July 3, 2013. On the road. (No Internet service to post)
Drove west through the Spanish Peaks country of the San Jan valley to the town of Manassa. Home of the legendary boxer, Jack Dempsey.
The Jack Dempsey museum is in Dempsey’s childhood home. A log cabin with a stone fireplace. Admission was free. Out front is a near life-size bronze of the man in his gloves and trunks, a scowl on his face. Inside is a treasure-trove of memorabilia. News clippings, photographs, trophies. Dempsey’s gloves and shoes. A blue ring robe.
Many, many original photos with Dempsey and other celebrities. Heads of state. Movie stars. Sports figures. A copy of the George Bellows’ oil, “Dempsey and Firpo,” hanging on one of the walls.
A city park (you guessed it, Jack Dempsey Park) skirts the east side of the cabin. Away on a fence on the south side is a billboard-sized painting of Dempsey, alone in the ring, headlined the “Manassa Mauler.”
A small woman with black hair and a kind smile was looking after things. She was well informed on the topic of Dempsey’s life. Bought some postcards and a book about Dempsey before leaving.
Manassa is twenty miles from state highway 101. You travel though high desert county much like southwest Wyoming to get there. The town is in a small green valley circled by mountains. Hard, pretty land.
Along the way, saw a deer standing in alfalfa field. The alfalfa was chest high, and she seemed to be catching the mist off a nearby irrigation pipe while she fed. In San Luis, saw a marijuana dispensary called La Casa Cannabis.
July 4th Post:
Found a place called the "Greater World Earthship Community" on the road between Taos and Albuquerque. Adobe castles made of wine bottles, discarded tires, and glass. Several helpings of wine are not making the description any easier. In fact, I'm reminded of a scene (I don't know why) in the Beatles's first movie, "A Hard Day's Night," when a curmudgeonly man on a train says to Ringo Starr, "I fought the war for your sort," and Ringo replies, "I bet you're sorry you won." Happy Independence Day to all!