Monday, July 31, 2017

With Unexpected Reverence

Tisha b'Av 2017: With deep humility, Abq Jew reminds himself and you, his loyal readers, that reverence may arise from many different quarters, and may often arise unexpectedly.

The secular (if there is such a thing) may resonate spiritually, and the simple facts of history may take on meanings far beyond mere personalities, deeds, and dates.

As we approach Tisha b'Av

Last year (see Happy Cats in Av) Abq Jew wrote:

What Happened on Tisha b'Av

The classic 5 calamities:
  1. The Twelve Spies sent by Moses to observe the land of Canaan returned from their mission. 
  2. The First Temple built by King Solomon  was destroyed by the Babylonians. 
  3. The Second Temple built by Ezra and Nehemiah was destroyed by the Romans.
  4. The Romans crushed Bar Kokhba's revolt, destroyed the city of Betar, and 
  5. plowed the site of the Temple in Jerusalem and the surrounding area.
And more calamities:
  1. The First Crusade officially commenced.
  2. The Jews were expelled from England.
  3. The Jews were expelled from France.
  4. The Jews were expelled from Spain.
  5. Germany entered World War I.
  6. The "Final Solution" was approved by the Nazi Party.
  7. The mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka began.
And even more calamities:
  1. The AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires was bombed.
  2. The Israeli disengagement from Gaza began.
We are Jews, and we continue to have hope. 
Even as we prepare for Shabbat Hazon, A Sabbath of Vision.

This year, as we approach Tisha b'Av, we are not supposed to be joyous or joyful, or even just happy. And we are not supposed to do anything that will make us happy.

For Abq Jew, and for many others, this means no listening to (especially, live) music. But sometimes music doesn't make us happy - it makes us think (see, for example, By the Rivers of Babylon 2015).

Therefore, Abq Jew offers - for your introspection - Western Wall, the title song of the 1999 duet album -

Western Wall: The Tuscon Sessions

Written by Rosanne Cash; performed by Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. The "spare arrangement and delicate harmonies" lend a "wonderful wistfulness" to the song, says Theresa E LaVec in her AllMusic Review.

Western Wall

I stand here by the Western Wall
Maybe a little of that wall stands inside of us all
I shove my prayers in the cracks
I've got nothing to lose no one to answer back

All these years I've brought up for review
Wasn't taught this but I learned something new
And to answer the distance call
At the Western Wall

I've got a heart full of fear
And I offer it on this alter of tears
Red dust settles deep in my skin
I don't know where it start and where I begin

It's a crumbling pile of broken stones
It ain't much but it might be home
If I ever loved a place at all
It's the Western Wall

I don't know if God was ever a man
But if she was I think I understand
Why he found a place to break his fall
Near the Western Wall

May we be comforted among the mourners
of Zion and Jerusalem

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Sad Days of Summer

X-Ray Menachem Av: Abq Jew has a very serious question to ask you, his loyal readers. But first, Abq Jew asks that you examine this photo very closely.

What is wrong with this photo?
Model A: Provocative and sensual

Abq Jew
has a pretty fair idea of what your first response is going to be -

So here is a second photo that illustrates the same flaw. And again Abq Jew asks -

What is wrong with this photo?
Model B: Evocative and thought-provoking

This time, Abq Jew kind of expects you to maybe figure out that -

Both models - A and B - are tilting.

And why, Abq Jew hears you ask, does Abq Jew bring this up? Well, it turns out that - just like the above models, although not nearly as beautifully or as gracefully -

Abq Jew also tilts. And has for weeks now.

Which is to say - he thinks, and his body claims, that he is standing straight up.

But, when Abq Jew looks in the mirror,
he clearly sees that he is not.

This condition - whatever it turns out to be - didn't hurt when it started. But it sure hurts now. So, Abq Jew hears you ask -

Muscle problem?                           
Bone problem?
                           Brain problem?

Thus, a visit to Ye Local X-Ray Machine. Whereupon two (that Abq Jew noticed) very strange happenings happened.

1. Once Abq Jew was laid out on the table, the X-Ray Technician slid the slide from its slot and shook it vigorously a few times. This was, she said, because the entirely digital apparatus likes it when she does that.

