16th Shoshone.  Get a load of that.  That first powwow became my destiny.

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