It’s summertime, summertime, sum-sum summertime…….
Well are you comin’ or are you ain’t
You slowpokes are my one complaint
Hurry up before I faint
It’s summertime—The Jamies, 1958.
One thing we know for sure is that when Sean Sargent was asked to join Barker Realty in April, he was no slowpoke in saying YES. Then he fainted. Not really, dearest readers. Instead, he greeted Charmaine Payne (office administrator) as he passed the front desk on his way to his new office, where he sat down and relaxed into his new position as IT administrator. A fifth generation Santa Fean, he cut his teeth on real estate (his dad is Wally Sargent), but Sean is more interested in managing the information and technology that help Realtors make the sales than being a Realtor himself. Thus, IT administrator is the perfect fit. As a bonus, he gets to be a part of the exceptional camaraderie among the support staff, and he especially enjoys working alongside the charismatic, astute and witty Kyle Klain, who is now the chief operating officer at Barker.
Summertime brings us something extra special this year. I mean, aside from the CDC’s liberating us fully vaccinated folks from wearing masks almost anywhere now. Eek, my phone will recognize me again! Jelly Beans, next month Bishop’s Lodge is re-opening…at last. In many of the travel magazines, the Lodge is touted as the original home of Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy (circa 1870), and the Pulitzer family residence in 1915. We Santa Feans, however, remember it as the Thorpe family’s lodge. It was first purchased by James R. Thorpe in 1918. He paid $25,000 for it and named it Bishop’s Lodge (after Bishop Lamy). When the Great Depression hit, the Lodge experienced hard times, but the innovative Kathryn Thorpe (widow of James Sr., who had died at the beginning of the depression) was determined to keep the place going. During the winter months, she leased four guest buildings to the now-defunct Brownmoor School for Girls. It was through ideas like this plus her grit and determination that Bishop’s Lodge survived those years. To her delight, her son, Jim Jr., came back from California in 1955 and joined her in running the lodge. All told, the Thorpe’s ownership of Bishop’s Lodge spanned 80 years. Many of us had a membership in what was called the City Club, a season pass for locals to use the tennis courts and swimming pool. Ah, tennis, lunch, a swim, then cocktails around the pool.
But, Pumpkins, that was yesterday…and yesterday’s gone. The Thorpes sold the Lodge in 1998, and Richard Holland acquired the Lodge in 2014. After several years of hard work, surprises and a pandemic, Mr. Holland and Auberge Resorts Collection are ready to open their doors. The City Club no longer exists, but don’t worry, Butter Beans, we’ll have fun, anyway. John Volponi (general manager and regional vice president of Auberge Resorts Collection) assured me of that when I took a peek at the place a few weeks ago. John has been in the hospitality business for a number of years, having held general manager positions most recently in the Caribbean and Cabo San Lucas before being lured to Santa Fe five years ago. I don’t know what happened, but New Mexico captivated him enough that he bought a condo here, so maybe he’s putting down roots. I’ll keep you updated.
Back to the Lodge. Crumbcakes, everyone’s heard about how expensive the 100 guest rooms are, and you probably heard I canceled my reservations for the 9,000+ square foot bunkhouse for my birthday/slumber party when I found out it was $10,000 per night. Let’s talk instead about the well-thought-out renovations by architect Nunzio Desantis; the beautiful interiors by Mary Alice Palmer of HKS Design; Bishop Lamy’s sweet little chapel, restored and ready for a wedding; and savory gastronomical delights prepared by Executive Chef Peter O’Brien of the SkyFire Restaurant and served on earth-tone pottery exclusively handcrafted right here by Whiskey & Clay’s owner and ceramist Kimmy Rohrs. In addition, there’s the Turquesa Healing Arts Studio for massage, the Event Lawn for summer performances, Nathalie’s retail shop by Nathalie Santa Fe (she also designed the one-of-a-kind uniforms for the staff) and artwork by local artists available in the Gerald Peters Gallery. And more, so much more. All of it unique, reinforcing the Lodge’s promise that, “The art of experience is an experience of art.” That said, Lollipops, let’s make a date for a late afternoon drink on the gracious patio.
So long, Sweetpeas. Until next time,
Oakley Talbott can be reached at email@example.com