On Saturday and Sunday, June 23 and 24, one of the most unique and fun shows in the country will be held at the Sweeney Center in Santa Fe. It’s not at Indian Show, or a Cowboy Show of an Ethnographic Show. It is everything that has to do with the West.
This show started in Cody, Wyoming and later moved to Denver. We exhibited until they moved it to Houston, Texas. I love Texas, but I don’t go there in the summer months, so we took a few years off. Now it is back in the mountains of Santa Fe and we have some great new collections to share with you this weekend.
This winter, we were given three, very nice, collections of Indian jewelry to sell. We decided to break it out for the first time in Santa Fe. This is really neat jewelry from the 1930s through the 1970s that I encourage you to stop by the show and take a look!
There are hundreds of pieces and we won’t be able to show it all, so, beginning in about three week, on our web site and in the Durango gallery, you will be able to see these pieces. But really, why not take a trip to Santa Fe this weekend.
The show runs from 10 am until 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday and on Saturday, at 5 pm, one of the most entertaining auctions that is held in the country, with everything from saddles to spurs, to paintings to beadwork is worth attending.
For full information on the Brian Lebel Old West Show, you can see this video.
And, coming up on Saturday, June 30, we will be hosting our annual Indian Market day at the Gallery in Durango and on July 13, we welcome Albert Dreher, the only “oil wash” artist in the world to the gallery for an opening! Please join us!
Just a note about the 416 Fire north of Durango, that has been the largest uncontrolled wildfire in the United States. Thank you to all the hundreds of people who have called and emailed to find out how we were doing.
Believe me, you have never felt fear until you see a thousand-foot plume of smoke, fire and embers less than a mile away from you. You have never seen the power of nature until you see massive flames switch directions and move to consume acres of forest. The smoke in downtown Durango and La Plata County was as stifling as the coal clouds in China.
The fire is still going, but into the forest where it will likely burn until the end of July. During the height of the fire, over 2000 homes were evacuated, the highway between Durango and Silverton was closed, people as close to a couple of miles from Durango were evacuated and this community came together. Money was raised for people who had lost their jobs, friends and neighbors opened up their homes (I stayed in five different places during the fire!), people donated thousands of bottles of water and food for the firefighters and there was a sense of companionship, knowing we would get through it together.
You cannot say enough about the bravery of the firefighters and the professionalism of the people who ran the operation. Thousands of young men and women were involved, their tents covering acres on the Animas Valley and Purgatory Resort. Aerial bombardments by planes and water drops by helicopters in dangerous situations were amazing, but the personal bravery and professionalism of the people with backpacks and shovels, facing the fire lines and
holding and turning the flames from structures were stories of heroes.
On Sunday night, teams of hot shots were dropped into the Junction Creek drainage to create a fire line and back burn an area that would protect the last residential areas threatened by the flames. With all of the knowledge and support of the operation command and the training these people had, it is still terrifying to know that these kids were risking their lives. A wind change, a fire breaking across the line, anything could go wrong.
Today, Tuesday morning, as I write this, the skis are clear, the smoke is gone and, if you didn’t know it, you would never think the mountains were full of flames a few days ago.
Not a single home was burned and not a single life was lost during the 416 Fire.
Thank you to all the thousands of firefighters and team supporters who risked their lives to save this mountain community. There was a sign someone put up in the Animas Valley, near the operation center, that said: “Firefighters”, because “Badass” is not a job description. I couldn’t agree more!
As the fire burns into the forest, it will generate new growth and a healthy wilderness. But I hope it is the last time I see one up close and personal!
Durango, Mesa Verde and Silverton are back in Business! Come and celebrate with us!