"Nos estamos acabando. We’re dying out." These words spoken by an elder of the Río Puerco valley began the story that Nasario Garcia has been listening to and telling all these years. For over 30 years, the memories given to him by viejitosand comadres, elders and sisters have been transformed into numerous award-winning bilingual books of oral histories, children’s stories, fiction, and memoir about the Río Puerco region, an iconic New Mexico landscape, northwest of Albuquerque and southeast of Chaco Canyon. He is the recipient of the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award from the Historical Society of New Mexico.
Nasario grew up the way rural New Mexicans had for generations. His parents built their own adobe house, raised their own food, hauled their water from the river, and brought up their children to respect the old ways. In all his books, but especially his award-winning memoir, Hoe, Heaven, and Hell, lauded most recently by a Latino Book Award, he describes life in the Río Puerco, between the 1900s and the 1950s, when there were four Hispanic villages - San Luis, Cabezón, Guadalupe, and Casa Salazar - with ranches and water, and people lived close to the land and under the stars.
For decades, Nasario has been speaking his stories. But to see him with his feet on the land, letting the story rise through the the dust and the sand, the magic of what happens when a storyteller returns to the land that also remembers him - that story hasn't been shown. And that's the film -"Nasario Remembers the Rio Puerco"
When you meet Nasario, you'll see The Past is Present. He'll be at Collected Works on Thu 1/12 at 6pm - Please join us to see more of the film and hear more from him.
In a note to friends a few weeks ago, Nasario wrote: "From a one-room schoolhouse in my native Río Puerco valley where I grew up to my retirement as a university professor has been a marvelous journey replete with a multitude of personal and professional memories.But the capstone to the dreams in my life is reflected in the film Nasario Remembers the Río Puerco currently in progress..." It's our dream too. See the trailer read the story, join the journey.... http://bit.ly/NasarioFilm