The New Mexico Trip

Portales has some unloved curbs and driveways,
victims of age and too little thought about
design, and some root intrusion. The town
full of sweet-natured people doesn’t care.

Nothing is left to chance in bustling Santa Fe
where Southwestern design might have been
born. There must be a committee in charge of
arches and ceiling height and courtyard sizes.

For the uninitiated, the spruced-up old walls
and ancient, arched doors wearing time added
to their surfaces set in walls built yesterday,
they might get swept up in the formula beauty.

But those sweet-natured, unhurried Portales
folks always say their thank yous to strangers
with utter sincerity over the old tables at public
breakfasts. Some of those sadder, limping

houses by the forgotten-about curbs could use
coats of paint, but... The soul-attentive
residents evoke a peaceful essence in their
daily routines. There is a wealth here in spirit.

When one travels north from Portales to Santa
Fe, through hours of openness at eighty miles
per hour, the arrival is initially celebratory, full of
awe for the consistency of lovely brown walls.

This made-for-the-public art-for-sale center
with the world’s most expensive Mexican food
available at Café Pasqual’s will sit well with the
roadies. Love of travel is fulfilled here.

Arrival back home brings comparison. Little
Portales with the university tall and clean just
a jump from the lovely brick homes contentedly
nestled in big tree-filled yards is timeless and

worthy – the place to raise the family. Santa Fe
is slickly beautiful, peopled with sharp-eyed,
articulate pushers of art. They have the need
sized up the moneyed appreciators of pretty things.