Thursday, February 10, 2011

New Mexico Gals Graze

Pictured, l-r, Marcia Smith, Rita Wagner, Renee Whipple (standing) and Deborah Harrington (seated)

Since some of my fan base (ha) live in New Mexico, I decided that while I was there on a faux furlough (working, but not as hard) I should have a Very Smart Gals luncheon. So, in advance I called my BFF in Silver (local dialect for Silver City) and said, “Can you convene a small group of gals for lunch?” I added that they should be interesting and smart. She didn’t let me down. We met at the lovely Tres Rosat Cafe at Cinega Spa. The setting and food were divine, as was the company! Deborah Harrington has been my best friend for nearly 30 years, but it seems we’ve known each other forever. I met her when I advertized for a roommate in Austin. We quickly figured out that we were raised about 100 miles from each other in west Texas and our bond was sealed. Deb retired several years ago from a high-level management position at Nokia, and moved to Silver where she now is an artist and a board member of the local Habitat for Humanity. She and I have traveled together a bunch, laughed till we pee’d ourselves (many times), and shared more than a few tequila shots and bottles of wine (not at the same time, tho)! She is incredibly bright, despicably tall and gorgeous, and she likes me back and thinks I’m funny. Renee Whipple (Whippledoodle to those who know and love her) is a musician and artist and works with the Mimbres Region Arts Council promoting local artists. Renee is originally from San Antonio, where she owned a music store for years. Then, following the music scene, she migrated to Los Angeles and Austin, and now Silver, where she says, “I can’t seem to leave!” Renee regaled us with stories about the music business, and impressed me with her cool head and positive attitude. Each April her family hosts a music festival somewhere around New Braunfels, so now I must go! Rita Wagner is the local vampire – technically, a Phlebotomist at the Gila Regional Medical Center, and as she says, “I’m good at it!” When I asked Rita to tell me about her life in 2-minutes, she looked seriously challenged. “I’ve just about done it all, she said.” Having been raised in the farming business, she spent a good bit of her life as a certified “Master Farmer” in the bread-belt. Umpteen lives later, she ended up in Silver. When I asked her about her “15 minutes of fame,” she said she hadn’t had it yet but it was close. She said that she’s selling her house and heading out to see the world. The next monumental natural (or man-made) disaster, she’s going to hop on a plane, show up with her syringe and tourniquets, and say, “put me to work.” I think we’ve all entertained the idea of showing up to help in a disaster, but Rita’s going to do it and I think that’s cool. Marcia Smith is another Midwest kid that went out into the world to make her mark. Gravitating back and forth between art and gourmet cooking, she’s traveled and worked all over the world, including Switzerland, Mexico where was in the cattle ranching business, the east coast where she worked for Paul Newman and Martha Stewart, and Arizona in 5-star resorts. Marcia and her husband are co-partners in the Seedboat Center for the Arts of the  Seedboat Gallery and Performance Space . Marcia is one wild and crazy gal! When I asked her about her 15-minutes, here's what she told me, which I thought was priceless. “In 1969, when I was 19-years old and working with famous artist Dennis Oppenheim on an 'earthworks' piece. We made this huge maze with 1,500 bales of hay, herded cattle thru it and they did aerial shots of it to see what the hell the cattle would do. That was what was going on in the art world at that time. Time magazine did the shots and there was an article about it in the magazine!” She added that she and Dennis “made some hay” themselves, if you know what I mean! She’s also got a story about Paul Newman showing her his “kernels” (for his popcorn), but I’m way over my 15-minutes, so I’ll just say that there are some very smart, interesting and fun gals in New Mexico!

1 comment:

  1. Well, what a cool bunch of gals and some wild stories too!! Sounds like a blast!