Offbeat New Mexico: SAR Sparks Talks

Dr. Patricia CrownDr. Patricia CrownSparks Talk: Cylinder Jars and Chocolate in Chaco CanyonDr. Patricia CrownSparks Talk: Cylinder Jars and Chocolate in Chaco Canyon

Sparks talks are cozy gatherings in the SAR board room that have become member favorites for illuminating some of the quirkier aspects of New Mexico’s regional and historical character—and yes, possibly because they are free and in the afternoon. (One member said, “I think you discovered that late afternoon is a perfect time for the ‘cultivated senior member.’ I’m sure that’s why Sparks has been so successful!”)

Whatever the reason, this year the house was packed every Tuesday afternoon for topics ranging from the water crisis in the American West to the discovery of chocolate at Chaco Canyon, and from famous and unusual gravesites in New Mexico to New Mexico politics and personalities in the Gilded Age. “One of our goals when we started Sparks three years ago was to bring people to the SAR campus, and we’ve succeeded many times over,” said SAR staffer Jean Schaumberg.

September 2009
Thomas B. Catron, Circa. 1917 Sparks
Tuesday, September 8, 2009, 3:00–4:00 pm The Santa Fe Ring: Gilded Age Politics in Old New Mexico David L. Caffey If you think New Mexico politics is rough-and-tumble today, consider the latter half of the 19th century, when the “Santa Fe Ring” held sway....
October 2009
James F. Hinkle 1923-25 Sparks
Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 3:00–4:00 pm Buried Treasures: Famous and Unusual Gravesites in New Mexico History Richard Melzer New Mexico history is filled with noteworthy men, women, and children. Sadly, few of these famous New Mexicans are honored with monuments....
November 2009
Cow Skull on Ghost House Sparks
Tuesday, November 10, 2009, 3:00–4:00 pm Ghost Ranch and the Faraway Nearby Craig Varjabedian In New Mexico, the Spanish phrase “La Querencia” is an endearing term for place of the heart. “La Querencia” is personified in the visual imagery of Ghost Ranch....
January 2010
Wild Horses, 1949 Sparks
Tuesday, January 12, 2010, 3:00–4:00 pm Bringing Home All the Pretty Horses Dan Flores Historian Dan Flores illuminates a fascinating event that occurred after the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, when horses from the Southwest escaped into the Southern Plains.
February 2010
Window Portal in the IARC Building Sparks
Tuesday, February 9, 2010, 3:00–4:00 pm Preserving Santa Fe’s Historic Homes Elaine Bergman Elaine Bergman, Executive Director of the Historic Santa Fe Foundation, will take us on a virtual tour of Santa Fe’s historic homes.
March 2010
Cylinder jars found in Pueblo Bonito Sparks
Tuesday, March 9, 2010, 3:00–4:00 pm Cylinder Jars and Chocolate in Chaco Canyon Patricia Crown Archaeologist Patricia Crown will discuss what the discovery of chocolate at Chaco Canyon means for our understanding of interactions between the Southwest and Mesoamerica.
April 2010
Pagosa Hot Springs, Colorado Sparks
Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 3:00–4:00 pm The Disappearing Colorado: Water Crisis in the West V. B. Price What are the potential consequences for urban life in the American West if drought becomes chronic and the reservoirs of the Colorado and Rio Grande Rivers run dry?
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