Tuesday, May 10, 2016

This is not a map but it is probably a poker table

This is not a map.  It is a chart and not a particularly meaningful one.   I am not exactly sure what CB Insights does.  Something with helping people take money that could be used to pay teachers, or social workers, or building maintenance and spend it on IT instead.  In any case, if I were a smart person with money, I probably wouldn't use them.  They could have taken the information and made a map of which VC companies were funding which start ups and given us some visual cues as to where the actual money was going.  Maybe they could even have the thickness of the  bars that connect them reflect the amount of money invested.  Are VC firms spreading the wealth around evenly?  Do they think some sectors are more promising?  And nowhere, nowhere!, is Pearson even mentioned.  Ed-Tech VC is a lot like the poker room at Vegas.  If you don't know who the sucker is at the poker table, it's probably you. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

I Got Suspended.

The video explains everything







I have some amazingly talented students. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Kids Are Alright

It's been really quiet around the Panopticon of late.  I've been terribly busy with a new course that is kicking my butt.  I just found out I'm teaching AP US next year and I needed to put together a new summer reading and find a textbook.  We were hiring.  I'm trying to make sure every senior gives their senior speech before they go on senior projects (more on that in a second).  My wife's business is crazy.  I had another ER visit for an allergic reaction.  My spouse's business is going gang-busters but that means I'm doing extra dad duty, and there's been a lot of that.   

And so I have a lot of half-formed posts all of which seem out of date and irrelevant or just crappy when I get back to them.  It's all been a bit much. 

If it seems like I am down right now,  I'm not.  Just busy and exhausted and lacking some confidence.  So on Friday, I swung by the auditorium and cleared the stage from the orchestra set up so I could put the screen down to show a video in assembly, taught a class, raced backed to the auditorium, hooked up the video, set up the mic for the senior speeches, figured out who was actually there to give them and tried to take attendance of my junior advisees. 

And then I listened to the speech.  I had approved the speech weeks earlier, but the student giving it was sick on her assigned day.  Now the timing seemed perfect.  It was national day of silence and, she came out as bi- pansexual as part of the speech.  But that was not the moving part, the part that spoke to me.  Rather, it was the part about not listening to the critic in your head, the one that said "don't do that paper topic, it's not good enough; ditch that idea for the video, you won't be able to pull it off; you can't; you can't, so don't."  I've been hearing that voice a lot in the last few weeks.  So tonight, I'm blogging. 

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There's a facebook meme going around that I hate.  It's the one that talks about how great it was to grow up in the 50s, 60s and 70s and compares it to stereotypes about childhood and young adulthood today.  It's a giant "get off my lawn!" with a helping of "make America great again" on the side.  I actually took the time to debunk it on somebody's fb page I found it so irritating.  And the reason I found it so irritating is that kids today have a raw deal.  They play outside less because their parents are working more for less pay and they have wayyyyy more homework at a much younger age than we ever did.   For those that want to go college, it seems unaffordable and the choices of careers that could actually support them seem to shrink daily.  Are they all on meds?  A lot are, but a lot fewer are self-medicating with drugs, nicotine, or alcohol.  They are making better choices about sex, and like the student I heard speak on Friday, they lie to themselves and each other far less than we ever did.  And they take action.

Today my daughter attended the second annual Girls Climate Change Summit conceived and organized by a student who is a junior at her school.  It featured expert speakers  (Jane Goodall Skyped in!) and encouraged the attendees to act in large ways and small to prevent climate change.  More importantly it encouraged them to brainstorm their own solutions.  My daughter is in seventh grade.  She's already written two successful grants, conceived and run a pop-up restaurant that actually made money, plays steel drums, runs cross country and plays lacrosse, takes a drama class, and is teaching herself to code.  She's not atypical of a lot of kids today, even if she has exceptional opportunities.  The stakes for her and them are high and they know it.  A mistake that would have gotten me suspended could get a kid today arrested or killed.     But they're not giving up.  They keep trying to make the world better.  You know what, the kids are alright.


Sunday, April 3, 2016

30,000 views

Hey there folks,
So I've been super busy with school stuff and life stuff and other stuff.   So it's been slow here at the Panopticon.  I have a bunch of incomplete posts and as soon as I finish this stack of grading (on Tuesday) they will come fast and furious. 

But in the meantime, I apparently hit 30,000 page views.  This means I have roughly 1 reader who checks me compulsively (hi Withywindle!), a couple of facebook friends who check me out to be nice and a few folks who will read me if I get a retweet on Twitter.  To the mystery reader in Paris whoever you are, thanks.   

Friday, February 19, 2016

More on the Crisis in the Cold: The deep history of Navajo drinking in Gallup


This is part 3 of a series.   There will be a few more parts.
 