2. Having some difficulty focusing the camera on Abq Jew's skeleton, said X-Ray Technician called over the MRI Technician from the next room to help. Said MRI Technician - a he, don't you know - banged the camera a couple times, dropping it a couple inches. The X-Ray Technician, overjoyed, announced that the banging had fixed the focusing problem.

Both happenings were illegal crossings
of the analog-digital border.

Or, perhaps, not. Abq Jew 's current lifestyle choices appear to be -

a) Painful and awake; or b) Pain-free and loopy

Therefore, Abq Jew has resolved himself to taking delightfully large doses of good old Ibuprofen (pain killer), newly accompanied by sleepily slow, low-but-steady doses of Baclofen (muscle relaxant).

So Abq Jew is, generally speaking, loopy.

Nevertheless. We are now into the Nine Days (see Consoling The Father), the saddest week-and-two-sevenths of the Hebrew Calendar. We are not supposed to be joyous or joyful, or even just happy.

And we are not supposed to do anything that will make us happy. For Abq Jew, and for many others - this suggests (there being no hard-and-fast rules) - no listening to music. But sometimes music doesn't make us happy - it makes us think (see, for example, By the Rivers of Babylon 2015).

Therefore and thusly, Abq Jew offers - for your unorthodox introspection, as we progress through the Nine Days (and Tisha b'Av)  - Western Wall, the title song of the 1999 duet album -

Western Wall: The Tuscon Sessions

Written by Rosanne Cash; performed by Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. The "spare arrangement and delicate harmonies" lend a "wonderful wistfulness" to the song, says Theresa E LaVec in her AllMusic Review.

I stand here by the Western Wall
Maybe a little of that wall stands inside of us all

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Remembering Jim Croce, MOT

Jewish Time In a Bottle: Let's get the business part of this blog post over quickly. Then we're on to the really really interesting part.

Time in a Bottle: Remembering Jim Croce
OASIS Instructor: Jane Ellen
Thu 20 Jul 2017 @ 1:00 pm

Jim Croce (1943-73) began his career as an accordionist at the age of five, later claiming to be the "original underachiever." But with three albums released in less than three years and all achieving gold status (containing songs such as "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," "One Less Set of Footsteps," and "I Got a Name"), Croce was finally on the road to superstardom when a chartered plane crash took the singer-songwriter's life at the age of 30.

OK, here's the really really interesting part.

Jim Croce z"l was a Member Of the Tribe.

Ridiculous? Absurd? Impossible? No. Not one of these things. True.

Abq Jew is sure of this, for three (3) reasons.

1. First, Jane Ellen told him it was true, and Jane Ellen never lies. At least, not about anything having to do with music.

2. Second, Wikipedia confirms!
James Joseph "Jim" Croce (/ˈkroʊtʃi/; January 10, 1943 – September 20, 1973) was a folk and popular rock singer from USA of the late 1960s and early 1970s. 
Between 1966 and 1973, Croce released five studio albums and singles. His songs "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and "Time in a Bottle" reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. 
Croce was born in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to James Albert Croce and Flora Mary (Babucci) Croce, both Italian Americans. 
On November 29, 1963 Croce met his future wife Ingrid Jacobson at the Philadelphia Convention Hall during a hootenanny, where he was judging a contest. 
Croce married his wife Ingrid in 1966, and converted to Judaism, as his wife was Jewish. He and Ingrid were married in a traditional Jewish ceremony
He enlisted in the Army National Guard that same year to avoid being drafted and deployed to Vietnam, and served on active duty for four months, leaving for duty a week after his honeymoon.
Croce, who was not good with authority, had to go through basic training twice. He said he would be prepared if "there's ever a war where we have to defend ourselves with mops".
On Thursday, September 20, 1973, during Croce's Life and Times tour and the day before his ABC single "I Got a Name" was released, Croce and five others died when their chartered Beechcraft E18S crashed into a tree, while taking off from the Natchitoches Regional Airport in Natchitoches, Louisiana. 
Croce was buried at Haym Salomon Memorial Park in Frazer, Pennsylvania.

3. Rabbi Gary M Gans, recently-retired rabbi of Congregation Beth Tikvah in Marlton, New Jersey, confirms!

Lucy the Elephant lives in Margate, not Marlton
While performing yet another funeral, I spotted the rare breed of a flock of aging flower children wending their way among the graves. 
I was in the Haym Salomon Memorial Park in Frazer, PA outside of Philadelphia. 
The women in flowing dresses wearing granny glasses were not there to visit their dear old Granny! Neither were the guys in tie-died shirts, dying. 
In fact, they were making a pilgrimage to the grave of the rocker, Jim Croce. 
Still, Jim Croce the Italian Catholic, is buried in a Jewish cemetery? 
Well, it seems he converted to Judaism when he married his wife, Ingrid Jacobson, so he had the same right of every Jew, whether Jewish from birth or converted, to be buried in a Jewish cemetery.

