The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #28416   Message #352416
Posted By: Rex
06-Dec-00 - 12:18 PM
Thread Name: A fine time was had at Bent's Old Fort
Subject: A fine time was had at Bent's Old Fort
I was at Bent's Old Fort down in LaJunta, CO the past two weekends. The previous week they had the "Millenium Tree Celebration". Every year the Christmas tree for the U.S. capitol comes from a different state. This time it was ol Colorader right from the Pike National Forest near me. And being on the edge of the "official" millenium it gets that catchy name. Well our illustrious senator, Ben Nighthorse Campbell is driving it to Washington on a big truck. One of the stops was Bent's Fort a reconstructed fort from the fur trade (1830s) and they asked me to entertain. I took the only two instruments that have been documented as being there, a fiddle and banjo and played Christmas tunes from the time. We also did some tunes and traditions held by the New Mexicans living around there. Then our senator gave a great speech to the masses and so did the mayor of LaJunta and they went on their way to Washington. Last weekend was their usual traditional Christmas celebration. I had a good time in the billiards room singing shanties with the Army corps. of Engineers and the Dragoon soldiers. Then each evening I would play tunes Christmas and others for folks in the dining area. We had a fine step dancer too. She was a delight to all of us. Then I headed SW for the very Mexican town of Aguilar where some friends live. The one evening we were playing bluegrass on banjo and mandolin and then celtic tunes on the harp and tin whistles in the saloon there. One of the vaqueros (cowboys) asked to play the guitar in spanish. (many of them don't speak english) About eight of them gathered around and started singing these wonderful vaquero songs. My friend picked up his banjo and I grabbed the fiddle and joined in. It was like something from another time but was a normal day in Aguilar. Later on I started singing some rowdy shanties much to the delight of the locals. It was a good mix of cultures, scotch whiskey and cactus whiskey.

Rex