I rarely drive this far out on Agua Fria, but one day I did and saw this lovely church. It seemed to beckon and I wandered through the tiny cemetery reading names and dates and thinking about the fabric of each life.
The church was built in 1835. It seems that church going in the early 1800's was an all-day affair. The main Cathedral was miles away and by the time families hitched their horses to the wagon, drove to town, attended mass, and returned home, eight hours or so would have been consumed. And you'd have to forgo going to church entirely if it was your turn on Sundays to water from the acequia. And some families could only "afford" going to church once a month. So, building one closer to home seemed just the thing to do.
But where to build? Jose Jacinto Gallegos, a Village resident, offered some of his prized farm land. While folks watched, Gallegos tossed his hat into the air and the church was built exactly where it landed. Everyone took part in the construction. Adobe bricks were fashioned from the ruins of an old pueblo. The walls were plastered by the women of the Village, and each of the corbels for the roof vigas was crafted by individual families - making them charmingly irregular. The church was named and dedicated to San Isidro, ploughman and patron saint of farmers and protector of crops.
The ancient markers in the cemetery resonate with the names of those early residents of Agua Fria Village.
Char (top photo) and sister Sherry grew up in a small northern Colorado town and
began their careers in fashion at an early age - stitching doll clothes on their mom's Singer sewing machine. Over the years they've successfully collaborated on design projects and now they are at it again, sharing Char's beautiful white adobe studio space in downtown Santa Fe.
For the past 30 years, Char occupied a store front on Old Santa Fe Trail across from La Fonda Hotel. Her signature clothing designs quite literally defined Santa Fe style. When she closed her store a few months ago, I wondered where all the beautiful clothing had gone.
When I received an invitation to Char's White Studio/Pop Up Store opening on March 25th, I didn't have to wonder any more. "I went down the rabbit hole and came up on McKenzie Street," laughs Char.
The two-story space is beautiful, filled with architectural detail, sunlight and Char's wonderful clothing and Sherry's handsome "work" bags.
And something new - wonderful vintage sofas and chairs upholstered in vibrant patchwork fabrics.
CHAR AT THE WHITE STUDIO
206 McKenzie Street
in the large white villa at the corner of Griffin (off Grant Street)