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eBook River of Traps: A New Mexico Mountain Life download

by William deBuys,Alex Harris

eBook River of Traps: A New Mexico Mountain Life download ISBN: 1595340351
Author: William deBuys,Alex Harris
Publisher: Trinity University Press (August 28, 2007)
Language: English
Pages: 240
ePub: 1827 kb
Fb2: 1754 kb
Rating: 4.7
Other formats: lrf rtf mbr doc
Category: History
Subcategory: Americas

River of Traps: A New Mexico Mountain Life.

River of Traps: A New Mexico Mountain Life. A remarkable look at modern life in the mountains, River of Traps also magically evokes the now-vanished world in which Romero tended flocks on frontier ranges and absorbed the values of a society untouched by cash or Anglo America. Read on the Scribd mobile app. Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere.

River of Traps: A New Me. .has been added to your Cart. But the above is only half the book. It is a tribute to their friendship that Harris was invited to give the eulogy - in English - for Jacobo Romero, who died at 87. A marvelous 6-star book. 2 people found this helpful.

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River of Traps book

New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo mountains are a place where two cultures - Hispanic and Anglo - meet. With New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo mountains are a place where two cultures - Hispanic and Anglo - meet.

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A moving photographic and written portrait.

River of Traps : A New Mexico Mountain Life. River of Traps" is a translation of the "Rio de las Trampas," a mountain stream which flows off Trampas Peak, north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and by the village of El Valle on its descent to the Rio Grande.

a New Mexico mountain life. Published 2007 by Trinity University Press in San Antonio.

River of Traps is unlike any other book I know.

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and winner of the Evans Biography Award in 1990, River of Traps is a portrait in words and photographs of three men and the mountain village in northern New Mexico that shaped their lives. River of Traps is unlike any other book I know. In its brilliant verbal and photographic portrait of a complicated 'simple' man and his place in the world, it achieves an astounding richness and depth

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Items related to River of Traps - A Village Life. River of Traps - A Village Life. Published by University Press of New Mexico, Albuquerque, 1990. Condition: Very Good. From Monroe Street Books (Middlebury, VT, . So if you're out our way, please stop i. When weather VERY bad, please call ahead. We do close during snow storms, et.

New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo mountains are a place where two cultures — Hispanic and Anglo — meet. They're also the place where three men meet: William deBuys, a young writer; Alex Harris, a young photographer; and Jacobo Romero, an old farmer. When Harris and deBuys move to New Mexico in the 1970s, Romero is the neighbor who befriends them and becomes their teacher. With the tools of simple labor — shovel and axe, irony and humor — he shows them how to survive, even flourish, in their isolated village. A remarkable look at modern life in the mountains, River of Traps also magically evokes the now-vanished world in which Romero tended flocks on frontier ranges and absorbed the values of a society untouched by cash or Anglo America. His memories and wisdom, shared without sentimentality, permeate this absorbing story of three men and the place that forever shaped their lives.
Comments: (7)
Alsantrius
Diamante, at 9,000 ft., a small collection of farm houses, some 30 miles from Taos, was once on the very edge of the northern most reach of the Spanish Empire along the "spine" of North America, the Rocky Mountains. It was the birthplace of Jacobo Romero. The author, William DeBuys, makes the point that in Romero's youth, the old people in the community had been born, not in the United States, nor even the Mexican Republic, but in the Spanish Empire. As the local quip has it: "we didn't cross the border, the border crossed us." And for the people who live in these remote New Mexican valleys, they have an entirely different orientation to American history from those who grew up being taught that it started at Plymouth Rock and Jamestown. As opposed to living in the "southwest," they are the Norteños, the northerners.

DeBuys attributed his own motivation for choosing to live in this remote valley, where English is not the first language, in a very shorthanded way: "Nixon and the Vietnam War." For those of us of a certain age, and inclination, his motivation was instantly recognizable. In DeBuys' own way, without leaving the geographical entity, he was moving to the very edge of the American Empire, arriving in the early `70's. The initial impetus was aided by his research work for Harvard professor, Robert Coles, most famous for his epic work Children of Crisis. But why he stayed on, with his girlfriend, and subsequent wife, Anne, as well as the photographer, Alex Harris, might best have been captured by a lyric from Leonard Cohen's "Famous Blue Raincoat": "I hear that you are building your little house deep in the desert; You're living for nothing at all now; I hope you are keeping some kind of record." DeBuys did, along with Alex Harris, and the result is this remarkable book.