Street Level Conflict, Part 1: Alcohol Use in Gallup
            The alcohol question vexed relations between Navajos and Gallup residents more than any other.[1]  Some folks in Gallup were quick to point out that although Gallup had a population of only 17,000, its trade area comprised mostly dry reservation and Mormon towns that included 80,000 people and thus the alcohol situation appeared worse than it was because all the drinking for the entire trade area had to take place in Gallup. But this justification could not replace what was clearly evident on the city streets. New Yorker columnist Calvin Trillin wrote in his column that "Gallup is noted for drunken Indians."[2]  As Trillin pointed out, Navajo drinking and its effects were far more visible compared to similar activity by other groups.  Indeed, authorities in Gallup estimated that the "problem drinkers" constituted a small minority of Navajos drinking in Gallup.  Of the eight or nine thousand Navajos arrested every year, Police Chief Manuel Gonzalez estimated that most were accounted for by the same 400 to 450 people who were arrested twice a month.[3]  
As I have already pointed out in Chapter 2, the alcoholism rates for rural Anglos and Navajos have been, by most measurable indicators, roughly equal.  What astounded visitors to Gallup was not so much the quantity of alcohol Navajos consumed but the style and manner in which Navajos drank.  Navajos drank in groups, often outside liquor stores.[4]   An encounter between Anglo historian Terry Lee Carroll and his Navajo informant Joe Miller reveals how Anglo and Navajo drinking styles differed.  Miller took Carroll to several  Navajo-patronized bars in Gallup in the late 1968.  He explained the Navajo drinking ethic to Carroll. "[I]f a man doesn't chase women and drink, he's a fool," Joe told Carroll.  "Are you a fool?" Miller asked.  Carroll, a Baptist, admitted to drinking an occasional beer but claimed that, as a married man, he did not chase women.  "Fool, fool," responded Miller.  After the exchange, Miller repeatedly called Carroll only by the new name.[5]
 The exchange highlighted some of the major differences among the various cultural constructions of alcohol use and the way such constructions shaped larger debates.  Anglo, Hispano, and Navajo uranium miners in Grants would have recognized Miller's criteria for manhood immediately.  Drinking beer and chasing women -- or at least acting as voyeurs during strip shows -- were activities central to the miners' sense of community.  In the bars of Grants, a man like Miller was a good fit.  But Miller was not an Anglo or Hispano miner in Grants, he was a Navajo man drinking in Gallup.  In Grants, the leisure activity of drinking was so closely related to work that socializing in bars and holding one's liquor was considered an essential aspect of being a good miner.  When a man drank in a bar in Grants, he was almost guaranteed to be identified as a miner blowing off steam after a hard day's work.  However, when a Navajo man engaged in the same activities in Gallup, observers labeled him a drunk and a degenerate.  A Navajo uranium miner could engage in the same behavior in two different settings a mere sixty miles apart and either be held up as an example of Native American assimilation and progress in the United States, or reviled as the dregs of a dying race.      
Like the drinking patterns of the multi-racial miner community, Navajo alcohol consumption in the 1960s and 1970s was a heavily gendered affair.  Among Navajo men, alcohol consumption was an activity for the young.  Men in their twenties and thirties gathered in groups to engage in bouts of binge drinking.  While such behavior was scarce before the rise of the cash economy, new sources of wage income combined with the increased availability of alcohol in border towns like Gallup led to more frequent and more public bouts of group drinking.  Anglos would have considered such behavior alcoholic.  But Navajos saw the issue differently.  Most Navajo men stopped participating in these group binges by the time they reached their middle thirties to early forties.  In the Navajo view, only men who drank alone were considered problem drinkers.[6]
Among Navajo women, alcohol consumption was rare in the 1960s and 1970s.  Women may have consumed less alcohol because of the gendered division of labor.  Men began to earn cash at wage jobs while women continued to earn money primarily through agriculture and stockraising.  However, those Navajo women who did drink were much more likely than men to drink alone.  Further, the results of their drinking were likely to be, as the foremost scholars of Navajo drinking described it,  "disastrous."  Navajo women who drank were far more likely to experience problems because of their alcohol use ranging from being labeled deviant to becoming victims of sexual exploitation.[7] 
There were other factors that compounded the liquor issue in Gallup.  Navajos lack of mobility contributed to the alcohol problem.  Despite increased vehicle ownership on the reservation, Navajos still depended on a culture of reciprocity to get around.  While there are no studies that cover vehicle ownership over the whole of the reservation, during 1965-66 Louise Lamphere collected relevant data for the "Copper Canyon" community which was located well within Gallup's trade area.   She found that roughly over half the extended residence groups in the community had access to a pick-up or car, but only 34 percent of households actually owned one.  However, even in those households that owned a pick-up or car, the vehicle might be temporarily unavailable because it needed maintenance, had been repossessed, or had been wrecked.[8]   This led to a complicated culture of ride arrangement.  Although Lamphere listed hitch-hiking as only the fourth preferred mode of procuring a ride (among five listed options),   it was popular enough that Eric Treisman found himself frequently giving rides to Navajos as he traveled around the checkerboard and reservation during his stint as a DNA lawyer.[9] 
Another strategy of ride procurement, last in Lamphere's hierarchy, was to go to a public gathering place and try to procure a ride.[10]  Many of these ride seekers were Navajo men returning from off-reservation employment.  While trains and buses brought them to Gallup, they often had to look for a ride home.  For those Navajos stranded in Gallup, congregating in a public place was a popular option.  Of the public places available, bars offered one of the few spots where a person in need of a ride could hope to find a person who could give them a ride, provided, of course, that the ride seeker kept ordering drinks.  Ted Rushton gave outbound hitchhikers rides from Gallup to the Navajo Inn, just across the reservation line north of town.  His passengers, usually from the more distant parts of the reservation, explained that "sooner or later, I will meet someone [at the bar] from over there and he can give me ride home."[11]   
