Friday, June 19, 2015

The rules of parenthood



June 21 parenthood
Happy Father’s Day to all you dads. And a salute to parents everywhere in a world where roles and structures seem to be shifting faster than many of us can cope with, or sometimes, even perceive or understand.
Six weeks with a millennial convinced me it’s not an easy time to be a kid ... or a mom, or a dad.
But, then, I suspect it never has been.
I’ve never forgotten my big sister’s self-proclaimed “two rules of parenthood.”
The first one: “If you get a good one the first time out, don’t tempt fate: quit while you’re ahead.”
As it happened, she and I both heeded that one, and we each have lovely, kind, bright, talented and creative “only” children.
It took many years for it to dawn on me that neither my younger brother Tom nor I would be here had my parents heeded that maxim — but oh, well, I don’t take it personally, Sally.
And it’s clear that her other parenthood rule, untainted by sibling rivalry, is pure and true and dead-on accurate.
“Parenthood never gets easier: it just gets different.”
And that’s true if you’re the 20-something parent of a baby-through-middle-schooler or a 60-something parent and grandparent of kids facing middle-age crises or adolescent angst.
“Making the decision to have a child — it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body,” Elizabeth Stone famously said.
And she nailed it. Time and distance might make the connection seem a little less immediate, sometimes, but the truth is that the parental connection can never really be broken or ignored, as long as some sentience remains.
And, maybe, even beyond that. Way beyond. I’ve heard more than a few tales from those caring for elderly parents with chronic, intractable Alzheimer’s or dementia. They may have gone for months or years with no visible sign of recognition from their mom or dad and then suddenly, often toward the end of life, there is a sometimes fleeting, but unmistakable sign, that acknowledges that most profound of familial bonds.
Somehow, in a tangled part or the brain or, some of us might say, the soul, the name of a beloved son or daughter surfaces and is spoken, just in time to say a final goodbye.
And many of us feel those bonds and messages transcend life on this plain. I have amigos who say they feel the presence of parents who have passed at moments of great joy or great sorrow in their lives. Some go so far as to report physical manifestations or affirmations: white butterflies, perhaps, or their parent’s favorite plants or flowers blooming out of season.
For me, it’s more often a triggered memory. I see an old-fashioned wicker creel and my mind goes back to fly-fishing and casting lessons from dad during countless waterfront weekends together. I hear a bad pun and remember how much my dad enjoyed what he always called “the lowest form of art.”
I think of advice he gave me and try to figure out a way to deliver it more effectively to new generations.
Keep communicating. Even when it seems difficult, futile, even impossible. Kids, spend as much time with your dads as you can manage, and dads, do whatever it takes to spend time with your kids. Find a way, even in times of fractured families, tough economies, long overseas deployments, sickness or hurt feelings.
Nothing is as good as being there, live and in person, in real-time huggable form. But when that’s not possible, get as tech savvy as you’re able and find ways to keep in touch via Skype, phone calls, texting, social media and even old-fashioned cards and letters, which still pack an emotional punch worth fighting to achieve.
And most importantly, say, “I love you.” Even if you feel estranged. Even if you’re not happy with the way the relationship has gone or is going. It’s something that any father, any child, in the best or worst of times, always wants and needs to hear. Love is something that has the miraculous power to change everything.
Happy Father’s Day. Our hearts are with you, dads.
S. Derrickson Moore may be reached at dmoore@lcsun-news.com, @derricksonmoore on Twitter and Tout, or call 575-541-5450.

