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On Madrid, New Mexico

About a half hour drive south of Santa Fe, Madrid is an old mining town that still consists of a single winding street lined with old wooden cabins and small houses:

After the mines closed, Madrid became a ghost town for a while, before being revived by artists, gallerists, musicians, and assorted eccentrics. This ceramic totem outside one house gives you a flavour:

We were there to see John McNair, Patty's nephew-who-is-four-months-younger-than-me, play with his band at a place called The Mineshaft. The band is called The Family Coal, and if you click on that name you'll go to their website. That's Johnny, below, with the shades and the white shirt, playing the mandolin and looking every inch the folk-roots god that he is:

The Mine Shaft Tavern used to be, believe it or not, a mine. It's built around all the detritus and left-over paraphernalia of a mining operation, such as boardwalks leading into the hill sides, odd bits of machinery, and a giant steam locomotive in the back yard:
Art, music, good beer, a town with a fascinating past, and a breeze bowing the heads of the bushes cascading down the sides of the hills: it was a good way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

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