Rabbi Gans claims to be a Charter Member of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits. (Abq Jew has not independently verified this.)

The Association of Graveyard Rabbits, in case you're wondering (Abq Jew certainly did), is
dedicated to the academic promotion of the historical importance of cemeteries, grave markers, and the family history to be learned from a study of burial customs, burying grounds, and tombstones; and the social promotion of the study of cemeteries, the preservation of cemeteries, and the transcription of genealogical/historical information written in cemeteries. 
The Association was named for Frank Lebby Stanton's poem, The Graveyard Rabbit. Although the poem is about superstitions associated with graveyard rabbits, Stanton also establishes that such rabbits have a charmingly intimate knowledge of graveyards and a loving association with the dead. These traits are the motivation of the human beings interested in this group.
The Graveyard Rabbit (1898)
by Frank Lebby Stanton

In the white moonlight, where the willow waves,
He halfway gallops among the graves—
A tiny ghost in the gloom and gleam,
Content to dwell where the dead men dream,

But wary still!
For they plot him ill;
For the graveyard rabbit hath a charm
(May God defend us!) to shield from harm.

Over the shimmering slabs he goes—
Every grave in the dark he knows;
But his nest is hidden from human eye
Where headstones broken on old graves lie.

Wary still!
For they plot him ill;
For the graveyard rabbit, though sceptics scoff,
Charmeth the witch and the wizard off!

The black man creeps, when the night is dim,
Fearful, still, on the track of him;
Or fleetly follows the way he runs,
For he heals the hurts of the conjured ones.

Wary still!
For they plot him ill;
The soul’s bewitched that would find release,—
To the graveyard rabbit go for peace!

He holds their secret—he brings a boon
Where winds moan wild in the dark o’ the moon;
And gold shall glitter and love smile sweet
To whoever shall sever his furry feet!

Wary still!
For they plot him ill;
For the graveyard rabbit hath a charm
(May God defend us!) to shield from harm. 

So, while we're not really but still sort of on the subject, let's briefly talk about conversion to Judaism.

Abq Jew's good friend Mary E Carter (see A Non-Swimmer Wins the Prize! and A Non-Swimmer Considers Her Mikvah) has approached the topic seriously, introspectively, and very, very personally.

Abq Jew, on the other hand, chooses to approach conversion to Judaism from a very different perspective. A humorous perspective.

Sort of like the current Israeli government.

For those of you, Abq Jew's loyal readers, who wonder

Where does Abq Jew find this stuff?

here is one invaluable source: Thomas Friedman, in his April 26 column On a Par 5 in Dubai, Good Humor and a Respite From All Things Trump.
This threesome is at a public course and the starter comes over and says, “Do you mind if this rabbi plays with you?” They say, “No problem.” The rabbi walks up on the tee with banged-up clubs, a tattered golf bag and a yarmulke instead of a golf hat — but then proceeds to shoot a 69. 
At the end of the round one of the other players asks, “Rabbi, how did you get so good?” 
“You have to convert to Judaism,” he answers. 
So, a year goes by and the same three guys arrange to play with the rabbi again. He shoots another 69, but they all still shoot in the 90s. 
At the end of the round, one says: “Rabbi, I don’t get it. We all converted like you said, but you still shot 69 and we all still shot in the 90s. What’s wrong?” 
“What synagogue did you get converted at?” the rabbi asks earnestly. 
“Temple Beth Shalom,” they answer in unison. 
“Oh no,” says the rabbi. 
“Temple Beth Shalom? That’s for tennis!”

Anyway ... here is Time In A Bottle.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Flower of Toloache

Blooms In New Mexico! Last week, Mr & Mrs Abq Jew were fortunate to be among the community members who attended the Mariachi Flor de Toloache concert at the VSA North Fourth Art Center in Albuquerque.

Those who know about the VSA North Fourth Art Center also know that it's a very special place, run by and for some very special people.

