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San Franciso Church at Golden, New Mexico ~ 1976

November 17, 2010

San Franciso Church ~ 1976
Golden, New Mexico
Karen Rivera

Golden, New Mexico, on the Turquoise Trail,  is having  a bit of a renaissance these days. It’s still a ghost town but the few houses have been restored and the old Mercantile is open in the summer for the tourists. Built in 1830, he San Francisco Church off Highway 14, doesn’t look much different than when I was shooting black and whites in the mid-70’s. Restored in 1960 by Fray Angelico Chavez while he was the padre of St. Joseph’s Church in Los Cerrillos, the graveyard has mostly escaped the vandalism common to New Mexico’s abandoned mining towns.

In the ’70’s, Golden was a wild place. On the weekends, I’d take a one way drive in my Austin Healey south 35 miles from Santa Fe to the Golden Inn for some of the best live music I’ve ever danced to. My Austin, in true badly wired british sportscar fashion, rarely made it back the same night.  I didn’t always, either. That’s where I discovered the life long pleasures of David Bromberg, Leon Redbone and the joy of honky-tonking.

Before the bar was suspiciously burned to the ground , I celebrated New Year’s Eve in 1976  partying with the legendary Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airman. It was a last wild night for all of us – the band, the bar, the Healy and me ~ dancing to George Frayne and Buffalo Bruce.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Andrew permalink
    February 7, 2012 3:29 am

    Howdy Karen – I just learned that the Golden Inn burned down, no wonder I couldn’t find it along the road. But then, what would I remember from the delicious blur of the 70s when the place was REALLY ROCKIN!
    One weekend my friend Gerry and I moved all of Lisa Gilkyson’s (yes, the LG, then with a band called Honky Deluxe with Woody Thompson on drums) stuff from Louisville, Colorado to Madrid. If I remember right (?) it was an abandoned house with holes in the floor. Some kind soul told us about good times at the Golden Inn and we went down there. We got dragged off our stools onto the dance floor and when we came to we were driving back to Colorado. Of course we all made it, and look at Lisa now!, and Cisco and Delia!
    Thanks for filling in the blanks – Andrew

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