When Bob Nichols said this to me, he had a spark in his eye.
I think you can see it in the video, albeit a bit hidden by the hat he’s wearing.
I see this spark whenever I talk to locals about the Spirit of the Southwest.
When I ask how would they define it, at first they look away, as if trying to look inside themselves to give me a thoughtful answer. And once they start sharing, bit by bit, there’s an energy that starts coming through their words.
I see that spark here and there while they say certain words or describe certain feelings.
There’s also this particular way in which New Mexicans carry themselves, and I can’t help but stare.
When I first saw Bob Nichols, he was browsing through some of the things at this local shop. He was quiet, minding his own business. I could see that, although he was aware of his surroundings, he (it seemed to me) only made the absolute, necessary moves.
The word “dignity” is what immediately comes to mind.
I think I understand a bit more of what those old Hollywood movies about the wild west were trying to capture. And it’s difficult to put into words just what the Spirit of the Southwest really is, or looks like, or feels like.
You just gotta visit…
Maybe I should go back and rewatch some of those…
This is Bob Nichols Ranch, when you visit, tell him I said hi.