Second Covid Summer 2021


At Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM

In the second year of the Covid pandemic, Americans started to get restless to resume a “normal” life, one similar to that from pre- Covid times. People were tired of staring at their own four walls, of wearing medical face masks, feeling isolated from family and friends, from nature. As summer started, vaccination rates were not at the percentages the CDC recommended for a complete opening of the economy, but appeared to be on the upswing. Americans headed out of quarantine in droves. International travel was rumored to be a confusing maze of requirements and paperwork, and the air travel industry had not resumed pre Covid levels (not enough planes, pilots, routes = overpacked planes), so most US vacationers chose to stay in-country. 

Santa Fe Opera in 2021……Everyone was required to wear a mask, seats were every other

                                                            “Le Nozzi de Figaro” at SFO

I chose to visit New Mexico and Colorado, the “Four Corners” region I have loved since childhood. (My adult son had done a cross country tour of all the National Parks the previous summer…..remains a bucket list goal for me. His stories of crowds and waiting lines just to spend time “alone” in nature - packed with loud rude dirty tourists, did not entice.) A return to the Santa Fe Opera Fest for the first time in 3 years, provided a needed dose of culture. Unfortunately, most museums in Santa Fe were closed or had mysterious waitlists for entrance tickets which my own OCD daily checking 6 months prior failed to discover. 

                                              Santa Fe School of Cooking class “Chile Amore”

We did manage to sign up for a “Santa Fe School of Cooking” class - three different ways to prepare red and green chile sauce. Our timing was perfect to catch Hatch Chile season and restaurants were full of “hatch chile fest” recipes. 

A road trip to Abiquiu and Georgia O’Keefe’s beloved Ghost Ranch gave us the uncrowded quality time in nature that we sought. Breath-taking scenery and mild slightly cooler weather at elevation gave us the respite we craved. There was, thankfully, no one else there.

                                                Purple Adobe Lavender Farm in Abiquiu, NM 

Along the way, we visited Purple Adobe Lavender Farm, the Abiquiu Inn, for lunch, visited assorted art gelleries…..

…..and various antique stores full of “southwestern style” (a heady mix of traditional Mexican kitsch, tribal primitive art from around the world, middle eastern and North African rugs, as well as Native American decor) over-priced junktiques. Some old white man sales clerk kept following me around telling me that this or that was really old, till I asked him for its provenance, then he shut up. 

We had some fabulous meals, high brow and low, consuming vast quantities of NM “hatch” chile, assorted other peppers and spices, on pretty much every sort of dish you can imagine. 

                                                                 Green chile omelette

                                       Blue corn tortillas, chicken, and green chile enchiladas

                                                           Tesuque Market Restaurant 

                                                  Hubs ate so much red chile he stained his lips

A New Mexico fave, Blakes Lottaburger…..Here, we had cheeseburgers w bacon and hatch green chiles

                                                         Pizza at El Nido, in Tesuque

                                                            Green chile breakfast burrito

                                                               Red chile beef enchiladas

                                                                Margs, aka margaritas

                                           Southwestern fried potatoes with red and green chile

                                           More blue corn chicken hatch enchiladas ( my fave)

                                                                          Tortilla soup

Omelette with hatch sauce 

The first half of our trip was marvelous…..till the smoke showed up. Hubs decided he wanted to swing through Four Corners, en route to Durango, Colo……and as we drove along, the sky got more and more filled with haze from California wildfires, 1000s of miles away. The smoke blocked our view, made us cough, and ended any thoughts about extending the trip…….

Hubs at Four Corners Monument, “standing” in 4 different states

Shiprock, NM

Camel Rock, NM

The Bisti Badlands, NM

Durango, Co

Which normally looks like this : 

Map of wildfires across USA first week of August, 2021

We relaxed, shopped, drank in brewpubs, and headed home. All in all, it was a lovely respite from the real world. 


Where I Went, What I Did, and What I Wore Part Two Late 1970s to early 1980’s


My senior year of high school. Rust colored w tan polka dots silk shirt; I chose this shirt bc it was the only clean one I had that day. August, 100F, the fabric stuck to my skin like wet saran wrap. This hairstyle was known as “The Farrah”, after this pop culture phenomenon: tv series “Charlie’s Angels” 

Every young girl in America had this hairstyle…..and every young man in America had this poster :

My students used to ask me, “Were you at Woodstock? Were you a hippy?” To which I answered, “I was only 9 years old during Woodstock.” My generation is not full on original Baby Boomer, but “Generation Jones”, and we are more like “Gen X”ers than Baby Boomers. The late 1970’s for me and my friends were influenced by trailing / fading hippie looks (long straight hair, more groomed beards, bell bottom pants) as well as the new disco trend, “Charlie’s Angels”, Cosmopolitan magazine, “Annie Hall”, Studio 54, Madonna, “Staying Alive”, then later “Urban Cowboy” (everyone I knew bought boots and learned how to two-step, which lasted about 15 minutes), then New Wave and Punk. We were still very conservative in Dallas, and that means preppy; The Official Preppy Handbook was our Bible. But that look was mostly for day time…..at night, heading out to the disco ruled our lives. The drinking age was 18 and there was no disease you could get that couldn’t be cured by antibiotics. You can see all of these elements mingling together in actual clothing my friends and I wore to actual school events. Dresses still ruled the day. Tight “Disco Jeans” on weekends.