At the end of the night, bar owners turned out into the streets those Navajos who had failed to find a ride along with any drinkers who were too inebriated to operate their vehicles.  Some Navajos did drive while drunk, which accounts in part for higher mortality rates among Navajo drinkers than among Anglo drinkers.  Drunk driving was pervasive enough that McKinley County routinely was among the top counties in the nation for per capital deaths due to alcoholism, largely because of drunk-driving fatalities.[12]  Many of these fatalities were Navajos who did not live in McKinley County but rather in dry reservation areas.  Compounding the problem, Navajos routinely had to travel further, along worse and more isolated roads, so accidents were more likely to occur.  When the inevitable happened, the injuries to the victims tended to be worse, and due to the distance from medical facilities, the injured had higher mortality rates.[13] 
For those Navajos who did not drive, however, the experience of being drunk in Gallup changed radically.  Prior to 1970, the mostly male intoxicated Navajos found on the street by police were taken to the Gallup jail.  This solution had some merits.  Being picked up by the police meant that individual Navajo men were less likely to freeze to death on the streets, especially during Gallup's bitter winters. Even during summer, nighttime temperatures got so cold that death by exposure was a real threat for those sleeping outdoors.  Further, many Navajos who were drunk slept in the streets and were at risk for being run over by automobiles and trucks.  However, the Gallup jail routinely had some 200 prisoners and only 72 bunks.[14]
The conditions inside the jail were intolerable.  Valentino Curley, a Navajo from Ganado, brought suit with two other inmates against the Gallup jail in February of 1970.  During the suit, lawyers graphically depicted the problems in the jail.  One room that held 182 prisoners was a mere forty by forty feet..  For these 182 prisoners, authorities provided but 66 cots draped in bed linen that was "old, filthy, infected with lice,."  The cots had neither sheets nor pillows and there were only 45 blankets to go around.  There was standing water on the floor due to improper drainage.  Jailers did not provide clothes and there were no facilities to wash those inmates were already wearing, nor were visitors allowed to bring fresh clothes.  The 182 prisoners ate but two meals a day, and during those meals shared some fifty plates and cups that were not washed between uses.[15]
Although distressed by the material conditions, Curley spent much of his own testimony describing the economic problems being in jail caused him.  Curley was the only member of his family who was employed.  If he pled guilty, the forty-five day sentence would cost his family dearly.  But if he pled not guilty he faced three weeks of jail time before his trial even came up.  The prosecutor did not offer him work release.  He chose to plead guilty and endure the forty-five day sentence.  However, he could not call his family to let them know where he was nor could he call his employer who might have posted bail for him pending a trial.[16]  As was the case for other Navajos who were picked up, being incarcerated did not help Curley, but compounded his problems.  Curley lost his job and lost contact with his family.  The delicate web of economic and social relations that held Curley's and other inmates' lives together was severely damaged.   
This situation changed after Curley won his suit in federal court in February of 1970.  The court restricted the jail to 60 inmates, and, as a consequence, the drunk tank was limited to 44 persons.[17]  As a result, the 400 to 450 Navajos whom Chief Manuel Gonzalez used to arrest regularly in Gallup were more visible than ever.  An Anglo woman resident described why Navajo drinking was so much more visible than Anglo or Hispano drinking.  She argued that "If a tourist lady comes down and finds an Indian dead drunk draped over the hood of her car... or if a townsperson sees it, they go away with the idea that these are drunken Indians whereas the country club drinkers can [drive home] and pass out - not over the hood on somebody's car - but their own bed."[18]  These differences in drinking behavior between Anglo and Hispano residents and non-resident Navajos, combined with old stereotypes about Native Americans and alcohol, compounded the problem of perception in Gallup.  Gallup became a hotbed for stories about "drunk Indians."  Not only the New Yorker, but several national television shows ran stories on the problem of "Indian drinking" in Gallup.[19]  The visibility of the 400 to 450 Native American repeat offenders in Gallup, when combined with stereotypes of Native American alcohol use, led many, including perhaps Calvin Trillin, to connect alcoholism with all Navajos and by extension, Native America as a whole.
With the jail population limited, driving Gallup's roads at night became "terrifying" as Mary Rushton put it, "because you don't know if you are going to run over somebody passed out in the road."[20]    Here was the most graphic demonstration of street-level conflict in Gallup.  Residents, who were largely Anglo and Hispano, were scared to drive the streets of their own town because they feared running over non-resident Navajos in the streets.  Their previous solution, locking up these Navajos in an outdated and over-crowded jail, was declared illegal in a suit brought by families of incarcerated Navajos and pursued by DNA.  The Navajos on the street were bad for tourist business, and the national attention focused on the town did not help Gallup's reputation as a tourist destination.  Drinking Navajos who previously had been placed in the intolerable jail were now exposed to the hazards of weather and vehicular traffic.  The families of hard core drinkers received no help, nor did the drinkers themselves.  Meanwhile, all Navajos (and by extension Native Americans throughout the Southwest and the United States) were portrayed as derelicts and drunks regardless of their actual behavior.
 Solutions to these the problem were not forthcoming from any quarter.  Gallup's politicians claimed they could not build a treatment facility without bankrupting the town and asked both the Navajo Nation and the federal government for help.  The Navajo Nation's own resources were stretched thin. Navajo leaders responded that since Gallup liquor merchants were profiting from off-reservation drinking, Gallup ought to finance most, if not all, of the cost of building a treatment facility.  The federal government financed some small programs through the public health service, but no funds were available to build the desperately needed treatment facility.[21]  While it might be tempting to consider the question of Navajo drinking as either a political or social problem (or both), to do so would miss an important underlying factor in the situation.  If we let the notion of competing geographies inform our thinking, then we can understand this crisis more fully.  To put it simply, by the late 1960s   Gallup's streets had become contested terrain.  On the streets, the geography of Navajo leisure and alcohol use intersected with the geography of tourist and residential Gallup.  Because Gallup politicians were unable to control the process of Navajo place-making in Gallup, they resorted to the use of force in the form of the police to implement their vision.  However, Navajos, through their lawyers, opposed these measures, eventually forcing the police and courts to limit the jail population and to develop new strategies for dealing with Navajos' recreational use of Gallup.