Our City as a House



June 14
Our City as a House
What’s your favorite part of our community?
If you think about it, it might resemble your favorite part of your own home.
Fiesta maestro Lalo Natividad once referred to Mesilla as “everybody’s backyard.”
Lalo has been a vital part of teams that revived or established popular and enduring celebrations of Cinco de Mayo, Diez y Seis de Septiembre, Dia de los Muertos and Christmas Eve, all on the Mesilla Plaza. And I think his characterization is apt. After years of down home fiestas with family and friends, most of us do think of Mesilla as a family gathering place, and we do tend to take visitors there sooner or later. With that old-growth shade and a recently restored gazebo, it’s cooler and more fun than most of our personal backyards.
That got me thinking about our city in terms of a house.
If Mesilla is our backyard, I’d say Main Street downtown is our front porch. In recent years, it has become the place where we meet and greet our friends and neighbors, especially Wednesday and Saturday mornings at the Las Cruces Farmers and Crafts Market, at monthly Downtown Rambles and increasingly imaginative Project Mainstreet events.
And the new plaza should only enhance that trend.
If we see our city house as a rambling mansion, I suppose we could have a parlor or den, maybe Branigan Library, the Las Cruces Convention Center and the Double Eagle. And a conservatory, with indoor plantings and exotic birds, and sometimes musical and theatrical events. That would make La Posta a perfect place, with its plants, parrots and piranhas. But let’s make it an indoor/outdoor patio thing and include all of our parks, theaters, the Center for the Arts and Pan American Center.
Since Pan Am also hosts athletic events, let’s also include it in our home gym, along with all the fitness centers, golf courses, hiking trails, school stadiums and athletic facilities. Does the house have a pool, you ask? If we’re thinking of the Rio Grande, yes, but only for a few months each summer. Better add city and university pools to our inventory and the little pond at Young Park as our favorite backyard water feature.
Most of us don’t have basements here in the desert, but we have had a long-term attic: Picacho Avenue, where our old treasures have been stored for decades, waiting to be rediscovered and admired by new generations. Recent additions may alter our attic before long. This month, The Emporium will open on Griggs Avenue, a new collection of old stuff (reportedly specializing in “mid-century” furnishings) that will benefit hospice programs. We might make a case that our communal attic, in very upscale, well-organized form, includes the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, along with New Mexico State University’s Museum and some of the city museums (especially Las Cruces Railroad, Branigan Cultural Center and parts of the Las Cruces Museum of Nature and Science, which houses everything from fossils older than dinosaurs to Clyde Tombaugh’s homemade telescope).
We are an ever-expanding mansion with many guest bedrooms (hotels, motels, dorms, etc.). Our kitchen has served up everything from giant enchiladas to barbecue and the world’s best salsa festival treats. Our exotic home bar offers house tequila (La Posta) and beer and wine in remarkably diverse and festive settings with pub, vineyard and state fairground themes.
How close up and personal do we want to get with this? Landfills, dumps and sewage treatment plants as bathrooms, for instance? Or should we end on a more artistic note?
Do we have a home arts loggia, a space dedicated to display of our favorite masterpieces? I thought about the University Art Gallery and the Las Cruces Museum of Art. But I think we’re the kind of people who want art in every room of our house, and sculpture gardens outside. So let’s add all the galleries, shops, restaurants and even hospitals, offices and highway bridges that add great art experiences to everyday life at home. Personally, Olin Calk’s giant roadrunner is my favorite in our front yard art collection.
There’s no place like home.
S. Derrickson Moore may be reached at dmoore@lcsun-news.com, at derricksonmoore on Twitter and Tout or call 575-541-5450.


