Friday, December 25, 2009

Espanola Valley animal shelter auctions 8 more bronze mice (and a dog bowl decorated by Hugh Hefner!) among other things...

The Scottish Rite Masonic Hall made for a very theatrical venue to auction off another bunch of mice to benefit less fortunate and homeless critters.

It seemed to be a building made specifically for a group of people who shared a remarkable fondness for wearing strange hats.
The walls were filled with framed pictures of current and previous wearers of odd looking hats.
I wouldn't have imagined that so many unusual headgear enthusiasts would likely be found in one place, Santa Fe being quite small and all, but it seems there's quite an underground appreciation for them.

We arrived early, and thanks to a bit of hustling by Fran Nicholson (sculptor, fellow donator and mold maker who lives in the Fred Flintstone house near Santa Fe) we got shown around the dark and cloistered theater by a very nice man, in a strange hat.
The theater is used by the members to enact certain rites of passage, sometimes before an audience, sometimes not.

Your's truly hiding in the trees...

The theater was wonderfully dressed to appear like a woodland scene, and it was quite magical being among the trees.
They are all painted on canvas, and stuck on string netting which allows you to see through the gaps. All stacked up, it makes for quite an illusion.
There's lots more of them up in the ceiling, ready to drop down and envelope the stage in numerous other gauzy worlds. I'd love to have seen more.
They were made in Chicago in 1911 or 12, for another Scottish Rite Temple which ran out of money, so Santa Fe got them instead.

Around 1950 a bunch more temple was added, creating an enclosed garden. It really is quite an enchanting place.

I would have thought it would make an ideal home for a ping pong club, especially when I learned it's unused and empty most of the time.
But alas, the sound of ping pong balls never echoes through its hallowed halls.

Mmmm, I wonder....if only the game of table tennis required the wearing of unusual headgear, then perhaps it might stand a chance....

The mice were arranged to be auctioned as a group of three, another group of two, and three individual ones.

The shelter put on a splendid event, very festive and fun.
My parrot ran out of juice before many people showed up, so I didn't get any pics of the happy crowds that arrived later.

Oh, here's my holiday card.
Hope you're all having fun!

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