Last April, Iren Schio and David Fant - friends of our film who felt so inspired by the Rio Puerco and Nasario's stories - led the students of Santa Fe's Little Earth School in art and song projects!
Iren helped the students create dioramas from word images (by Nasario ) - using soil, rocks and plant fragments from the Río Puerco Valley and incorporating drawings, paintings and clay to make his memories come alive through each creation .
Dave (aka Cowboy Blue) created a song inspired by Nasario - he and the children performed it for Nasario. Olé.
These are the kinds of beautiful evocative arts and humanities interplay that we hope to encourage and inspire in more workshops, more gatherings, to bring out what happens when you encounter the stories that speak or sing to you!
A big THANKS to Iren, David, and the Little Earth School students and teachers and principal, Ellen Souberman
MORE ABOUT IREN AND DAVID HERE
ABOUT LITTLE EARTH SCHOOL
So much news to share. So much to be thankful for, this November
ABRAZOS and GRATITUDE - Happy Thanksgiving!
Shebana and the team at Nasario remembers the Río Puerco
What a beautiful series of screenings in Capileira. It went like this.
Alicia and I walked around the town the day before, greeting people here and there - and putting up posters where you put up posters - everyone knew about it - it was lovely to hear - a bit like town criers!
And people came. Carmen emceed. I said a few words. Cristina and Paula of Flamenco La Fuente danced and took us into the frequency of feeling that starts the film. (see a short video on their FB page here)
And folks watched the movie and they liked it, they really loved it. Thy spoke of so much in common, the old stories of living on the land, the Era of there and here, the place where they winnowed wheat, the absorption with water, (pun intended), the songs, the dwindling of stories, the leaving of younger folks for the cities. They spoke of the tenderness of the stories, of hearing Nasario in Spanish and how moving that this was the first screening in Spain.
Toñi and Luisa shared a message for Nasario in Spanish. Alicia shared some thoughts about the screenings in English - what made it a good fit for Capileira, her summary of the reactions...
Interview with Alicia Perez Padron in English. Alicia made this screening possible and she shares thoughts on Capileira's reaction to the film, including stories of who came
and who came back (Luisa! who came back with her whole family)
I shared with Fernando, the lieutenant mayor, Nasario's children's book, Grandma Lale's Tamales, which will live in the Capileira Library. And Alicia poured the wine and we kept on talking...And so it went...
Muchas Gracias, Capileira. A big THANKS to everyone, especially Alicia Perez Padron, Carmen, Flamenco La Fuente, and of course the Ayuntamiento de Caplieira.
Next stop - Granada proper...where we will discuss the possibility of more screenings next year, all over Andalucia = here is where the story began after all - check out our SPAIN TRAILER AND WEBSITE AS WE PREPARE these next steps: www.nasariorecuerda.com
...after seeing the film...
THANK YOU FOR YOUR RESPONSES
My appreciation to you for airing the program on the Rio Puerco. The photography was beautiful and the Nasario reminiscents were invaluable, both of the past and present. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Every story shared was like the many water drops of the Rio Puerco flowing again through the Arroyo a day of rain. Each story like a little Rosary pearl of wisdom. It felt so nourishing for the soul.
I’ve hardly ever loved anything as much as watching you in the Rio Puerto Valley tonight on PBS. You took us back to a universal place that was all yours and somehow ours at the very same time. Truly marvelous.
What we witnessed last eve at the museo was really very, very, very, very, very outstanding. That was Academy Award work we saw!...It was so well-done in every respect. A real gem...
You and your story inspire me! What a beautiful way to tell the story with the music and scenery… it is magical!
Watching your documentary, OMG. I can't hold back the tears..........you have brought back so many memories.
I am still sitting here rethinking parts of it that were so captivating..allowing me to cry for the simple beauty of a time and place that left it’s mark on this land and it’s people. Thank you for capturing so well the bittersweet journey that Nasario takes us on that reflects and embodies so beautifully the heart touching legacy of his family of ancestors and their spiritual connection to the land and one another.
Your film...peeled away the years for me. I was at my grandmother's knee again, hearing her stories, the scents in her tiny kitchen in small town Iowa. My grandfather sitting on the porch... A time and place long gone, but alive in my soul. Thank you for this gift!
The film is exquisite. I was deeply moved by how well all of you captured a period of time and a group of people I sure wish there were more of around today.
Some of it reminded me of my own mother’s experience, and I thought of her often during the presentation.
Nos alegró muchísimo tu salida en la pantalla grande ¡Ahuuuuuyayayajá!! Fue un placer muy grande ver en vivo todos tus lugares de corazón. Tu querencia entera. Y ahora un estreno en España - fabuloso. Fue toda una inspiración. Los elementos musicales fueron realmente impresionantes también. ¡Ay, ay, ay!
The work is so beautiful. So much poetry, lyricism and pathos. It had a wonderful quietude in its tone...It is a kind of love song to New Mexico.
A lovely thoughtful conversation with Ellen Lockyer on KSFR's Wake Up Call this morning.
Read/LISTEN at KSFR link or below
Thanks to our lovely audiences in ABQ and Santa Fe, October 4 and 5 - so wonderful to share the first preview screenings with you! Next stop, NM PBS, Ch-5, on October 12 at 7pm!
As we approaching the end of editing and get closer to our broadcast date on October 12 on NM PBS, we remember...this beautiful article about the story of the film from the Santa Fe New Mexican - Tripp Stelnicki really captured the whimsy of Nasario's stories.