Friday, June 12, 2015

The Wit and Wisdom of Alexander the Great



I know the stereotypes.
When many in my Las Cruces circle of friends began to greet our first grandchildren, we started to joke about the grandparent pod people, our own special cult of card-carrying (and photograph-packing) proud progenitors of the world’s greatest grandchildren.
The thing is, in my case, it’s the truth.
Honest.
With grandson Alex, it was love and pride at first sight and a boon companionship from the get-go.
When he composed little contrapuntal symphonies in the bathtub as a toddler, I sang along.
When two psychics told me he is the reincarnation of John Lennon (one hedged a bit and said he might have been Stevie Ray Vaughan), I maintained an open mind, and collected his wry, Lennon-esque drawings-with-attitude.
It was clear from the beginning that we are two old souls in cosmic cahoots who can leapfrog over mere generational obstacles.
It’s true that he has occasionally acted like a child or later, an adolescent, but then, so have I.
We are poets and songwriters who sometimes see agonizing truths about the world, but who also dream of better worlds and ask, “Why not?”
During the rare month we just spent together, he continued to astonish me.
We had an in-depth discussion of the benefits of organic remedies and exercise, and the role of serotonin, dopamine and other chemicals in pain control.
“You pay now, or you pay later with that stuff,” Alex said, who feels there are similar consequences when you party too hearty.
“Getting drunk is just a way to try to borrow happiness from the future,” he opined.
I discovered that music and audio engineering are his first career choices, but genetics is running a close third.
He’s excited about the potentials of stem cell research and genetic engineering.
But like many of his generation, he is concerned about the ecology and feels that we should be cautious about the impact of GMOs.
If it’s something that improves life, great, but if the only motive is corporate profits and there are side effects that threaten or damage the ecology, that’s a different story.
“I don’t enjoy genetics for capitalism,” rather than the greater good of humankind and the environment, he said.
My impression is that the millennials are kind of throwbacks to their tree-hugging, protesting, grandparents’ generation, but Alex isn’t so sure.
“I don’t understand people who say they aren’t into politics. Don’t they care who runs things?”
One of his primary pastimes is thinking, another trait we share.
“When I see people, I always wonder what they’re thinking about. I don’t understand people who don’t think,” he said.
We agreed it’s something to think about.
We made T-shirts for his band, >tree, and discussed videos and marketing in these tough times for artists and musicians.
He taught me how to voice-text, shut down unused, energy-draining apps and explained assorted other mysteries of my iPhone. He set up my still-in-the-box-since-Christmas Nikon and got some entertaining shots at Cinco de Mayo.
He assembled my brand-new, super-duper, state-of-the-art-vacuum and used nearly all of its exotic attachments to clean places that haven’t been cleaned in longer that I wish to contemplate, let alone admit.
Groceries that would provision me for weeks vanished in a couple of days, supplemented by frequent trips to his favorite burrito emporium and protein shakes after workouts. But he seemed to grow taller, leaner and more muscular by the day. That was an 18-year-old metabolic trick he couldn’t teach me, alas.
I’m not sure what I taught him. But I hope our visit was a reminder that he has a grandmother who still glimpses the soulful, funny and creative child she has always adored, and admires the man he is growing up to be. And loves him, of course.
A lot.
S. Derrickson Moore may be reached at dmoore@lcsun-news.com, @derricksonmoore on Twitter and Tout, or call 575-541-5450.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Sometimes, you just have to be there

Recently, I’ve been wondering why my friends and I don’t spend more time in Truth or Consequences.
By rambling, Wild West standards, it’s practically in our back yard, just an hour away from those of us in the northern part of Las Cruces.
I find myself using some of the same excuses I’ve been offering loved ones for the past decade for my reluctance to leave my querencia. I’ve already seen most of the parts of the world I want to see, some several times. It’s a hassle to make the trip. You can’t count on the weather. I get seasick on ships and flying is irritating, congested and a general ordeal.
Besides, I’ve found most of what I want and need close to home. And with advanced technology, you can tour the Louvre on your laptop or tablet, download a documentary on the Galapagos Islands or Machu Picchu or virtually sail the South Pacific. It’s almost the same as being there.
Except, it really isn’t.
That hit me when a loved one and I decided to beat the Memorial Day weekend’s maddening crowds (another factor that deters me from travel) for a quick little spring getaway to T or C.
I was walking down a marina ramp at Dam Site, after getting lost and feeling crabby on a too-windy day, when I paused, reflecting on the gently moving water, and spotted a hawk, or maybe an eagle, soaring high above me in a clear blue sky. It’s a reflex now, even on a supposed day off, and I took out my iPhone to capture the moment with a short video.
I couldn’t, of course, I’m far from a maestro of the medium, but I doubt that the world’s most skilled photographers or videographers could truly capture what it feels like, to be in the middle of a large body of water in high desert country, on a windy-but-warm spring day, sharing a flight of the imagination with a big bird in a panoramic moment of delight-in-spite-of-myself.
I’m a considerably better writer than I am a photographer, but I don’t think a thousand well-chosen words would do the job any more than a great video could manage.
You just had to be there.
Maybe there’s something about getting out of your familiar surroundings — even, or especially, if they are surroundings you love — that tends to shake up, stimulate and enhance your senses.
The state of rewarding, heightened reality stayed with me for the rest of the day.
The mood continued while I visited Dee Lighthart, who feels like an old friend after decades of visits to her one-of-a-kind, multimedia, multisensory emporium, Second Hand Rose. I did a little video, but you can’t smell the candles and incense, feel the fabrics or fully appreciate her creative juxtapositions of objets d’art. I suppose we could Skype and chat online, but there’s something about sharing the same, real-time space that inspires questions about her buying trips to exotic locales, updates on the talents of our grandsons and news of what’s up in T or C and LC.
I popped into RioBravoFineArts Gallery, which triggered a flood of memories of good times with its late founder, colorful character and talented artist Joe Waldrum. I found my attention arrested by the large-scale, light-filled floral paintings of Dave Barnett. Later, when working on today’s Artist of the Week feature on Barnett, I searched all available online sites and tried to find an image that truly captured the almost electric thrill of standing in front of a giant canvas and seeing his painstaking but transcendently painted blossoms against that vivid, only-in-New-Mexico-blue sky. In a half-century of quests, I’ve found that only a rare few artists can convey that true sense of what is ethereal, illusive and in the end, spiritual as much as it is sensual.
Here was one such work before me, and I’m now savvy enough to stop and enjoy the moment. Online and printing technology continues to improve, but as another attention-arresting artist, Carolyn Bunch, once told me, “You can lose the hand of the artist” in the translation.
Sometimes, you just have to be there.
S. Derrickson Moore may be reached at dmoore@lcsun-news.com, @derricksonmoore on Twitter and Tout, or call 575-541-5450.

