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Dick’s back was still out. He went to a chiropractor two times for
crunching therapy… And the therapy eventually worked!  After eight
days of pain and gnashing of teeth, his back became stable once again.
Dick originally acquired this malady as a result of corkscrewing down
a passage in Sandia Cave up in the national forest above Placitas.
Dick realized that his body didn’t work the same way it used to when
he and Dennis Slifer were caving every weekend for the Maryland Cave
Survey. Of course Dick was about 30 pounds lighter, too.  Dennis was
always slender…and probably is still that way today.  Sitting in a car
for 700 miles ain’t what it’s
cracked up to be either.

The leaves started coloring up in the valleys of the Sandia Mountains
about the time of the Sandia cave adventure.   Gary and Dick found a
beautiful stream flowing in the valley below the cave.  The water was
capturing golden leaves in tiny pools flushed by dribbling cascades of
water.  Lunch next to a babbling brook ain’t bad for government work!

Back in Albuquerque, Dick wandered the sculpture gardens at the
Albuquerque Art Museum.  These sculpted figures are splendid! The most
amazing ones were those of the conquistadors on their horses, padres
and families, following their wagons along the Camino Real headed for
a new life in the valley of the Rio Grande.  Other parts of the
gardens were composed of sculptures depicting more modern scenes
around the city of Albuquerque… people reading newspapers, a couple
kissing, What a magical place! The whole city vibrates with art and

Dick met two wonderful artists, Sarah Hartshorne and Melanie Wegner,
while in the city.  He bought a spendid painting from Sarah and now
hopes also to buy one of the delicious abstract expressionist
paintings in acrylics from Melanie.  Dick’s house has undergone a
painting revival. All the walls, which were once covered with 1000s of
books, have given way to art.  Dick…you eclectic bastard!

Another piece of Albuquerque’s dynamic culture, one that is near and
dear to Dick’s heart, is the wonderful community gardens at Anderson
Fields (also know as Los Poblanos Open Space a wildlife refuge for
migrating birds).  Melanie, and her two dawg friends Bob and Ellie,
(not to be confused with Bob, Dick’s sculptured toilet,) showed Dick
around these gardens. Wonderful day, wonderful friends… Since Dick got
involved with community gardens in Palatka, you can’t get the boy out
of the dirt.  Part of the garden adjoins an elementary school whose
students participate in the gardening experience.  Average rainfall
being 9.47 inches a year, with water is always an issue in NM.


Gary Morgan in Sandia Cave
Sculptures at the Albuquerque Art Museum
Click on photos to enlarge

Golden leaves in pools of water in Sandia Mtns.

Melanie, Bob, and Ellie at the 
community gardens

Painting that was purchased from Sarah

Aspen and cottonwood leaves bring
 color to valley floor
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