                                                      High school styles Dallas Tx 1976-1979 

Pink satin palazzo pants

                                     “Bell bottoms”, so called because they flared out below the knee


       Offset bc an anomaly : This was one of those Old Timey photography studios, which were popular during the era. You dressed up in costumes and posed……here, my girlfriends and I, as Old West “madams”. Other popular choices were cowboys, steampunk, pirates, Victorians, 1920’s gangsters, etc.

                                                                   More bell bottom jeans 

           The short haircut my girlfriend is wearing in this photo was called “The Dorothy Hamill”


                                  One of my friends in a better, more typical, swimsuit of the era 

                                                                     Cashmere sweaters

Real people, real fashion. /\ Preppyish clothes with 1970’s hippie facial hair

Assorted high school proms and formal dances, \/ with assorted boyfriends: 

This blue dress is the last dress my mother ever made for me, and yes we fought about it. You can see it looks like something from the 1940’s, with that sweetheart neckline. Blue shantung silk. Mom was clearly reliving her youth here….

1940’s dresses with sweetheart necklines……

But wait - this is the late 1970’s! 

……And here’s what everyone else was wearing in the era! Once I turned 16 and could get a job, earn my own money, save up, and buy my own clothes, I did. Freedom! 

Below, I was chosen, as part of a “Mr and Miss Most Handsome” whatever, to model prom wear for a local newspaper : 

And me in a real, actual 1979 “disco style” prom dress: 
Quiana, the miracle fabric! Never showed wrinkles no matter how you messed it up! 😏 This was called a “disco dress”, 100% polyester hot as hell, could be worn fitted or loose, with the neck halter changeable into various configurations. I had one in red and one in black. 

Senior prom May 1979 - notable for the vintage thrift store dresses my girlfriend and I decided to wear (in contrast to everyone else going sexy at the event). We were rather modest…..but only bc I was sporting some rather disgusting and prominent vaccination buboes on my arm, for a “Grande Tour” trip I was about to undertake. The dresses give this photo a rather dreamy, timeless look. 

Plus ca change……At a discotheque in Athens, Greece July 1979 . I am wearing an elasticized “tube shirt” as a mini skirt, holding my date on a leash…..a punk look

Transition to college years 1979-1983

People I knew, places I went, things I did

“Great Gatsby” 1920’s themed ball. I made my dress by hand out of gold shot purple silk and hand beaded the neckline, hair fillet, and the shoes. Who says I can’t sew? 

The “Annie Hall “ look 

Believe it or not, an “every day” campus look 

One of my many Laura Ashley dresses…..wore them whenever I got hot

Proof: No acid washed pleated “mom jeans”…..just Calvin Kleins. Popular because of this ad, the caption of which was, “Nothing comes between me and my Calvin Kleins.” Brooke Shields, from the movies, was the “It Girl” of the moment.

Lots of preppy 

And some punk too 

Hippie look still going strong…..Gunne Sax peasant dress on my roommate 

More “Dorothy Hamill”  haircuts

No acid washed pleated “mom jeans” here, either

College days meant less time to do one’s hair (because more partying - er I mean studying) so spending hours every day to blow it out, roll it, curl it, spray it, control it went right out the window. Natural hair (which in my case is curly), bed hair, frizzy hair, ponytails and buns were common. 

My best swimsuit, ever…..purchased on the French Riviera 

This is how real people really looked in the late 1970’s early 1980’s at Rice University in Houston, Tx. It was hot and humid year round, and mold grew on your leather shoes on rainy days that turned into weeks. First thing we were told as freshmen was to buy an umbrella and rain boots. My friends were nerdy smart left leaning hippie types; Rice was a geeky nerd school like MIT or Cal Tech…..Think “Big Bang Theory”…..other campuses in the former Southwest Conference each had their own styles: 

UT Austin - still had the last true remaining hippies on the planet but inventor of “preppy cowboy” look
SMU was wealthy and preppy
TEXAS A&M was “country” aka cowboy

Classic UT Austen preppy cowgirl/ boy looks

But back at Rice……People weren’t as cute. 

More photos \/ of proms, dinner dances, cocktail parties and balls, with assorted boyfriends of the era: 

This red dress is the twin of the black one, further up /\ Made of “quiana” the magic fabric……sort of a loose flowing spandex, never wrinkled, always fell back into place……don’t get me wrong, it was 100% polyester and sweaty as hell, but it looked good. Silk padded kimono thrown over it. 

               Another vintage thrifted ball gown, this one pale pink organza silk, with a silk taffeta lining. 

                                                          Hot pink or fushia shantung silk 

                                                                              Black velvet 

We didn’t know it at the time, but fashion was morphing in the early 1980’s. It was the era of Ronald Reagan, “Dress for Success”, Laura Ashley, Ralph Lauren. Wealthy, expensive, fantasy looks. As I approached adulthood, punk faded into preppy professional styles. People started getting married; weddings became a key recurring social event. 

                      Dickens on the Strand, a December outdoor Christmas Festival in Galveston, Tx

                                           Silk dresses and pearls galore at a girlfriend’s wedding 

By eschewing the fashion extremes of the time (big hair, prairie dresses) we managed a more timeless look

I did have a version of Iman’s 1982 dress, but unfortunately no photos of it exist

I did own several Swatch watches, wear RayBans, and style myself like Madonna for clubbing

Aerobics was a craze, and I did them, snazzy outfit and all. No big shoulders, acid washed high rise pleated jeans though. 

……and, more Easter Dresses! Still a thing in the late 1980’s !