Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Old School Craftsmanship, New Hand Made Belt

 September 27, 2023

   Here's a beaded-belt flashback: Kathy and I took a road trip to stay in Maynard Dixon's cabin in Mount Carmel, Utah six years ago. On the drive there we stopped outside Page, Arizona to visit legendary Antelope Canyon and while standing in line waiting to descend into the depths of the slot canyon, a Navajo guide, and another guide, tapped me on the shoulder.

Tear Drop Couple

   They wanted to know where I got the belt I am wearing in the photo, above (taken by a Navajo guide named Natasha). This is kind of crazy because if you have spent any time around Navajos you know they are somewhat shy people and reticent to talk to, well, you know. Anyway, I told them both the belt I was wearing was purchased in Santa Fe, next door to the Due West Art Gallery on San Francisco Street where I wore it to the big art opening on April 4, 2011.

The Bang Gang: Thom Ross, BBB and Buckeye Blake at Due West Art Gallery in Santa Fe.

(photo by Lucinda Amorosano)

   The reason the Navajos were so interested in the belt was because of the nifty, old school, bead work.

   Well, that is the backstory and I must say it is my favorite belt and it has lasted for 22 years and recently, it has been seriously falling apart and I have been holding it together with duck tape and bailing wire. Not really, but you get the idea.

   So, Kathy Sue (the girl in the slot canyon, above) suggested I take it to the saddle repair shop in Carefree. I said, "There's a saddle repair shop in Carefree?" I have lived out here for 36 years and never knew. She assured me there was, so today I dropped in and met this guy.

Gabriel at Easy Street Shoe & Watch Repair
in Cave Creek, Arizona

   It took Gabriel about twenty minutes (he took it in the back and I waited in the main room and I heard him with the stitching needle and a hammer. He told me he broke two needles stitching it back into shape!) This is so cool and so old school. Here's a close-up on that stitching the Navajos were so interested in:

Hand-stiched Belt Made New By Gabriel

"The only new thing in this world, is the history you don't know."

—Harry Truman


  1. Great story! Make sure you tell it EVEY time you wear that belt!

  2. Anonymous5:46 PM

    It's beautiful!


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