[1]Keep in mind that some Navajos were Gallup residents.
[2]Calvin Trillin, "U.S. Journal: Gallup New Mexico - Drunken Indians,"  The New Yorker, Sept. 25, 1971, p.108.
[3]Doris Duke, Box 14, File 621.
[4]Trillin, pp. 110-112.
[5]Doris Duke, Box 12 Folder 356. 
[6]Levy and Kunitz, summarized in Kunitz and Levy, Drinking Careers pp. 2-3.
[7]Kunitz and Levy, p. 8.
[8]Lamphere, pp. 127-8.  The difference between a household and a residence group is somewhat arbitrary, but can roughly be defined by the divisions of space and labor.  According to Lamphere, households share a living space (such as a house or hogan) and share daily household chores.  Residence groups are households located near each other that share responsibility for sheep and agricultural fields. Lamphere pp. 69-85.
[9]Lamphere, p.128; Treisman interview.
[10]Lamphere, p. 128.
[11]Doris Duke, Box 14, File 641.
[12]New Mexico in Maps 2nd ed., ed. Jerry L. Williams (Albuquerque:  University of New Mexico Press, 1986) pp. 206-8.
[13]Doris Duke, Box 14, File 643-I; Levy and Kunitz,
[14]Doris Duke, Box 14, File 280.
[15]Diné Baa-Hani "What's wrong with Gallup Jail?,"March 1970. p. 3; Valentino Curley, "The Gallup Jail - What it's like," Feb. 1970, p.3.
[16]Valentino Curley, "The Gallup Jail -What it's like."
[17]Doris Duke, Box 14, File 280.
[18]Doris Duke, Box 14, Folder 641-I
[19]Doris Duke, Box 14, Folder 643-I.  As of yet, I have been unable to locate these television shows although they have been mentioned in several oral histories.  At least one was aired on PBS and another on CBS.
[20]Doris Duke, Box 14, Folder 641-I
[21]Doris Duke, Box 14, Folder 641; Folder 643-I.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

