Side Trips with Pictures from my spring vacation

Santa Fe, NM

I warned you there would be more! O.K. Let's start with Death Valley Junction and the Amargosa Opera House! I don't know how to make links but if you google "Marta Becket" you will get quite a story! This place is her opera house. She is now in her 80's and still performs here during the winter months. There is also a haunted hotel.

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Santa Fe, NM

These are the doors of the opera house. Marta Becket, a former dancer/model/artist from New York bought this place some time in the 60's. She painted Everything.

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Santa Fe, NM

This is a window of the hotel. It is one of my favorite pictures from the trip. Before Marta Becket bought this place it was a community meeting house for the area (where there is pretty much nothing) and a hotel for people working on something which I have utterly forgotten! Maybe railroad? Borax mines? Currently, the hotel attracts mostly European visitors, according to our tour guide. All the rooms have "themes". The late comedian, Red Skelton, was a frequent guest.

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Santa Fe, NM

Here is a room at the hotel. This is one aspect of it. there is another shot. I believe this is called "the Jezebelle Room".

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Santa Fe, NM

Here is the closet of the room.

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Santa Fe, NM

D.H. and I had seen an excellent video at a film festival about this place, so we were anxious to see it. There are videos you can see, I think, if you google it. Our tour guide let me take pictures. There is also a pond on the property, which I did not see, where wild mustangs come to drink sometimes. The tour guide had recently been allowed to adopt a colt through the state. The wild horses are very regulated. That was a side trip on a side trip! In another room.

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Santa Fe, NM

And, yet another room.

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Santa Fe, NM

Trompe l'oeil. Did I spell it right? Let's go to the opera house. It is pretty good sized and painted floor and including the ceiling by Marta Becket. She painted an audience.

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Santa Fe, NM

There are many things going on in the audience, lots of stories there, but no real people. I like the Queen and King.

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Santa Fe, NM

Here is a detail from the ceiling. It is about 2 stories high and she painted it standing on a ladder.

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Santa Fe, NM

Here is the stage. There is a piano but not in the picture. These are just a few of all the many, wonderful paintings in the opera house.

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Santa Fe, NM

I have to add in this detail. She painted cherubs all over the place! This is one on the ceiling. I was particularly impressed with the ceiling. If you have ever painted a mural on a ceiling you would love this one! What an amazing woman. I would have loved to have attended a performance but we were on our way toward home and it was her last one for this spring, I think.

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Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

How wonderful! The shadow of that bird on the ceiling, oh wow. How old was she when she painted that , up on the ladder???

Fantastico!

(and you did spell it right. ;-) I always could spell it but never could figure out how to say it, had to ask somebody once.)

Gosh, I love the audience! Wonderful stuff.

and I can see why you like the photo of the window in the hotel, it is delicious. I can see that one framed and hung, it is something I could live with -- and I am very particular, there are many things I like, love, and admire that I would not want to live with.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Wonderful pictures. Great side trip! I have seen this place on TV many years ago. I even saw pictures of her dancing in a very short starched tutu. You are so lucky to have seen it -- and did you see her? I would love to. I like the idea of the wild mustangs, too.

What a neat & interesting series Roybird. I agree she is an amazing woman! What tremendous accomplishments! So much talent & get 'er done attitude for one person.

Santa Fe, NM

Thanks for the comments! I did not get to see Marta Becket although she does live in a small house near the motel. The guide explained that so many people wanted to visit with Marta that she decided to become unavailable for drop-in visits! I sure don't blame her. I think she must have done the painting in the late '60's and in to the '70's. My guess is that she was in her 40's or 50's. She had a male friend who helped her. He died several years ago. I would like to buy her book which is on her web site, I think. She has supported herself more by selling paintings than by the opera house and hotel, I was told. The whole place has a lot of feeling. Supposedly the ghosts appear as orbs of light. Marta loves cats and there are also cat ghosts. I thought I saw one such orb of light but I also saw that the varnish used with the paint was getting cloudy in spots and the plaster was cracking, too. They've had all manner of " ghost hunters " there. I imagine quite entertaining for Marta. This summer, I heard, an old boyfriend from Russia is coming to visit her.

Reno, NV

Wow! What a faby place. I love the bird, even tho it's white it makes me think of a phoenix. Tho those juggelers would give me nightmares. Just think of wakeing up with that over your bed. Cringe.

The wild mustangs are pretty increadable. My stepmom had one trained for dressage. People were always supprised when she'd place. I kind of dig the brands too. On the ones that are housed to keep the population down they use a frost brand on the neck. When the hair grows back in it's pure white. Kind of a white barcode.

Santa Fe, NM

Isn't that interesting how they do that. There are some wild horses in New Mexico but they are periodically rounded up, too. Some go to wild horse adoptions.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Incredible pics roybird! I am in luv with the Jezebel room. What a perfect bed and the detail of the red shoes in the closet with the floozyish ensembles!

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

You could do your bedroom up that way dahlianut. I would go with purple instead of the red, but that is just me.

Santa Fe, NM

Ha! The purple passion room!

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