All posts tagged: Acoma Sky City

Touro Synagogue

Let’s take a road trip to help understand the history behind religious liberty

In following coverage of the fight over the Supreme Court*, don’t worry if you have become confused about the concept of religious liberty. Those making the most noise either do not understand — or do not want to understand — this fundamental First Amendment right enshrined in the Constitution. People who should know better often sow confusion around the history and meaning of “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Before we go all 2020 and take a virtual road trip to visit the places that help us see why the religious persecution faced by earlier generations led to this all-important amendment, let’s begin with a quick summary of why religious liberty is on the radar screen today. Recently two justices on the Supreme Court couldn’t pass up the chance to comment as they joined the court’s unanimous decision not to hear the appeal of Kim Davis, a Kentucky public official who refused to issue marriage licenses because of her personal religious views against same-sex unions. Justices …

Wrapping up the western tour

After the first day back at work, I have pulled together a few final observations from the road and even more photographs from our trip out west. Acoma Sky City (see Claire’s photo at top) is one of the most moving and beautiful places in America.  If you ever travel near Albuquerque, take the time to travel about an hour west and see this extraordinary place. Follow your spouse’s good instincts when you travel.  When we pulled into Gallup, NM after spending the day at Acoma, Candice really wanted to attend the Native American Tribal Ceremonial gathering that was taking place, to see the dancing and cultural displays.  I was tired and didn’t follow through, and so we ended up resting in the hotel.  Two days later when reading a regional paper we learned 1) that the event itself was pretty spectacular and 2) that PAUL McCARTNEY was in Gallup that evening and had attended the event to watch the dancing.  Apparently he was traveling on Historic Route 66 and decided to visit the ceremonial.  …

A few “classic” photos

I mentioned in an earlier post that my daughter Claire took black & white photos during our western trip on my old film camera that she calls “the classic.”  We just had that film processed (since Claire doesn’t have access to the dark room at school during the summer) and I thought I’d post a couple of her shots for all to see.  The shot above was taken in the church yard of the 1760 mission church in Las Trampas, on the High Road to Taos.  Claire said this was her favorite of about 140 shots she took during the trip.  The second photo I’ve posted is from Acoma, where Claire took two full rolls of film.  She loved the mission church at Acoma, so I’ve posted a shot she took of the bell tower early in our tour of the site.  There are so many great opportunities for photos at Acoma — the buildings and landscape are so evocative both individually and together.  In the photo at right, I liked the interplay of the …

A Magical Day at Acoma

Yesterday was magical for the Browns as we visited Acoma Sky City, the country’s oldest continuously inhabited community, on a splendid summer day.  Acoma Sky City is a National Trust for Historic Preservation Historic Site and one of this country’s very special places.  Rising early we arrived at the spectacular Sky City Cultural Center – a center that blends with the land and was designed only after the community held a series of focus groups with tribal members ranging from age 4 to 96.  Every detail at the center has been thoughtfully considered, and we received a top-to-bottom tour from Center Operations Director Randy Howarth.  Randy was our host for the day and saw to it that we got to experience all that Acoma had to offer. Acoma Sky City – the spiritual home of the pueblo – sits on the top of a 357 foot mesa.  We joined a tour group that included some bikers from Belgium who were riding Historic Route 66 from Chicago to LA.  After riding to the top of the mesa, …