Fiestas, Pets and Awards......Oh, My!


Zozobra burned on Friday, so no more gloom from here on out. I promise. (My fingers are crossed, Sugar Pops, just in case I’m not a psychotic…I mean a psychic.). Our coming week promises to be filled with festivities—Fine Arts and Crafts Festival, Fiestas de Santa Fe, Fun, etc.

Creampuffs, while I’m stuck on alliteration examples starting with an “f,” the Española Humane Animal Shelter reported a successful Fur Fest. The Fur Fest raised money and awareness for their Foster First Program. Like so many other shelters, Española Humane discovered that fostering an animal is superior to its languishing in a shelter, so Executive Director Bridget Lindquist made a plea for foster parents. More than 200 people responded.

Among other summer events to raise dollars for Fur Fest 2021, the shelter’s Director of Giving, Karl Ferguson, held a fundraising dinner at Bistro 315 in June. My friend, Linda Osborne, sponsored a table, and her enthusiasm led to her appointment on the shelter’s fundraising committee. Linda’s dog, Rango, is a Jack Russell Terrier and is a rescue from Española Humane. Lovebugs, Rango is Mr. September in The Santa Fe New Mexican’s 2021 Pet Calendar.

Two other noteworthy events occurred in August that deserve our attention today. First was every Realtor’s favorite parade, the Haciendas—A Parade of Homes, sponsored by the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association. Pumpkins, last year’s parade was virtual (like so many events during the pandemic), so this year it was especially exciting to preview—in person—eight of the thirteen homes vying for this year’s awards, including the Grand Hacienda.

Scott Cherry and his design-build company, Lightfoot, won the 2020 Grand Hacienda Award for their innovative renovation and remodel of the Donaciano Vigil House. If you missed it on the virtual tour last year, you can still see photos of it in the 2021 edition of Haciendas, a sleek magazine produced and published by the Santa Fe New Mexican and included as an insert to Sunday’s paper on August 8. Sugars, perhaps you made an insane mistake and threw the mag into your recycle bin. Don’t worry, you can always pick up another one at the SFAHBA office.

The second noteworthy event was a book signing held at the Travel Bug at 839 Paseo de Peralta (across from the Drury Hotel). Greg Ohlsen and his partner Ellen Stelling founded Garcia Street Books in 1991, and then combined their love of books and travel to found the Travel Bug in 1997. Fortunately for us, Dear Hearts, the Travel Bug is still alive and well, in spite of the pandemic’s disastrous effect on travel. Naturally, Greg and Ellen learned to adapt to the changing times. Their language courses are now online. They shifted away from travel guides toward a well-curated selection of books covering biography, history, social science, etc.

This shift to mostly nonfiction books served to author Mark Cross’ hometown advantage. Mark’s first book, “An Encyclopedia of Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico”, is well established as a Realtor’s gift to new property owners, as well as the go-to book on the shelves of our ample supply of short-term rentals. His latest book, which he talked about to an enthusiastic audience at the Travel Bug, is a biography, “Tales of Santa Fe: Betty Stewart in the City Different”. People who have read it say that it’s not only an interesting tale about the life and times of Betty Stewart, a charismatic character who designed and built some of the most memorable houses in Santa Fe, but the book also gives a great history of Santa Fe and its iconic “Santa Fe Style.” Oh, Babies, the 80s– what a decade in our City Different.

How do I say goodbye to someone I barely had a chance to say hello to? That’s what I’m having to do this month to Jessa Cast, the editor who took Paul Weideman’s place when he retired from our HOME/Real Estate Guide magazine a few months ago. Jessa came on board, earned the respect of me and other columnists, and then announced to our surprise and sadness that her last issue is this one. I know it was a tough decision for her, but an opportunity knocked she couldn’t let pass her by. I hate to admit that she chose that and more quality time with her dogs and husband over me, but really, Kittens, can I blame her? Of course not. But adios, Jessa, I will miss you and your sharp editing eye.

So long, Sweetpeas….Until next time,


Oakley Talbott can be reached at

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