Tuesday, 17 September 2013 19:08

New Mexico in My Rearview Mirror

Contributed by
Rate this item
(3 votes)


Santa Fe and New Mexico in My Rear-view Mirror


Arthur Scott



   This poster is my reminder when I left Santa Fe, the city of my children’s birth as well as mine, my father’s and grandfather’s; permanently in 1976.  I always liked Georgia O’Keefe’s work.  I was told she would never allow the New Mexico art museum to exhibit her work. Years ago one of the Directors had refused to do so. In return she would not allow the exhibit of her work by the state.  When the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival was started in 1971, she did allow them to use one of her paintings as an annual poster and fund-raiser. My physician at the time, Dr. Bergere Kenny, was a significant supporter and every year he gave me a copy of the poster.

    Nineteen seventy six was a necessary time for me to leave New Mexico. I had spent several months working for US AID in Brazil, gone through a bad divorce ending a bad marriage, and was offered a good promotion to enter the fast life in Washington DC in the U. S. Geological Survey headquarters in Reston, VA. This was probably one of my better decisions. The two-year detail turned in to an eighteen-year stint in headquarters and extensive travel. My journey resulted in my working for generally short periods in every US state except Rhode Island and Wyoming, and all US territories except American Samoa.

   Along the way, my daughters graduated from high school in VA, I remarried (33 years now), learned to sail, charted sailboats in Greece, British Virgins, sailed from Key Largo to Key West and back, spent most of the summers on our boat on Chesapeake Bay, we sailed the Galapagos Islands on a crewed catamaran, and most of the Caribbean Islands on a Windjammer. We also managed to independently travel to Ecuador, Costa Rica, Kenya, Morocco, Great Britain, Spain, Southeast Asia, Canada, Mexico and Taiwan.

   As I look back over almost 76 years, it has been a good life and nothing I expected as a kid growing up in Santa Fe and whose longest trip had been by train to Cleveland, where we were to spend a few months.. A country kid that had to ride a streetcar to school and one who tearfully lamented a “dirty” city almost daily. I did find life after Sana Fe and as I look back; I would make few changes. But at times I still miss the mountains, the Santa Fe that was, but NOT the Santa Fe that is, and I am ever grateful for the memories of best of times-- being alone measuring the flow in some very isolated mountain stream for the USGS in north, south, east, or west New Mexico; from Antelope Wells to Shiprock and Carlsbad to Tucumcari.


Read 2345 times Last modified on Sunday, 16 November 2014 15:25


  • Comment Link Alan McVay Wednesday, 14 May 2014 11:58 posted by Alan McVay

    I worked for the Music Festival in the 70s. Dr. Kenny was Board president and always a supporter. I,would go by the office in Sena Plaza to get things signed. His whole family was involved. Thank you formate memory.

    Miss O'Keeffe generously let SFCMF use images for the posters. That income helped subsidize programs and allow purchase of a grand piano. My house is filled with the images now,

    I met her now and then, at an after concert supper in Ghost Ranch, at Rancho Golondrinas, and when we took Aaron Copland up to visit.

  • Comment Link George Pomonis Thursday, 19 September 2013 16:15 posted by George Pomonis

    A great story Pete and it parallels mine too. Thanks for the journey.

  • Comment Link Jim Baca Tuesday, 17 September 2013 22:50 posted by Jim Baca

    Thanks, Pete for this incredible narrative!

Login to post comments

Additional information