Sunday, January 26, 2014

"On The Road to Cerrillos"

Cerrillos NM
Just down the road from Santa Fe, you'll find the little town of Cerrillos, NM.  But you better be prepared to jump off the main road or you'll miss this little jewel of a town.  There's not a lot to Cerrillos unless you stop and wander the main streets.

Shopping in Cerrillos

Bridle For Sale

And if you're fortunate like I was, you'll meet Billy and Eugene, the self-appointed Goodwill Ambassadors of this nearly-abandoned village.
Goodwill Ambassador Billy

Goodwill Ambassador Eugene

When asked if I might snap a shot of these two brothers, Billy agreed "I reckon so for the price of a cold beer".   On the other hand, Eugene really didn't seem to mind what I did as long as I'd let him finish his cigarette.   Once our contractual negotiations were completed, I snapped away, while they filled me in on some of the town's history, and they should know.  They were born and bred in Cerrillos and, from all indicators, have no intention of leaving. Especially when they can set up "Ambassador Central" right on the doorstep of Cerrillos' popular watering hole, Mary's Bar. 
The Infamous Mary's Bar
When you first stand at Mary's entrance, you'll find no signs of this weathered establishment even being open, other than the lighted neon Coors sign in the window, along with a garbage tub nearly overflowing with empty beer cans.
Entrance to Mary's 
But when you open the door, you're likely to find a long bar, a few stools and a white-haired lady behind the register.  By the way, that's Mary.  Accommodating and friendly, she looked like she could've been a grandmother.  In fact, that's exactly what she is and she has a young dynamo of a grandchild who seemed only too eager to pose for pictures as he sat on the bar waiting for his school bus.   


The Precocious Grandson
So there you have it.  A quick trip to a town with surprises galore.  And oddly enough, visited by a multitude of artists, photographers and history hounds wanting to experience a little bit of the "old" in New Mexico.  If you ever make it to this area, bring a camera and a thirst, because there's  a photo-op at every turn and Mary will have a cold one waiting for you.


  1. Jim,
    Terrific Cerrillos images & comments. Really enjoyed this post. Peggy I.

  2. I really like this post, Jim, and it's good to see black and white and able story telling. I have, in fact, enjoyed a beer at Mary's Bar and learned a little of the joint's rich history from Mary.

    I'm glad you pursued Billy and Eugene who, if I'm not mistaken, inhabited the porch at Mary's when I was there then wove their way unsteadily home after a couple too many.

  3. A far cry from Canyon Road in Santa Fe, but well worth the drive to spend the day there.

  4. What a fantastic post, Jim! I love the photos, but they're so much the richer for their context. Gorgeous portraiture in both visual and verbal imagery.

  5. Love the photos and especially the comments - all great. Sounds like a great place to make a stop. Thanks.

  6. Love the pictures and the commentaries!