Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Mythic Billy the Kid Party

July 20, 2011

It was a week ago tonight that myself, Ken Amorosano, fellow artists Thom Ross, Buckeye Blake and Annie H. headed into Santa Fe for a reception to coincide with our Billy the Kid Requiem on Thursday night at the Due West Gallery.

The genesis of the party came from this blog. A lawyer and self-proclaimed Billy afficionado, John "Rocky" Aragon emailed me over the past several years about a manuscript he was working on about the Kid and I answered his questions as best I could. When I mentioned here that I would be in Santa Fe on July 14, Mr. Aragon emailed me and asked if I'd like to have a reception prior to the Billy show. Rocky informed me it would be at a friend's home where Rocky had painted an "85 foot mural" on the life of Billy the Kid. Rocky also asked me if any of my guests had "dietary needs." Given that Mr. Aragon is a lawyer who lives in Santa Fe, I must confess I conjured up a pretty hoity toity image of what this reception might look like. In my defense, having been to several Santa Fe art soirees up in the hills on Canyon Road (I tagged along with Ed Mell on a 1993 trip where we were treated like rock stars everywhere we went), I pictured this as a high dollar deal, with waiters carrying trays of caviar and chipolte jumbo shrimp.

Suffice to say, it was not what any of us expected. I asked all of the participants to give their version of the party and what happened. First up, in Rashomon style, here is Buckeye Blake and Thom Ross:

Where Quervo Trumps Gold

Arteests invited to a dinner party. OH! They must be rich—big house on the hill—a 50 foot mural of Billy the Kid & The Lincoln County War, wine flowing, whole haunches of meat—this will be our chance to sell art to the swells—we hold the treasure map, where we set the direction finder—pile in to the truck, giddy at our good fortune—and off through the maze—our imagination's picture clear—the map directs us away from the grand estates—to the lowlands—toward the barrio side of the city. A flat-roofed casa, dead cars, seedy surroundings—street people, not enough teeth. We have driven out of imagination into reality—hopes dashed we've come down to realize they are just like us—good people sharing what they have with friends—everybody likes Billy!

You savvy amigo?

—Buckeye Blake

A Mythic Moment Where Tequila Flowed Like the Pecos

the unfamiliar voice on the end of my phone.
(how he pronounced his last name
not Err-a-gone
but Aa-ra-goooooone;
how it stayed in the air for just a moment.)

4 of us and Annie
with Google maps we are

"this can't be the place!"
once said, all agreeing.
Truck turned around to leave,
engine running,
disbelief on confused faces.
Ken on the phone questioning this reality.

But we WERE home.
The mural running around the courtyard
("There's Billy!"
"There's Charlie!"
"There's Garrett!")
and we knew we were in the right place;
Billy doesn't lie.

5 shots of tequila in:
one martini glass,
three coffee mugs,
and the top of a thermos bottle.

The liquid, not the vessels,
were what counted
and we hoisted our.....mugs?
high to Billy and our most gracious host(s).

The tour of the mural
"Here's Billy.
Here's Charlie
Here's Garrett.....
and here's me!"

A duo played
"The Ballad of Billy the Kid"
and the food came out on platters
and the tequila flowed like the Pecos.

a mythic moment
when we all entered the poem
that is life.

—Thom "The Kid" Ross

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