North Fourth Art Center is a contemporary art center with a social mission.  
Affiliated with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the Center is dedicated to full accessibility in the arts for people of all abilities, ages, cultures and income levels.  
Since 1981, VSA has focused on providing arts education and exhibition opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities. 
Over the years the VSA Day Arts Program has grown from serving three to five individuals each day to serving a total enrollment of nearly 200. 
Day Arts offers visual and performing arts classes in everything from Ceramics and Painting, to Sewing and Musical Theater.
North Fourth Art Center also provides outreach classes in the arts and offers evening and weekend programs on site, such as Arts Adventures, a program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.   
Programming for N4th Theater & Gallery includes contemporary, socially relevant, performing and visual arts, featuring artists and targeting audiences not traditionally represented by mainstream arts organizations. 
N4th strives to present arts and education opportunities that challenge people to think, acknowledge responsibility and be encouraged to make a difference in the world. 

And then there's Neal Copperman, Executive Director and Founder of AMP Concerts, the organization that brought Mariach Flor de Toloache to the Land of Enchantment.
Neal launched the AMP House Concert series with then roommate Jeff Hanson soon after moving to Albuquerque [around 2000]. 
He has steered AMP from house concerts and a hobby to a sole proprietorship and eventually a non-profit organization. 
Neal's goal has always been to see the world, folk, acoustic, and Americana music he loved in other parts of the country be available in Albuquerque [and now, throughout New Mexico]. 

So here's how this all fits together.

Every now and then, Neal brings one of his AMP Concerts performers to the VSA North Fourth Art Center for a free concert.

The majority of seats go, of course, to the N4thers. But a handful of seats are also set aside for members of the community at large.

That's how Mr & Mrs Abq Jew got to see and hear Mariachi Flor de Toloache.

About a year-and-a-half ago, Abq Jew attended another of Neal's concerts at the VSA North Fourth Art Center - featuring The Rebbe's Orkestra (see The Story is Enough) - and was very moved by the interactions between the Orkestra and the N4thers.

And Abq Jew was thrilled to see the same thing happen last week.

The N4thers - many in self-propelled wheelchairs, all with special needs - got up and joined Flor de Toloache on stage - to sway, shake, dance, glide - and sing! - with the performers.

We of the community at large, of course, did not.
We remained seated and still, just as we were taught.

It takes a special kind of person - and a special kind of performer - to encourage, support, and uplift the N4thers on the stage.

The Rebbe's Orkestra did it - and so did the four gracious and talented ladies of Mariachi Flor de Toloache (Eunice Aparicio, Guitarron; Shae Fiol, Vihuela; Julie Acosta, Trumpet; Mireya Ramos, Violin).

Now, Abq Jew knew that Neal was recording parts of the concert (he was standing right next to Abq Jew, holding up his iPhone).

So - when Neal posted the video on the AMP Concerts Facebook page, Abq Jew grabbed it (yes, there are ways of doing this) - so he could post this very blog.

Neal's video (slightly edited by Abq Jew) captures all the enthusiasm and love at the Flor de Toloache concert. In particular - around 19:20 of the video, when a young lady requests a song, and then proceeds to sing along.

Everyone in the audience loved it!
Almost as important - the four ladies
of Flor de Toloache loved it, too.

Mariachi Flor de Toloache at the VSA North Fourth Art Center in Albuquerque. July 3, 2017.
Recorded by Neal Copperman, AMP Concerts. Edited by Abq Jew.

Want to learn more about Mariachi Flor de Toloache? Caitlin Donohue wrote a fine article for Remezcla a couple of weeks ago. And KUNM's Cristina Baccin interviewed them before their New Mexico appearances.

And if you like music from The Old Country ... AMP Concerts will present Brooklyn's Los Hacheros, modern-day torchbearers of the Golden Age of Latin music, at the NHCC on Sunday July 23. Right before the Nine Days! Last chance to dance!

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Brutal Reality of Online Hate

CNET Launches iHate Series: First, a refresher. It was just about six months ago that Abq Jew earned his echoes - by being the recipient of two odious online hate messages* directed at him, his family, and the Albuquerque Jewish community.

Shortly after that, Abq Jew was "featured" (can we really call it that?) in Anna North's Hateful Threats Against a Jewish Blogger, an early part of The New York Times' This Week in Hate series.