On The Crisis of Cold: On Navajos Gallup and Drinking Part 2.


Earlier, I discussed tourist Gallup.  Below, you'll see how Navajos used Gallup in the 1950s. 

*                                                        *                                                     *


The service industries of Gallup were directed at tourists, no doubt.  But also, they were directed at a wide variety of locals who lived near, but not in, Gallup.  The town acted as a trade center for the surrounding Navajo reservation and the checkerboard areas, and for nearby Anglo, Hispano, and Mormon towns as well.  Gallup was a wholesale and retail center.  It also offered wage labor and recreation opportunities not always available in the surrounding small towns and reservation areas.  To understand how people in the hinterlands navigated Gallup, we must try to reconstruct their patterns of movement.  We need to figure out where they came from, where they went, and why they went there.
At the beginning of the1950s, the road system in the Grants-Gallup area was, at best, primitive.  Route 66 was certainly a fine road, as was Route 666, which ran north from Gallup to Shiprock.  In 1950, the road south to Zuñi and Ramah was not yet paved.  Indeed most roads in the Grants-Gallup area that were not in towns were not paved.  The best of this lot were graded and graveled but many were little more than tracks.  A good dose of weather would render the roads impassible.[1]  Thus, the first problem for locals wishing to visit Gallup was getting there. 
Indeed, the roads that led to Gallup either directly or via Routes 66 and 666 were so awful that visiting anthropologists filled their notebooks with harangues about the combination of bad roads and bad weather that hampered their journeys.  David McAllester hit a bump so severe in September 1950 that he recorded it in his field notes.  George Mills was plagued with car trouble.  In the space of one week during March of 1952 he got stuck twice.  The first time he broke his shovel and consequently, while digging out the second time, he was covered in "freezing muck."  Thomas F. O'Dea moaned in his journal that he had to order a new tire, "thanks to these roads."[2] 
A trip to Gallup was no small proposition in bad weather.  One Ramah woman  took eight hours to make the forty-plus-mile trip because she got stuck four times. Other times, folks postponed trips until the condition of the roads improved.[3]  The road situation even affected the scheduling of community events.  In one case, the Hispano town of Atarque was too small to host its own priest and so shared one with Zuñi.  Because the priest had to travel from Zuñi to say Mass during the town's Feast Day, the celebration was moved from March, when roads were typically terrible, to October when they were more reliable.[4]  Spending a night out when one's car got stuck was not particularly unusual, although it paid to have friends along the route.  When a Mormon man got stuck overnight, he stayed with Hispano friends he had met when he used to deliver mail in the area.[5] 
Despite the hassles, many folks made the trip to Gallup when they could.   On the weekends, Gallup could get positively crowded.  Not only was there increased automobile traffic, but horse-drawn wagons from Zuñi and the closer parts of the Navajo reservation clogged the streets.[6]   Tracing what these visitors did and where they went is a difficult task.   It is made easier by the fact that we have access to a remarkable record of daily life for Gallup's visitors in 1950 and 1951.  During those years, anthropologist John Roberts lived in Gallup with his family while pursuing his work on the Rimrock Project.  His wife, Marie Roberts, although not formally part of the project and not credited with working on it, kept extensive field notes of the comings and goings to and from their house in Gallup.  Marie Roberts's role in the accumulation of information may not have been appreciated by the Harvard researchers who ran the project, but her work was instrumental to her husband's and the project's success.  Marie Roberts was in a pretty good position to keep up on where people were going in town.  Her second entry noted that "our house seems to be a popular place for visitors at lunchtime -- this is the third time in the last four days that visitors have arrived at noon."[7]   By feeding lunch-time visitors and hosting overnight guests, Marie Roberts helped cement the relationships that facilitated her husband's work. 
Marie Roberts adopted the methods of her husband by carefully recording who was visiting and where they went in town.  The movies, for example, were a popular destination for Anglos, Mormons, Zuñis, and Navajos alike.  Depending on the visitors' social positions, a simple trip to the movies could take on enormous complexity.  For three Mormon women from Ramah, a trip into Gallup made them "excited like school kids on a vacation."  The attraction of the movies for Ramah residents was so great that the church began showing movies in the ward house to keep folks in town and away from the possible corruptions in Gallup.[8]  Many folks made the trek explicitly to see movies and many saw more than one during the trip.[9]  One couple - the man of mixed tribal background and raised at Zuñi, his wife a Czech immigrant he met in Chicago - always saw two movies during their weekly visit to town from a nearby national monument where he worked.  They saw a Western for him, and another, not a Western, for her.[10]  Having the price of a ticket did not guarantee fair treatment however.  A Navajo man was asked to leave a movie theater when another (presumably Anglo) patron thought he was drunk.  The Navajo man had his money refunded, left, and then re-entered, paying again. The largely Anglo and Hispano audience seemed not to notice that he was the same man who had been asked to leave moments before.[11]  
Roberts's notes reveal that these people came from Gallup's hinterlands for more than just entertainment.  Shopping also was a popular activity.  Jay's Supermarket along Route 66 catered to a variety of customers.    Roberts ran into both Navajos and Ramah Mormons there.[12]  But not everybody liked Jay's.  Zuñis, for example tended to prefer the California and the San Juan supermarkets.[13]  It is unclear why different groups favored one establishment over another.  It may have been that one market offered different or better credit arrangements.  Perhaps a particular establishment had a better history of treatment of customers or hired people from a particular group.  Jay's for example, hired a Ramah Mormon.[14]  Your Food Store, however, appears to have attracted some Ramah residents by buying their farm products.[15]  Food shopping was not the only activity that had a specific cultural geography.  John Roberts recorded several of Zuñi preferences.  According to Roberts, Zuñis patronized specific establishments for dry cleaning, shoe repair, and gasoline.[16] 