Friday, May 22, 2015

New travels with Alexander the Great

Grandson Alexander the Great has been visiting, and I’ve been seeing our querencia through new eyes.
Not that Alex is new to the West. He’s spent all of his 18 years living in some of its most interesting parts, including San Diego, California, Oregon, Idaho and in Washington, where he was born, in Spokane, near the site of his current home and close to his long-time digs in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
And of course, in New Mexico. He lived in Las Cruces from ages 3 through 10 and has returned to visit family here over the years.
But this time seems different, somehow. His aunts and uncles and cousins have scattered from Texas to the Pacific Northwest. Many of his best childhood buddies are away at college.
Being Alex, he managed to assemble a new posse.
We used to joke that his presidential campaign began when he was a toddler. By his late preschool years, he could amble into playgrounds or kids’ areas at fast-food emporiums and organize diverse, often downright chaotic, herds of K through 8th-graders into imaginative, artfully choreographed groups with a single purpose: specific games, maybe, re-enactments of hit movies or TV shows, or an impromptu mission based on the resources at hand.
When I reminded him of his early leadership endeavors, he acknowledged his role, but issued a modest disclaimer, “I just happened to know what would be the most fun.”
It’s true.
We were boon companions during his elementary school years here, and he was a good sport about accompanying me on my arts and entertainment rounds, offering thoughtful observations about the quality of visual arts, theatrical and dance performances, fiestas ... and the hors d’oeuvres at exhibit openings.
During our spring break/reunion, he hit the ground running. On the way back from the airport, we caught the first evening of the Las Cruces Country Music Festival and he braved the ferocious winds long enough to evaluate the venue, the sound systems and the opening bands.
The next morning, he faced an even greater challenge, getting up before noon to catch the Las Cruces Farmers and Crafts Market. (I’m not being snide. He was coming from a different time zone, had foregone a night’s sleep to catch a ridiculously early flight, and is by nature a creature of the night, like all of us in the musician side of the family, at least in our early years.)
And speaking of jet lag and the impact on his grandmother of white-knuckled drives through downtown El Paso during rush hour, Alex kindly and diplomatically revealed his true identity when I introduced him to a colleague as “my son, Ryan.”
It was an addled senior moment, but truth to tell, there are some almost freakish similarities between son and grandson. Alex is a tad taller and a little lankier than his dad, but I suspect even impartial experts might have trouble distinguishing their voices and guitar riffs. Even more striking: their doppleganger laughs, their senses of humor, and their wry, witty and laugh-out-loud funny running commentaries on life.
Alex was impressed with the growth of the Las Cruces Farmers’ and Crafts Market since the days when he and his mom and relatives occasionally exhibited their wares. He quickly covered the full market stretch on Main Street, to and fro. He left a tip and struck up a conversation with the market musician he deemed the most talented and explained in great detail why he admired the performance.
He sat on the rock wall surrounding my patio and absorbed some vitamin D under the bright lapis blue skies.
He disappeared for a bit and return to report he’d visited our nearby park and again maneuvered the water fountain to give another drink to our favorite old tree there, “For old times’ sake.”
I recalled the kind act, but had forgotten what he’d named the sprawling Mexican elder. Alex remembered: “Tommo, I named it Tommo, for some reason.”
I recognized the tree, too, when I checked later. Tommo is far and away the greenest tree in that park.
S. Derrickson Moore may be reached at dmoore@lcsun-news.com, @DerricksonMoore on Twitter and Tout or call 575-541-5450.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Remembering Sweet Old Bob, touchstone and timeless treasure