If you missed them the first time, you can catch up with Abq Jew's blog posts You've Got Hate Mail! and Documenting Hate. And Love Trumps Hate: 24 Hours and We're OK, Ken O'Hara. And, most recently, The Tragedy in Portland.

Everyone hoped (everyone always hopes)
that that would be the end of it.

Vandals targeted the mailbox of Shoshana and Ari Simones' home while the couple, who are Jewish, were on vacation. (Photo: Sean Logan/The Republic)

But of course it was not. It never is.

When CBS Interactive / CNET's Terry Collins contacted Abq Jew back in February, they spoke for more than an hour about Abq Jew's experience of online hate - and its effects.

And (of course) Abq Jew talked about Mikey Weinstein - the founder and leader of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) - who responded quickly and forcefully when Abq Jew was attacked.

Abq Jew told Terry Collins -

For Abq Jew, online hate was a one-time thing
(although Abq Jew did not know that at the time).
For Mikey Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), it's all day every day.

Terry Collins has just published Here's the brutal reality of online hate - the first article in CNET's new iHate series.

Terry "features" Mikey, and tells Mikey's story with blazing clarity.

Here's the brutal reality of online hate 
WARNING: The themes of the following story are disturbing. The language includes racial and religious slurs. CNET has edited some of the wording because of its ugly nature but preserved the intent to present a clear picture of attacks on real people. 
Mikey Weinstein knows about online harassment. He also knows what it's like when digital threats cross into real life. 
About 10 years ago, someone shattered the windows of his suburban home in New Mexico. Twice. He's found a swastika and a cross painted near the front door. 
But Weinstein says the decapitated rabbits are the worst. On one occasion, somebody dropped a severed rabbit's head in his driveway. Last year, a gutted bunny appeared by his front door. 
Police say they've been called to the Weinstein residence many times over the years. 
Weinstein doesn't scare easily. Yet the Air Force vet and former Reagan administration attorney has hired armed bodyguards after enduring years of vicious emails, hateful social media posts and hostile phone calls related to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the nonprofit he founded in 2005 to protect military members regardless of their faith.

You can read Terry's full article here,
and more iHate articles here.

And if you would like to see what Abq Jew's two hate messages said, go ahead and click the asterisk.
CAUTION! Extremely offensive language!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Road From Kayenta

Window Rock and Gallup: As you must now even more surely recall (seeThe Road To Kayenta and In Kayenta and Monument Valley), Mr & Mrs Abq Jew & Alex just went on a magnificent Road Trip to Monument Valley.

When last heard from, they were just about to leave the Hampton Inn Kayenta. 

But first, a fascinating breakfast shared with about a thousand cordial folks who were travelling America By Rail. And who had invited the youngest surviving Navajo Code Talker (who volunteered right after Pearl Harbor at the age of 15) to speak to them.

If you've never heard of the Navajo Code Talkers (and even if you have) - it's one of the great stories of World War II in the Pacific.

Philip Johnston, a civil engineer for the city of Los Angeles, proposed the use of Navajo to the United States Marine Corps at the beginning of World War II. Johnston, a World War I veteran, was raised on the Navajo reservation as the son of a missionary to the Navajo. He was one of the few non-Navajo who spoke the language fluently.  
Because Navajo has a complex grammar, it is not nearly mutually intelligible enough with even its closest relatives within the Na-Dene family to provide meaningful information. It was still an unwritten language, and Johnston thought Navajo could satisfy the military requirement for an undecipherable code.  
Navajo was spoken only on the Navajo lands of the American Southwest. Its syntax and tonal qualities, not to mention dialects, made it unintelligible to anyone without extensive exposure and training. One estimate indicates that at the outbreak of World War II, fewer than 30 non-Navajo could understand the language.
Once the idea was approved -
A codebook was developed to teach the many relevant words and concepts to new initiates. The text was for classroom purposes only, and was never to be taken into the field.  
The code talkers memorized all these variations and practiced their rapid use under stressful conditions during training. Uninitiated Navajo speakers would have no idea what the code talkers' messages meant; they would hear only truncated and disjointed strings of individual, unrelated nouns and verbs.  
The Navajo code talkers were commended for their skill, speed, and accuracy demonstrated throughout the war. At the Battle of Iwo Jima, Major Howard Connor, 5th Marine Division signal officer, had six Navajo code talkers working around the clock during the first two days of the battle.  
These six sent and received over 800 messages, all without error. Connor later stated, "Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima."


