Tied to the Post

Pearl and Opal are just two of those that are free to enter and exit the trading post.
It was a Sunday afternoon, and the summer heat had already arrived. Outside on the porch, Pearl and Opal, aka the Gems, panted as they worked at perfecting their greeting skills. I am a fan of keeping the Kokopelli doors open, so on this particular day I delayed turning on the cooler. I like...
An eight-legged master weaver survives the summer heat in San Juan County. Staff photo
The other day I was cleaning the glass showcases in the trading post when I noticed a spider creeping behind one of the folk-art carvings. Polishing the glass is a part of my regular routine, and at times I find it therapeutic. Some people drink coffee to start their day; I clean the glass. I have...
These children become part of the scenery entering Bluff.  Courtesy photo
Division is defined as “the act or process of dividing; the state of being divided,” which most of us associate with mathematics. On many levels this topic has perplexed me throughout childhood and into my adult life. For example, when Kira and Grange were in grammar school, I had to cede...
When I think back to my early years in Bluff, I vividly recall Navajo women wearing beautiful velveteen clothes made in the Victorian style, even on hot summer days like today. Because they had a tradition of wearing their wealth in the form of turquoise and silver jewelry, their blouses were often...
Innovation is highly prized at Twin Rocks Trading Post, so it is a real treat for us when local artists create new and exciting works. There are, however, a number of craftspeople on and around the Navajo Reservation who pick up an idea and reproduce it until they have explored every possible...
A beautiful woven basket by Lorraine Black documents the impact of the COVID pandemic. Courtesy photo
It had been a while since Lorraine Black visited Twin Rocks. A few years ago she moved to western Utah, far from Bluff, and our relationship ebbed. In the past Lorraine would stop by the trading post on a regular basis, bringing her baskets through the Kokopelli doors, laughing, and joking and...
Twin Rocks and Sunbonnet Rock before the construction of Twin Rocks Trading Post. Courtesy photo
A while ago, I ran into a quote attributed to Joan Didion that goes something like, “I have already lost touch with a couple people I used to be.”  The quote started me thinking about the way it used to be at Twin Rocks Trading Post and how much the last 20 years have changed all of us. ...
Winters in Bluff give us a much-needed reprieve from the red winds of spring, and the heat of summer. Here in the high desert, we are sand-blasted by the intermittent winds in March and April, which are followed not long after by the high temperatures of July and August. All that gives us a healthy...
Cottonwood art work at the  Twin Rocks Trading Post in Bluff.  Courtesy photo
The young man stood close to the sales counter, his eyes slightly downcast. With his freshly scrubbed face and in his carefully pressed trousers and shirt, he was the picture of a well-bred, well-mannered boy. Digging the toe of his leather shoes into the carpet, he answered his mother’s inquiry...
Art is not concrete A while ago, Pearl, Opal and I sat on the porch waiting for Jana to return home from her teaching job at Whitehorse High School.  When she arrived, we lingered a while longer, watching the blood-red sun dip behind the sandstone cliffs, marveling at the beauty.  As is often the...

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San Juan Record

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