Local Knowledge a blog post by Steve Immel A wonderful day with Steve showing me some of his favorite places.


David in Lama Photo by Steve Immel
David at Elizabeth Town Cemetery Photo by Steve Immel
David at The Church Photo by Steve Immel
Inside out Lama Photo by Steve Immel
Ruins on upper Lama Road Photo by Steve Immel
San Antonio Church Angle Fire Photo by Steve Immel
Used Dodge Elizabeth Town

David Michael Kennedy is one of my photography heroes so when he suggested a photo tour I was honored, excited and not a little daunted. Why would a Master hit the road with a journeyman I wondered. A few months back he told me, “I’d like to head north with you. Let’s see what mischief we can make” or words to that effect. What mischief, indeed can an old hippy (his description of himself) and an octogenarian manage? He asked if I liked mushrooms. I replied that,” I love them sauteed in olive oil with chopped garlic or better yet in risotto with fresh herbs.”

Then at last Friday he called and asked if I’d like to do a photo excursion around Taos next week. I answered, “Sure. I can do it any day. He responded, “ How about Monday?” And Monday it was.

He arrived at 9:30am. I made him a cup of coffee and gave him a tour of our art filled walls. He told me he wanted to drive so he’d be able to remember how to get to the remote locations on my go-to list. Turns out he had booked a photo tour in September. His repeat clients asked to visit Taos and environs on of their days and he wanted to put together an itinerary with my help. “Besides, I’ve got Cody with me.” Cody is his six-year-old Lab. A more devoted companion you will not meet. He only had eyes for David. He didn’t even know I was there.

Since I was to be the tour guide, I had a loop in mind. We would drive east on US 64 from Taos to the village of Angel Fire, we would photograph a cool little church a little east of the village, then return to 64 and proceed north to Eagle Nest. Along the way to Angel Fire there are some abandoned buildings and a shuttered resort on the north shore of Eagle Nest Lake. From there we’d drive to Elizabeth Town. We’d continue on the Enchanted Circle through Red River, the westernmost town in all of Texas. Not really. It just feels that way. We’d grab a bite and continue west to Cuesta, nothing to see there. Turn south on NM 522 toward Taos where we’d photograph in the towns of Lama and San Cristobal.

Not every site was a knockout, but we got something from each. The little white church outside Angel Fire was a hit. The ruins on US 64 between Angel Fire were worth a stop. Elizabeth Town disappointed since there were fences and No Trespassing signs on most of the choice ruins. The lovely little cemetery had gone to seed. David allowed that he need gain access to the relics of the ghost town’s mining heyday to make it worth the drive. The closed resort on the lake was locked up like Fort Knox. David photographed a sign with the name of its Texas owner and said he’d make contact and get permission to enter the site. He’d do the same with Elizabeth Town.

At the top of Upper Lama Road in Lama were a cluster of ruins that I’ve photographed many times. David was in his element. We had the run of the location even the interiors of the old houses. David wia in his element. We’re both drawn to the forgotten and forlorn.

Strewn through this post are selections of my efforts at Antonio Church outside Angel Fire, of Elizabeth Town and the ruins in Lama. Some are candids of my traveling companion, the one and only David Michael Kennedy. 

The dude likes the camera, and the camera returns the favor.