For many of us, Memorial Day will never be quite the same in Las Cruces.
For the more than two decades I’ve lived in Las Cruces, a highlight of the long weekend was a visit to the Picacho Street Dealers Antique & Collectible Street Sale.
We never saw it as a commercialization of the occasion, but rather as an appropriately nostalgic fiesta; a nice way to remember our favorite people, places and things, and sometimes pick up some reminders to take home with us.
Shops and shopkeepers come and go, but in my time here, Picacho’s anchors have always been Coyote Traders, the fascinating and eclectic wonderland of all things yesteryear, run for decades by Mel and Sandy Hester and their son Cam, and S.O.B.’s Antiques, the fun and rustic Americana emporium of Bob (aka Sweet Old Bob, inspiration for his store’s acronym) Gaines and his wife, Carol.
The Hesters have cut back their hours after the sudden death of their son Cam last year.
And Bob died May 2, pretty nearly with his boots on. He was on home hospice care, but still manning his shop, just a day before he left us.
“I meet lots of good people. For me this is recreation. It’s not work. This is play,” Bob told me in January. We were pondering the fate of our favorite stretch of Picacho Avenue, where he has been purveying his unique wares since the 1980s, after two previous lengthy careers in the U.S. Marine Corps and as an English, speech and drama teacher at Las Cruces High School.
Pat Beckett, his friend for nearly half a century, said Bob was uncharacteristically quiet about some of his most noble and arduous accomplishments, including a ferocious battle in Korea in which a few hundred Marines, known as the ‘Frozen Chosin,’ were surrounded in freezing temperatures by more than 10,000 enemy soldiers.
“His company had to hold the pass at 30 to 50 below zero. Canteens were frozen. They were running short on ammunition. Those guys were going through hell. But what Bob always wanted to talk about was the Tootsie Roll campaign he won,” Beckett said.
The candy company was looking for stories and Bob shared his experiences about surviving on the famed treat, which would gradually melt in his mouth and provide some nourishment when everything else was frozen.
“He said the company liked his story and sent him a ton of Tootsie Rolls,” Beckett said.
“Bob’s story about how Tootsie Rolls saved his life is a classic. The book ‘Last Stand of Fox Company’ is about the Frozen Chosin. I am lucky to have a copy autographed by Bob,” Eva Taylor emailed me, adding that “Bob celebrated the Marine Corps birthday in his backyard with 100 to 200 people for 25 years. My entire family will miss him.”
Gaines also had some great stories about a golden era in the Las Cruces theater community, when now-legendary figures like Tony Award-winning playwright Mark Medoff were coming into their own, and thespians at NMSU and Las Cruces Community Theatre were building foundations that would earn little Las Cruces a reputation as the Broadway of the Southwest.
From what I can garner, one of Bob’s own last, “official” acting gigs here was a dinner theater performance at Cattleman’s with Irene Oliver-Lewis in “The Last of the Red Hot Lovers.”
Irene told me Bob inspired her as an actor, educator and historian. “He recently lent me a bunch of stuff for the recent exhibit at the Branigan on Doña Ana. When I went to get the stuff, we visited a good while. I also remember him as an incredible high school drama teacher. He had a successful traveling story theatre group that performed throughout the city. I told him he also influenced my future work by being a mentor and working with kids. He was a great guy.”
I suspect a lot of us were lured to linger by Bob’s stories, which could seamlessly segue from the Civil War to modern global conflicts, from antique agricultural implements to the state of the theater and the evolution of kitchen gadgets.
But make no mistake. Bob had some amazing stuff, too, and at bargain prices. My first years in town, I picked up some terrific, one-of-a-kind finds: frames to repaint and refinish for my growing art collection, exotic guess-what-it-is (a favorite sport of Bob and Carol) gifts for new and old amigos. Rustic table components. Old brass angels.
I always found something amazing and wonderful at Sweet Old Bob’s place, particularly on Memorial Day weekend. I don’t know if was synchronicity or serendipity or maybe just a sentimental mood that set me up to be astounded when I found, say, some sheet music that was the twin of a favorite in the bench of my mom’s old baby grand piano. Or an ornate, ancient plate commemorating Hackley Park in my old home town of Muskegon, Michigan.
It was nearly impossible to go into Bob’s shop without finding something that reminded you of something, usually pleasant, and Bob was always happy to join you in a little dance down memory lane.
“I find things at yard sales and estates sales and I’ve got a couple of pickers,” he told me.
But mostly, it was Bob’s remarkable eye, and Bob himself that kept us coming back on Memorial Day weekend, over the Christmas holidays, in a sentimental or poignant mood of homesickness, or a moment of wistful longing for exotic retail therapy with redeeming sociological value.
While many stores on Picacho Avenue closed, Bob told me this year his business remained steady, if unpredictable.
“You get kids coming back to visit their parents who remember us, and this is something to do while they’re here,” he said.
Bob was a Las Cruces touchstone, a treasure as rare, timelessly fun, uniquely weathered, reliably informative and endlessly, pragmatically and sometimes eloquently entertaining as the stories, collectibles and vintage wares he shared with us.
S. Derrickson Moore may be reached at dmoore@lcsun-news.com, @DerricksonMoore on Twitter and Tout, or call 575-541-5450.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Spaceport America style is retro-visionary