Our first goal was to visit the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site and see what was available for purchase. (This was an All-American vacation.)

Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site is a historic site on Highway 191, north of Chambers, with an exhibit center in Ganado, Arizona. It is considered a meeting ground of two cultures between the Navajo and the settlers who came to the area to trade.

The best part about driving to Hubbell's was that we didn't have to keep driving and driving and driving east on US Highway 160.

Instead, we turned off Highway 160 after a few miles and headed south on US Highway 191. Which opened up whole new vistas, miles and miles of gorgeous countryside. We passed through Rough Rock (population 414)

and Chinle (population 4,518), and kept going until we reached

Canyon de Chelly National Monument, one of the most beautiful and historically important places along our route.
Canyon de Chelly National Monument (/dəˈʃeɪ/ də-SHAY) was established on April 1, 1931 as a unit of the National Park Service.  
It is located in northeastern Arizona within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation. Reflecting one of the longest continuously inhabited landscapes of North America, it preserves ruins of the early indigenous tribes that lived in the area, including the Ancient Pueblo Peoples (also called Anasazi) and Navajo.  
The monument covers 83,840 acres (131.0 sq mi; 339.3 km2) and encompasses the floors and rims of the three major canyons: de Chelly, del Muerto, and Monument. These canyons were cut by streams with headwaters in the Chuska mountains just to the east of the monument. None of the land is federally owned.  
In 2009 Canyon de Chelly National Monument was recognized as one of the most-visited national monuments in the United States.

But Mr & Mrs Abq Jew & Alex kept driving.
While mumbling something about promises to keep and miles to go ....
הדרן עלך קניון דעישׁעי

All the way to Ganado (population 1,210), the turnoff for Arizona State Route 264, and, after a bit of searching, researching, guessing, and backtracking (Route 264 is under construction), the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site.
Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site is a historic site on Highway 191, north of Chambers, with an exhibit center in Ganado, Arizona. It is considered a meeting ground of two cultures between the Navajo and the settlers who came to the area to trade. 
In 1878, John Lorenzo Hubbell purchased this trading post, ten years after Navajos were allowed to return to the Ganado region from their U.S.-imposed exile in Bosque Redondo, Fort Sumner, New Mexico. 
This ended what is known in Navajo history as the "Long Walk of the Navajo." It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960.

A small bit of shopping, and then on to Window Rock!
Window Rock (Navajo: Tségháhoodzání) is a small city that serves as the seat of government and capital of the Navajo Nation, the largest territory of a sovereign Native American nation in North America. 
Window Rock's population was 2,712 at the 2010 census, but is estimated to reach around 20,000 during weekdays when tribal offices are open. Window Rock's main attraction is the window formation of sandstone the community is named after. 
The Navajo Nation Museum, the Navajo Nation Zoological and Botanical Park, and the Navajo Nation Code Talkers World War II memorial are located in Window Rock.

But Mr & Mrs Abq Jew & Alex didn't actually see the Window Rock formation until later. First, Mr & Mrs Abq Jew visited the Navajo Nation Museum.
The Navajo Nation Museum has extensive holdings of art, ethnographic, archaeological, and archival materials. [The Museum's] archives collection includes over 40,000 photographs as well as a wide variety of documents, recordings, motion picture film, and videos. The archives are heavily used by authors, researchers, and publishers as a source for historical photographs. 
Current exhibits include an interpretive video and photographs, artwork, jewelry, and textiles relating to the history and culture of the Navajo people. One describes the arduous 1864 ordeal known as the Long Walk of the Navajo, in which the Navajo were removed from tribal lands and marched some 300 miles to a prison camp in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. 
Which is not to mention -
The museum and its director Manuelito Wheeler (Navajo) have a great interest in reviving and preserving the Navajo language, and in making it accessible to a greater number of Navajos. They worked with LucasFilm to create a Navajo-dubbed version of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope; the project was completed in 2013. 
In 2015 they spent a full year collaborating with Pixar on a Navajo-language version of Finding Nemo. Great care was taken in selecting Navajo voice actors and in producing linguistically accurate dubbing. The film, Nemo Hádéést'íí, premiered in Albuquerque in 2016 and played in select cities throughout the southwest. It was very well received by Navajo audiences.

