Friday, March 16, 2012

Feelin' the Blues

So there I was, standin’ behind the counter of Twin Rocks Trading Post, just as I have been standin’ behind the counter for the past 22 years. Outside the weather had changed from blustery cold to mildly warm, and I was havin’ a bit of spring fever. It could have been cabin fever, but I am not qualified to distinguish between the two, so, because it was the first thing that came to mind, I settled on the former rather than the latter. Momma Rose has always advised me to trust my first impressions, so that was my theory and I was stickin’ to it.

1960's Blue Gem Necklace (#03)

Priscilla was vacuuming dried mud from the carpet and shaking out the Navajo rugs. Barry was sequestered in his office peering into a magnifying glass, trying to solve the mystery of the chunk necklace. Someone had left this strand of turquoise beads with us weeks ago, and his job was to determine its mine of origin. Was it Orvil Jack, King’s Manassa, Blue Gem or any one of a number of other possibilities? He did not know. He was havin’ a devil of a time, and the devil himself would have been proud of the string of superlatives emanating from his desk as the investigation continued. I should have been removin’ fingerprints from the display cases, but I had lost my motivation and was, in any case, far more interested in what Barry would say next.

Aside from my vernal virus, I was feelin’ additionally unsettled because I had just read the facebook entry of one of our “friends”. We had recently gotten ourselves up on the site, and people were beginning to comment. This particular individual had posted a note about our weekly commentary, which said, “If you want armchair adventures and great red rock philosophy check out the Trading Post Newsletters written with wit, some wisdom and love by the proprietors of Twin Rocks . . . almost as good as an on-site visit . . .”

While there was much to be proud of in the posting, I was in a funk about the “some wisdom” part. I realized this was a half full philosophy, but I could not get past that “half empty” feelin’. For as long as I can remember, Barry and I have thought of ourselves as the “Sages of San Juan County, the Four Corners, Southern Utah and the Colorado Plateau.” Forget Albert R. Lyman, Buckley Jensen, Oliver Harris and even Gary “The Caveman” Torres, we were sure these others could not hold the proverbial candle to our inordinatly high wattage. All of the sudden there I was, confronted with the cold, hard reality of our situation. We were not smart, we are only occasionally wise, and that was likely accidental or coincidental.

After a time I drifted into Barry’s office to discuss my funk. Handing me the mystery beads, Barry said, look at these and tell me what you think. Discharging a few superlatives of my own, I began rubbing the beads as I poured out my concerns. I have always been told, and correspondingly told our tourist visitors, turquoise has magical, curative powers. Like most people who think too highly of themselves, however, I was skeptical of all things mystical.

To my surprise, after rubbing the necklace a while I began to feel better, as though the stones were absorbing my blueness. It was then that I remembered the advice of the shaggy man with the raspberry beret who had visited the store the prior day. “A little something is better than all of nothing,” he had said as he admitted strict budgetary constraints and purchased a copy of the book Turquoise Unearthed rather than a bracelet, bolo tie or concho belt.

So maybe the shaggy man was right, maybe it is better to have some wisdom than none at all. When I announced my conclusions to Priscilla, who had been standing nearby listening to the conversation between Barry and me, she picked up a glass I had left on the counter, turned it upside down and said, “Gee, look at that, it’s empty.”

With warm regards,
Steve, Barry and The Team


Great New Items! This week's selection of Native American art!

Our TnT's purchased new treasures! Check out Traders in Training!

Enjoy artwork from our many collector friends in Living with the Art!

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