Tuesday, 2 August 2011


THIS WAS A DAY OF STRANGE EVENTS AND FEELINGS---I've recorded it as best I can with pictures. I show the ending first to suggest how serendippity pulls me where she will. This is Carmalita---I was "destined" to meet her before the day was over--in a very strange place.
I saw this and got it into my head to go to the other side of the mountain where that rainbow ended.

It's not easy to get there---first I drove the length of this valley---I take my rig with me---I'm not coming back.

I cross a 9,800 ft pass.

On the far side I'm attracted down this gravel road--- something immense on the horizon is drawing me.

A home-made sign gives me pause. I think it says LAND OF DEATH Zapata lives. A warning?

There's the immense thing that's drawing me. And a village of some sort at it's base. Now I'm intrigued.

Nary a soul in sight---an old old spanish village.

Still, not a soul. Houses everywhere vacant.

Abandoned---like the folks just walked away.

Then out of the blue---this strange sight---a little old lady just staring into this unusual building. Of course I want to engage her. I turn to get my hat and turn off my engine----and suddenly she's gone. Must have gone through that doorway. I'll go find her!

Can you read it? LITO'S BALLROOM----can you believe it---a ballroom in a tiny village.

I'm surprised to find the door slightly jammed. I pushed it open and picked my way through the entryway.

Whoa! What has happened here? A major collapse. I see no sign of the lady.

A bandstand stage---pieces of an old piano.

Then on the far wall---Carmelita----that's the name I've given her. With no one to tell me what happened here----I shall have to improvise: Once this was a lively, thriving, frontier town of happy people who loved to dance and so they constructed a ballroom. The best dancer in the village was Raul----devlishly handsome---and when he took the floor---all the ladies swooned. Carmelita especially lost her heart to him---but alas, she had no talent for dancing and just sat and yearned as Raul swirled the other girls round the dance floor.

Desperately in love--she turned to the holy mother for help. A nearby grotto captures the moment Carmelita begs for the gift of graceful dancing. And in an instant knew in her heart the request was
granted-----that her feet and body were now infused with the fire and skill and rhythm of the gypsies. She made herself a dancing dress and when next the ballroom filled on a snowy winter night, she boldly moved to its center and while curious eyes marveled--- began to sway in perfect rhythm to the music. Alone on the dance floor--so graceful that Raul was smitten. Moving onto the dance floor like a toreador, he embraced her and together they did the dance of love. The band seized the moment to play flamenco music. The couple began to stamp----first one and then the other---then both together in such wild abandon that the walls and ceiling began to shake---the crowd cheered---the couple stomped faster and faster---Suddenly a loud crack and timbers began to fall. The people all ran away but Raul and Carmelita---continued to dance. That was the last the town ever saw of them. Some say they slipped out the back door and ran away together.

Bodies were never found. But as a tribute to the miracle dance they witnessed that night---the townspeople placed the shoes they were wearing on the spot the couple danced the flamenco so fiercely that the roof caved in. And there they remain to this day. Some say that after a long happy life together both passed on---but on special occasions---Carmelita's spirit returns to this ballroom to give thanks again to the virgin mother for her miracle.

Search as I may, I never found the lady---but I'm thankful she led me to this dramatic site.

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