One thing to which neither Zuñis nor Navajos had access in Gallup was a public restroom.   Consequently, they used the dry river bed that bisected the town north of Route 66 as a place to relieve themselves or, alternatively, called on friends like Marie Roberts and hoped they were home.[17]  Native American visitors suffered other indignities in Gallup.  Some service providers raised prices for Native American customers.    One Navajo paid one-third more for his haircut than a white customer did.  Some of Marie Roberts's visitors complained that taxi services were charging Native American customers more.[18]
Despite the less than subtle racism, most of Gallup's retailers offered lower prices to customers than the secondary retailers located in the hinterlands and closer to the customer base.  Zuñis, for example, often bought gasoline by the drum because pumping stations in and near the Pueblo charged significantly higher prices.[19]  In other cases, services simply were not available in the smaller community.  Mullarky's photo shop drew a mixed clientele because it offered the only photograph developing service in the area.[20]  However, treacherous roads kept such travels to a minimum for many in the area.  Only those located the closest to Gallup could make the trip regularly.  Others, impeded by the difficulty and time-consuming nature of the trip, came only a few times a year or less.
 Some people did not shop in town because most Gallup businesses operated on a cash basis.  Buying goods, food and drink, or movie tickets in Gallup required hard money.  For the cash strapped residents of the hinterland, the absence of credit reduced their ability to shop in town.  
Many Anglo, Hispano, and Mormon farmers and ranchers supplemented their seasonal incomes with short term wage work to improve their cash flow.  One Mormon man moved to Gallup to work at a supermarket "to fill in his time while his cows were being fattened by earning some money to live on."[21]  Working on the areas roads constituted another form of wage work that was short term.  Road work rotated from family to family so that everyone had a chance to earn cash.  When the highway department began hiring on longer term contracts in the late 1940s, Romolo Padilla of the Hispano ranching town of San Rafael near Grants responded by writing a letter to the governor.  Padilla wanted to ensure that wages were spread around the community.  "I am sure," he wrote Governor Mabry, "people in this precinct will be satisfied if they change on the jobs once in a while."[22]    Padilla wanted the road crew supervisors to hire all new crews from time to time to spread the wealth around.  Temporary wage work could help carry families through cash short periods and paid for the occasional movie or dance.
    In addition to road work, wages could be earned by working for the school districts, the post office, or at the munitions center at Fort Wingate outside Gallup.  Women frequently supplemented the family income through wage work.  In the Ramah schools, women worked as teachers, janitors, and bus drivers.  This last occupation was the arena of some conflict.  Because the roads were so bad, some folks thought that bus driving was strictly a man's job.  "I think a woman's got no business drivin' a school bus," argued an Anglo woman when the current bus diver planned to leave and a woman applied to fill the position.  However, the departing bus driver was also a woman.  The Anglo woman justified the departing driver's work because she drove "that bus carefully and just like a man, if she gets stuck in the mud and there's nothin' for it but to get down on her belly in the mud... she'll get down there just the same as a man."  Further, the Anglo woman claimed the bus driver's husband always drove on the worst days.[23]       Despite the rigors of the job, the 250 dollars monthly additional income that bus driving brought in made it worth the muddy bellies in hard times.
It was not unusual for Ramah Saints to move to Gallup for short periods to supplement their farm and ranch incomes during slow periods, when prices were low, or when crops or livestock performed poorly.  Saints shuttled back and forth between Ramah and Gallup pursuing wage work in town and then farming and ranching back in Ramah.  Ramah folks often lived in the same houses serially in Gallup, one family moving in when another moved out.  Lest anyone think their moves were permanent, the Ramah Saints usually continued to wear their ranching clothes in town.  Their cowboy boots and hats made them seem "backwoodsy" to the more sophisticated Gallup residents.[24]  Likewise, many Hispanos sought wage work.  An anthropologist described the town of San Rafael as a city of women and children in the daytime.  The men worked outside town, mostly in nearby Grants.[25] 
The film industry provided another source of short term wage work.   Between 1940 and 1964, Hollywood shot eighteen movies in the area.  Included in that total are the nine movies made between 1948 and 1951 alone.  Locals found work as extras, guides, wranglers, stock suppliers, and interpreters among other jobs.[26]  The same man who supplemented his income by working in the Gallup supermarket earned more cash by leasing horses to the movie industry.  A Ramah woman made money by babysitting on the set.  The same woman's family income increased even more when her young son got a small speaking part.[27]  Young men from Ramah made twenty dollars a day working as stunt doubles and extras reported one anthropologist.  A different anthropologist recorded the rate as four dollars a scene plus $1.25 for lunch plus three dollars for transportation expenses.[28]  Navajos also earned money playing extras.  To this day, within Gallup and across the reservation stories circulate as to what is actually being said by Navajo actors in several of these movies when they improvised dialogue in their native tongue.[29]  
Access to wage work did not necessarily translate to economic freedom or mobility.  For at least some Navajos, wage work did not result in more cash in their pockets.  In the years before stock reduction, Navajos rarely saw or used cash.  Instead, they bought items on credit from a local trader.  They then settled their accounts once a year through the sale of wool and lambs.  Additional emergency income in the form of goods could come from jewelry and craft sales or the pawning of particular items, usually jewelry or blankets.  However, some sources of wage work were available to Navajos.  Railroad work provided seasonal labor at a time when men were least needed at home.  Although men traditionally controlled any wages they earned, as opposed to the female-owned sheep, lambs and wool, railroad work did not necessarily translate into ready spending cash.  Some traders worked as labor agents for the railroad and were able to intercept the Navajo laborers paychecks.  They would then require that the worker sign his paycheck over to the trader and receive credit at the post in exchange.[30]  Thus the wage earner never got any money but ended up collecting his wages in the form of trading post goods.     