Early on, DeBuys, when searching for a house to rent, relates the racist warning of a Taos real estate agent about the dangers of living in the area proposed. Warnings discarded, Jacobo Romero and his wife would become their spatial neighbors, but were separated by great distances in terms of heritage, outlook, education, and age. Water, and its ready supply is of paramount importance here in New Mexico, and so it is not surprising that their initial interactions involved irrigation. "The water will show" is the title to a chapter, and was Romero's rule, as he tried to teach the "gringo city slickers" the proper way to irrigate a field. And it is important to irrigate, even in the rain, as the reader will discover.

The author moves beyond his "greenhorn" days, and learns enough to be a respectable member of this Hispanic community. As he says at one point, villages are often assumed to be models of conformity; in this area however, everyone is eccentric, in one way or the other, and thus the author's status as a gringo is chalked up to just another eccentricity. His neighbor, in turns, becomes a fixture, and a friend in his life. DeBuys relates it all in chapters centered on a particular theme or a vignette. The theme of "intactness" of the land, as seen by Romero, particularly resonated. He could tell at a glance if a farm was well-cared for or not, and is one of the aspects of France that is appealing to me; much of the countryside looks well-cared for. I also liked the theme of "paseando," to wander without a plan, as the author did, sometimes to his peril.

The author weaves the history of the area and Romero's own story into a compelling story. Romero was often barefoot in his youth, and herded sheep for extended periods of time. He once rode a horse to Wyoming and back to do so. Diamante was abandoned, and all the residents moved to lower altitudes, somewhere between 7,000 and 8,000 ft. There is a chapter on "Gringos," and as the author says: "Gringo is a complicated word, especially in the mountains. Depending on inflection, it can be a term of endearment, a factual descriptor, or a gauntlet flung down." Romero did not care for gringos, and so the irony is that most of his daughters married them, and most of his grandchildren speak only English. There are a couple of chapters on the political life of the community; old fashioned "ward-heeling," where a vote earns a buck and a beer. There is a poignantly told chapter on the death of Red, the horse, and an impressively told one when the Rio Trampas was in the greatest flood in living memory. (The author explains that no one knows how the river, which means "traps" in English, acquired its name.)

But the above is only half the book. The other half are the excellent pictures of Alex Harris, who in a true-life manner, document Romero's last years, though he refused to take pictures toward the end, because he did not want ones "when the light was going out." DeBuys devotes another excellent chapter to the manner in which Harris took the pictures. It is a tribute to their friendship that Harris was invited to give the eulogy - in English - for Jacobo Romero, who died at 87. A marvelous 6-star book.
Andromajurus
If you are interested in the people and history of Northern New Mexico, this one belongs on your reading list. William deBuys spent years in a tiny village off of the High Road in the 1980s (he still lives near Taos.) The book chronicles a way of life that endured in the high country for some 400 years and has largely vanished. As both observer and participant, he manages to balance a palpable, genuine affection for his subjects without ever losing his own identity and perspective. This is the real deal.
Samulkis
I bought this mainly because it is non fiction about my beloved New Mexico. Instead I became wholly absorbed in the old man Jacobo and his life and outlook. This truly is a man anyone would feel their life was greatly enriched by having known him. He says little yet imparts so very much. It is a rare book where one feels they know a character and would dearly love to be his neighbor.

I somewhat hoped for that with Mayordomo but it fell short half way through. The repetition I guess. Perhaps I will give it another try one day.

For those who live elsewhere yet find their heart to be in New Mexico 24/7/365 this book is outstanding.
Cointrius
Wonderful tale that provides real insight into the ancient Hispano culture of northern New Mexico.
Sironynyr
My ancestry came to northern New Mexico either in 1598 or 1698 and it has been our native land for generations. Since living there for at least 300 years, we have no personal relationship with Spain or Mexico. Jacobo Romero lived in the mountains therefore his life was quite different from the Spanish people like my family who after the Civil War moved east to homestead. The New Mexico Spanish language and culture are presented so poetically in places and so starkly realistic in others, I was almost sad to finish "River of Traps" except that I have another deGuys book coming in a day or so. Traps is beautifully written and makes excellent reading whether your roots are from northern New Mexico or not.
Meztihn
Great
Mananara
I bought it for a couple from northern New Mexico. They were very pleased with the photos; I hope the text is interesting to them as well.
Wonderful little book. Well-paired with Robert Redford's movie, The Milagro Beanfield War.