RETRO-VISIONARY SPACEPORT May 3

 By S. Derrickson Moore

Ah, Spaceport style.
It’s a new frontier for Las Cruces regional style, and in fact, for the world.
After another day at Spaceport America, I was racking my brain for a descriptive phrase that captured the essence, the ambiance, the je ne sais quois of the place.
Retro-visionary.
It finally came to me when I was boldly — lamely, actually — going through spaces where no media person has gone before (at least on this particular press junket). I was there to preview new exhibits slated to open in June, at the Spaceport Visitor Center in downtown Truth or Consequences, and at April’s isolated Spaceport America tour site, the upstairs exhibit portion of the 120,000-square-foot Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space building, a combined terminal and hangar facility.
I realized my still-waiting-for-test-results, impaired knee would probably not appreciate climbing several flights up and down stairs to a SpaceShipTwo hangar media conference site.
To see if there was another way to get from here to there, I asked Virgin Galactic’s Chelsea Green, who may have the coolest job title on the planet: Terrestrial Experience Designer.
She revealed that it was her second awesome, out-this-world-title: the first was “astronaut sales.” Her business card was cosmic, too: the distinctive Virgin logo in the center of what looked like some sort of cosmic nebula but was, she revealed, based on a photo of each staffer’s eye.
She graciously offered to take me to an elevator, with the caution that photographs weren’t allowed in the regions of the vast building we’d be going through, after gaining access through what struck me as a super cool, secret hidden panel worthy of a futuristic castle in a galaxy long ago and far, far away. I kept my promise and didn’t Tout or Tweet or Instagram, so we’ll have to make do with the thousand words, rather than the picture.
Or maybe it won’t take quite that many. It was bright, shiny, white. White-white, like the rest of the interior of the building, and its Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo replica, waiting patiently to be replaced by the real thing, in its white-white hangar. The offices and conference areas were white, and so were what looked like cubicles and storage areas and desks, all in lovely, graceful, free-form, retro-visionary shapes.
It put me in mind of all-white futuristic scenes from Woody Allen movies of the early 1970s, of our first glimpses of Tomorrowland at Disneyland, when we were tiny tots, watching the Mickey Mouse Club in the 1950s. Of the bright, white boots, mod fashions and furnishings coming out of swinging London and New York in the 1960s.
It was our idea of what the future would look like, best-case scenario, when we were little kids.
I loved it then, and I love it now, and I can understand why Richard Branson loves it, too. We’re about the same vintage and came into our spacey salad days with the same style influences.
The building’s exterior, by the by, is not white-white, but still fits nicely into its own retro-visionary niche. True to its LEED Platinum accredited, eco-friendly status inside and out, it’s designed to harmonize visually with its high desert country environment.
“It is both sustainable and sensitive to its surroundings,” proclaims the architect’s website, fosterandpartners.com.
Back in the hippie, tree-hugging days of the Whole Earth Catalog of the late 1960s and ‘70s, we dreamed of lovely, organic, Spaceship Earth dwellings. I think Buckminster Fuller would have loved this pioneering, retro-visionary commercial spaceport terminal.
The building, designed by the firm of world-renowned architect Lord Norman Foster, will support up to two WhiteKnightTwo and five SpaceShipTwo vehicles, according to Virgin Galactic sources, and will house all of the company’s “astronaut preparation and celebration facilities, a mission control center, a friends and family area and space committed to public access.”
Whatever eventually gets off the ground at Spaceport America, what’s already there is the stuff of dreams — past, present and future.
Retro-visionary.
S. Derrickson Moore may be reached at dmoore@lcsun-news.com, @DerricksonMoore on Twitter  and Tout, or call 575-541-5450