For Navajos, however, there was at least one event that merited a special trip to Gallup - the Inter-Tribal Ceremonials.  The Ceremonials served two purposes for the Navajos who attended.  First, the craft halls provided a market where they could sell items.  Second, and more important, many Navajos considered the Ceremonials as one of the most important social events of the year.  The Ceremonials offered a time to catch up with friends and relatives who lived in different parts of the Reservation or who had left the Reservation in search of wage work. During the Ceremonials,  visitors and performers alike held many social dances in the campground set aside for visiting Navajos.  Some Navajos also performed as part of the Ceremonial program and received wages for that work as well.[31]
Another attraction for residents in the hinterlands was the availability of alcohol in Gallup.  Even before 1953, when Native Americans were granted the right to purchase alcohol openly, Gallup served as a bootlegging center for the reservations.[32]  Like the reservations, the Latter-day Saint towns also were dry.  Therefore,  Mormons who did not observe abstinence from alcohol (known as "jack" Mormons) had to go to Gallup to buy alcohol or procure it from neighbors who did so.[33]  Gallup then served as a center for both legal and illegal sales of alcohol. 
For Navajos particularly, Gallup  was a prime location for drinking.  In the 1950s, when off-reservation drinking styles were still patterned on the binge-drinking model, Gallup had a particularly notorious underside.  The descriptions of post-war Gallup available usually do not focus on this aspect of the city.  However, Leslie Marmon Silko's novel Ceremony offers particularly graphic descriptions of this aspect of Gallup.  In her book, set during the 1950s, Silko describes the arroyo that runs through town as inhabited by Native American women who trade sex for money, food, and liquor.  Native American men sleep there too, pan-handling during the day for money to buy more fortified wine. (These were the same arroyos where visiting Native Americans went to the bathroom because no public facilities were available to them.)  Some of the characters in the novel travel to Gallup to drink in its bars.  In one particular passage, Silko describes the main street of Gallup from a Native American perspective:
[He] saw Navajos in torn old jackets, standing outside the bars.  There were Zunis and Hopis there too, even a few Lagunas.  All of them slouched against the dirty wall of the bars along Highway 66, their eyes staring at the ground as if they had forgotten the sun in the sky; or maybe that was the way they dreamed for wine, looking for somewhere in the mud on the sidewalk.  ... These people crouching outside bars like cold flies stuck to the walls.
...From the doorway of a second-hand store he could see feet, toes poking through holes in the socks.  Someone sleeping off the night before, but without his boots now, because somebody had taken them to trade for a bottle of cheap wine.[34] 
This was a part of Gallup that the Inter-Tribal Ceremonial authorities had no desire for the tourists to see. 
For Hispanos and Anglos, especially Hispano and Anglo men, recreation in Gallup included drinking, fighting, and sex.  A Hispano man told Munro Edmonson he had come to Gallup "for a piece of tail,"  although Edmonson did not record the success of the venture.  The bars of Gallup were rife with tension.  Evon Vogt recorded several racialized bar fights in Gallup.  One started when an Anglo told "a dirty Mexican" to get out of his way.  Another started when two Anglos from a nearby town said "we're always glad to see the Mexicans leave here."[35]   These brawls, actually miniature race riots, show the ethnic tension that lurked below the surface of Gallup.  The culture of masculinity that fostered cross-racial community in Grants did not hold sway in Gallup.           
Bars, liquor stores, and bootlegging joints form part of the geography of alcohol in Gallup.  Navajo alcohol geography includes the riverbed and other sites of consumption and recovery.  Navajos called a grassy area behind the Chamber of Commerce Adláanii Da'alchoozhígi (the place where the drinkers graze).  This field was a popular spot for sleeping off a drunk.[36]  Together these areas comprise a specific geography of alcohol use in Gallup.  The specifics of Anglo and Hispano alcohol geographies are harder to track because these groups frequently drank in their own homes.  Despite the more visible use of alcohol by Native Americans in Gallup, it is important to remember that Navajo drinking patterns mirrored those of nearby Anglos[37] 
Alcohol use contributed important aspects of the stories people told that helped police the boundaries of Gallup's racialized geography.  Resident Anglos and Hispanos of Gallup told tales of drunk Indians.  These debauched souls, they argued,  were incapable of handling their own affairs. They were "bad Indians."  Some attributed the drunken condition to the inherent laziness of Indians while others, like Erna Fergusson, insisted that drunkenness was the result of too much contact with Anglos.[38]  In either case, the "bad Indian"  logic seemed to justify the social control that Gallup residents exercised over   Native Americans.  Gallup residents discriminated against Navajos and Zuñis using market mechanisms and control of social space.  Native Americans paid higher prices and were forced to relieve themselves outdoors.  These de facto and de jure restrictions placed on Native Americans in Gallup by Anglos and Hispanos served as methods of organizing the landscape of Gallup in specific ways.  Thus, some areas, such as the Rio Puerco, were given solely to Native Americans while others were zones of cultural contact.  Still other locales served as the exclusive province of Anglos and Hispanos.  Despite the apparently unified front that Hispanos and Anglos presented to Native Americans, some Anglos denied Hispanos entry into the social category of whiteness by vigorously patrolling the boundary with their fists.  Other Anglos grudgingly accepted Hispanos claims or even advocated on behalf of Hispanos. 
Gallup in the 1950s, then, was a set of overlapping terrains.  The geography of tourism intersected and coexisted with the geographies of local trade and of recreational alcohol and sex.  These geographies occupied distinct but overlapping spaces within the town.  Thus the riverbed in town was simultaneously an obstacle to be crossed, the place to relieve oneself if no restrooms were available, the home of Native American alcoholics who lived in town, as well as a place for visitors to sleep off a drunk.  Likewise, the downtown functioned as tourist mecca, entertainment area, retail center, and alcohol soaked landscaped.  