We still have wonderful opportunities to SUPPORT the film as a HERITAGE DONOR or SPONSOR. Stand with us to tell the stories of New Mexico's heritage. Click here for details. Email us at email@example.com or call cell 609 651 5840, Shebana Coelho
We will have 2 free preview screenings of the film before it's broadcast.
We are glad to welcome the Santa Fe Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as one of our Outreach Sponsors for our Oct 5 Santa Fe preview event.
Follow us on FACEBOOK or SIGN UP for our MAILING LIST to stay in touch as we head from the Rio Puerco to a TV screen near you. Thank you!
Remembering the Rio Puerco
By Tripp Stelnicki
The New Mexican | Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 10:20 pm
Once, by the Rio Puerco, a young Nasario García went for a ride with his grandfather, who was called Lolo. Across the arroyo, García saw a bear. He called out in warning.
Lolo said, “Oh? He’s my friend. Come.”
They rode their horses across the arroyo to a thicket of berry bushes, not far from the watchful bear. Lolo picked two or three. “Try these,” he told his grandson. “They’re good, aren’t they? That’s why the bear comes here, and he comes here all the time.”
That is one of García’s recuerdos, or memories, from his early childhood days growing up near the Rio Puerco. For the first time, García, 80, of Santa Fe, a folklorist and historian, is sharing his Rio Puerco recuerdos on film.
On Thursday, García and film director Shebana Coelho will be at Collected Works Bookstore to preview clips from the documentary Nasario Remembers the Río Puerco and speak about his recuerdos.
The ranching villages near the Rio Puerco in the shadow of Cabezon Peak in Sandoval County emptied when drought dried the river and overgrazing spoiled the land in the 1950s. All that remains of the people who made their lives in the valley 50 miles west of Rio Rancho are crumbling ruins.
Some of García’s memories are commonplace: seeing his first bear or galloping through the village as a child, dodging the prairie dog mounds. Others veer into magical realism: a cousin, returning home from a date after curfew, having been clawed bloody by a bobcat but miraculously bearing no wounds. There were vibrant fiestas, marches and dances late into the night, where a boy was obligated by tradition to dance with his mother, grandmother and sisters before he could dance with anyone else.
His recuerdos share a common protagonist: the landscape. The stories belong to his village of Ojo del Padre and his stretch of the Rio Puerco Valley, its hills, its arroyos, its buttes, he says. The film “projects the past into the present, and hopefully into the future,” he says.
The idea for the film occurred to Coelho, who wanted to show the storyteller among the landscape, to hear García tell his stories where they are set.
“A storyteller can tell stories over and over again, and there’s something different in the telling,” Coelho says. “Nasario has spoken these stories, and he’s published them, but I realized there was a film because we haven’t seen Nasario on the land. That’s a different encounter. ... What happens? For someone who listens, who doesn’t know the story, what does it wake up in you?”
Nasario Remembers the Río Puerco shows García wandering through the arroyos, the ruins and the memories lingering there. The film includes a series of García’s vignettes, Coelho said, as well as tableaus re-created with artifacts recovered from the dilapidated, disappearing homes.
“The feeling of the stories is so strong when you go to the Rio Puerco,” she says, “because there’s just enough left.”
Valley residents began abandoning their homes after a fire destroyed a wood-and-stone dam crucial for supplying the acequias, García says. Subsequent droughts didn’t help. His grandfather was one of the last to leave, he says, in 1958. Since then, the largely dried-out valley has belonged to ghosts.
There’s one story García hasn’t told often: At age 9, in 1945, when his family left their ranch by the river for Martineztown, an Albuquerque neighborhood, he was glad. “I was tired of eating pinto beans, I was tired of eating corn, I was just tired of the way of life,” he says. “It was very difficult for a young boy.”
He didn’t think much of his valley until he went to Spain many years later for graduate study. On weekends, he and his wife would travel to the small villages in the Spanish countryside, where they saw the fiestas. “When I came back, I said to myself, ‘I’m going to talk to my grandparents,’ ” he said.
He wasn’t yet a trained interviewer or folklorist, but García considers that initial conversation with his elderly grandparents about the valley one of his career’s most illuminating. His curiosity was inflamed. “I wondered about all these people who used to live here,” he says. “Where are they? I started connecting dots, and I started interviewing them.
“The connection between Spain and New Mexico took me back to the valley,” he says.
Coelho found García when she heard him tell a story about his grandmother at Collected Works Bookstore. She approached him after the reading, and a partnership was born: Coelho adapted a book of García’s oral histories into a stage play, When the Stars Trembled in Río Puerco, which was performed in Albuquerque and Santa Fe in 2013 and 2014.
For the film about the Rio Puerco, Coelho and the filmmaking team are seeking donations through Indiegogo.com, a crowd-funding website, to finance the months of editing ahead. PBS has expressed interest in airing the film, Coelho says, and her dream is to premiere the documentary there during National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
A sense of Hispanic heritage is at work in García’s drive to preserve the past. He remembers asking a class of Hispanic students what each of them was doing to preserve their culture.
“A kid raised his hand, and he said, with a straight face, ‘I go to Taco Bell once a week, and I buy a burrito grande,’ ” García says. “My heart fell down to my feet.”
García’s recuerdos can help stem that cultural tide, just as they preserve the spirit of a fading valley. When García returned to the Rio Puerco to film a scene this past year, he came to the spot where he saw his first bear and Lolo told him not to fear. The berry bushes were still growing.
Contact Tripp Stelnicki at 505-428-7626 or firstname.lastname@example.org.