But Alex decided she'd rather take a solo hike than visit a museum with Mr & Mrs Abq Jew. Thus initiating a new chapter in what the two of us like to call

"Adventures with Alex"

Alex saw a lot of beautiful sights along her "half-mile hike" on the fitness trail.

As Mr & Mrs Abq Jew were about to say goodbye to the
Navajo Nation Museum, we got a call from Alex

She wasn't sure where she had ended up - she had hiked way more than half a mile - but could Mr & Mrs Abq Jew drive over and pick her up?

She had just climbed over a fence (with help from Security) and was in a parking lot. Somewhere.

Whereupon ensued a series of phone conversations and text messages among the three of us AND three of the very nice and helpful folks behind the Museum's Information Desk, attempting to determine the precise whereabouts of said Alex.

Mr & Mrs Abq Jew hadn't had so much "fun" since
Alex disappeared at The Mall in Short Hills
Yes, Security quickly found her. That was more than fifteen years ago!

A quick drive-by of the Window Rock formation; a few more miles down Arizona, then New Mexico State Road 264; a right turn onto US Route 491; and on to the Hilton Garden Inn Gallup for an overnight stay.

And the next morning, we did Downtown Gallup, on US Route 66, next to the railroad tracks where zillion-car freight trains mosey on by all day.
Gallup (Navajo: Naʼnízhoozhí) is a city in McKinley County, New Mexico, United States, with a population of 21,678 as of the 2010 census. A substantial percentage of its population is Native American, with residents from the Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni tribes. 
Gallup is the county seat of McKinley County and the most populous city between Flagstaff and Albuquerque, along the historic U.S. Route 66. 
The city was founded in 1881 as a railhead for the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, and named after David Gallup, a paymaster for the railroad. It is on the Trails of the Ancients Byway, one of the designated New Mexico Scenic Byways
Because of the nearby rugged terrain, it was a popular location in the 1940s and 1950s for Hollywood Westerns.

Mr & Mrs Abq Jew & Alex (all three, together) really enjoyed walking around Downtown Gallup. We met Amy, who owns Jewels & Java, right by the railroad tracks.

And we stopped by Native American Traders, which features work by the world-renowned Calvin Begay - and actually got to meet the artist himself!
Calvin Begay is an award winning artist, jeweler, designer and master craftsman. He was born in Gallup, New Mexico in 1965 and raised in Tohatchi, northwestern New Mexico. 
Calvin designed his first piece of jewelry at age 10, learning from his mother and uncle. In more than 20 years as a jewelry designer and craftsman, he has become a master in every aspect of the design and manufacturing process. 
He has won numerous awards at the Gallup Inter Tribal Ceremonial, including Best of Show in 1989. His jewelry has been featured in Arizona Highways and Southwest Art Magazines. 
Calvin has a unique ability to translate traditional Navajo inlay techniques into jewelry that reflects his Native American heritage, yet have elegant and contemporary flair. Calvin's work is prized by clients and collectors, not only in the Southwest, but throughout the United States and the world. 
In the artistry of Calvin Begay, the stunning beauty of the untamed West is reflected in the combination of color and design that create unforgettable pieces of wearable art.

Yes, Abq Jew really liked that bolo .... and Mr & Mrs Abq Jew & Alex really liked Gallup. But after lunch at the Silver Stallion, we headed east on Interstate 40

past El Malpais National Monument

and Acoma Pueblo, and then


More Road Trip blog posts! Click

Which brings us to Four Strong Winds. None of which were fiercely blowing during the last two days of our Road Trip.
"Four Strong Winds" is a song written by Ian Tyson in the early 1960s and recorded by Canadian folk duo Ian and Sylvia. A significant part of the early 1960s folk revival, the song is a melancholy reflection on a failing romantic relationship. 
The song has a clear Canadian context and subtext, including an explicit mention of the province Alberta as well as references to long, cold winters. In 2005, CBC Radio One listeners chose this song as the greatest Canadian song of all time on the series 50 Tracks: The Canadian Version.
As Abq Jew has noted (see The Road To Kayenta), Jane Ellen (see Arlo and Alice Meet Jane, et al) recently presented a class for OASIS Albuquerque on The Chad Mitchell Trio (see A Song for the Right).

Wherein Abq Jew learned that Johnny Cash (who himself covered Four Strong Winds) always said that the Chad Mitchell Trio's version was the best. So here it is!