[1]Peter Iverson, The Navajo Nation (Albuquerque:  University of New Mexico Press, 1981) pp. 56-9; Robert W. Young, The Navajo Yearbook: A Decade of Progress  (Window Rick, Ariz.:  Navajo Agency, 1961) pp. 134-42.
[2]David McAllester, Rimrock Field Notes, Sept. 10, 1950; George Mills, Rimrock Field Notes, March 18, 1952;  Thomas F. O'Dea, Rimrock Field Notes, Sept. 7, 1950.
[3]Janine Chappat Rosenzweig, Rimrock Field Notes, March 19, 1945; March 23, 1945.
[4]Evon Z. Vogt, Rimrock Field Notes, Oct. 20, 1951.
[5]Janine Chappat Rosenzweig, Rimrock Field Notes, Feb. 4, 1945.
[6]Munro Edmonson, Rimrock Field Notes, Sept 24, 1945.
[7]Marie Roberts Field Notes, Aug. 3 1950.
[8]Janine Chappat Rosensweig, Rimrock Field Notes,March 6, 1945; Fred Strodtbeck, Rimrock Field Notes, June 25, 1949.
[9]Marie Roberts, Rimrock Field Notes, Jan 14, 1951; Feb. 20, 1951; Aug, 25, 1951.
[10]Marie Roberts, Rimrock Field Notes, Oct. 10, 1950. 
[11]Marie Roberts, Rimrock Field Notes, Jan 14, 1951.
[12]Marie Roberts, Rimrock Field Notes,  Feb. 9, 1951; Feb. 17, 1951.
[13]Marie Roberts, Rimrock Field Notes, Nov. 29 1951.
[14]Marie Roberts, Rimrock Field Notes, Aug. 3, 1950.
[15]Marie Roberts, Rimrock Field Notes, Aug. 1, 1950; Feb 15, 1951.
[16]John M. Roberts, Rimrock Field Notes, Nov. 29, 1951.
[17]Marie Roberts, Rimrock Field Notes, Feb. 16, 1951.
[18]Marie Roberts, Rimrock Field Notes, Oct. 19, (no year).
[19]John M. Roberts, Rimrock Field Notes, Nov. 29, 1951.
[20]Munro Edmonson, Rimrock Field Notes, Oct. 5, 1949; Marie Roberts, Rimrock Field Notes, May 2, 1951.
[21]Marie Roberts, Rimrock Field Notes, Aug. 3, 1950.
[22]Romolo Padilla to Governor Mabry,  June 12, 1948, Governor Mabry Papers, Letters Received, Letters Sent, Highway Department, New Mexico State Records and Archives, Santa Fe, New Mexico (Hereafter, NMSRA).
[23]Janine Chappat Rosensweig, Rimrock Field Notes, Jan. 27, 1945; Feb. 8, 1945; Munro Edmonson, Rimrock Field Notes, Nov. 18, 1949.
[24]Marie Roberts, Rimrock Field Notes, Aug. 4, 1950; Nov. 10, 1951.
[25]Francois Bourricard, Rimrock Field Notes, Aug. 13, 1951.
[26]Noe, pp.42-6.
[27]Marie Roberts, Rimrock Field Notes, Aug. 18, 1950.
[28]Thomas F. O'Dea, Rimrock Field Notes, Nov. 9 1950; Margaret Sperry, June 16, 1950.
[29]Although I have no direct knowledge of this, many Navajos and Gallup residents allege that Navajos who were told to speak dialogue in their native language promptly used the opportunity to insult Anglo actors and directors.  The movie folks, not knowing Navajo, recorded the dialogue and used it in the movie.
[30]Evon Z. Vogt, Rimrock Field Notes, April 15,1952.  The practice was widespread across the reservation as well.  23 of 25 trading posts surveyed in 1949 recruited for the railroad and 24 of 25 handled mail giving the traders access to paychecks and welfare checks.  Garrick Bailey and Roberta Glenn Bailey, A History of the Navajos:  The Reservation Years (Santa Fe, N.M.:  School of American Research Press, 1986), p. 270.
[31]Clyde Kluckhohn and Dorthea Leighton, The Navajo rev.ed. (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard Unversity Press, 1974), pp. 126-7.  Lucy Wales Kluckhohn notes that the information of the Inter-Tribal Ceremonials was added for the 1962 edition in the  "Forward," p. 13.
[32]Marie Roberts, Rimrock Field Notes, Nov. 12, 1950.
[33]Evon Z. Vogt, "Intercultural Relations,"  in People of Rimrock:  A Study of values in Fvie Cultures, ed. Evon Z. Vogt and Ethel M. Albert, pp. 75-6.
[34]Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony  (New York: Viking Press, 1977; New York:  Penguin, 1986), p.107.  Other descriptions of Gallup are on pp. 107-113, 116-117, 161-166
[35]Munro Edmonson, Rimrock Field Notes, October 12, 1949; Evon Z. Vogt, Rimrock Field Notes, September 4, 1952.
[36]Alan Wilson, Navajo Place Names:  An Observer's Guide with Audio Cassette (Guilford, Conn:  Jeffery Norton, 1995), p. 22.
[37]See Chapter 2.
[38]Erna Fergusson, Our Southwest (New York: Knopf, 1940), pp. 208-9.