Under Santa Fe Skies

by Susan Tungate

Singing, Dancing and Sisters on the Fly

On Saturday morning I woke up fogged in with  sad stories. This week three  long time Santa Fe merchants told me July was their worst month ever in twenty or thirty years. For those of you of a certain age, you’ll understand when I say I heard the refrain of Peggy Lee’s “Is That All There Is” playing in my ear.

So what to do on a beautiful blue sky Santa Fe Saturday morning to turn the mood around? The answer is always to head to the Farmers’ Market, only a few blocks from me in the Railyard area. On the way there I spotted one of my favorite things on the planet: small vintage trailers from the 1950′s and 1960′s. And there were three of them.

I met Susan from Colorado who recently retired from her practice as a pediatrician, bought a 1957 Airstream Bubble, refurbished and decorated it, and joined Sisters on the Fly, a group of women of all ages who on occasion leave their families behind to caravan around the country in their restored trailers for adventures in fishing, cooking, shopping, imbibing a bit and laughing a lot. Sign me up.

My brothers had matching bedspreads by the same manufacturer in 1957.

Of all people, Forrest Fenn, the man who allegedly buried the treasure box in the mountains of Northern New Mexico ,was sitting outside this cute trailer. And, no, I didn’t ask.

Then I moved along to the Farmers’ Market.

Amongst the vegetables and flowers and soaps and candles, the woman in pink was singing gypsy-ish songs, which was appropriate since she looked gypsy-ish.

This man was playing  classical music

as this man fashioned balloon animals.

Further down the aisle a farmer who grows flowers and makes corn dolls yelled out to me in a thick Spanish accent, “Come here! For you who are a sweetie I have these flowers as a thanks you for listening to me last week.” I know money is tight for her and she sells these flowers for $15, but as I start to say “oh, no, I couldn’t” I hear my niece’s voice in my ear saying, “Aunt Susie, just say thank you,” and I did.

At the end of the aisle these guys were playing music heavy on percussion and sax.

I stood listening for a bit. Then my friend John, who I have not seen for a year, came up to me with a big smile, placed my flowers on the ground,  and we danced in the middle of it all.


  1. Pauline says:

    We were delighted to meet Sophie and know that some tough lives end beautifully. We look forward to visiting with Sophie in her neighborhood meanderings. Hopefully, in the near future we will find one of those destined intersections where we can introduce you, Georgia and Sophie to a new member of our family.

    • Susan Tungate says:

      Hi. Looking forward to that day! Be sure to read Ga’s column on her new sibling. We will see you soon. Susan

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