Cher Forever Getting Hitched
Cher Skin, Cher Quiz

Songs Cher Should Cover & 18 Things That Happened While I Was On Vacation in New Mexico

Beautiful_freak_the_eels 1.  I became a fan of The Eels. I know, they’ve been around for over ten years. But better late than never, no? I’ve been listening to Essential Eels and in some alternate universe I think it would be good to hear Cher sing “Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues” (the one that goes “God damn right - it’s a beautiful day!”) or “That Not Really Funny.”

And that made me wonder about what kind of rock album Cher plans to do next. I mean, what is a rock Cher album in this post-grunge world?

Mespeaking 2.  I gave a speech at my parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary and I didn’t cry like my two older brothers did. I think this is because I was the first to give speech and my mother hadn’t started bawling yet, although she had her little travel pouch of tissues ready to start in. Either that or maybe sometimes I do have a heart of stone.

3. My sibs and I gave my parents a Hopi wedding vase as a gift. My first-born brother also gave a speech about family togetherness, which surprised me because we are usually fighting but he did bring up some funny stories, including the one about how they always used to fight over pieces of my mother’s fried chicken, including the livers. My other brother did a video about my parents and their friends which was very good and touching. He and I previously had a fight about who was going to say what about how my parents met (which was the whole subject of my speech). He called "dibsies" on me and I called his dibsies retarded (in a sibling skirmish and not handicapped sense), which pissed him off. Lots of therapy fodder here.

Franz 4.  Our dog Franz Alonzo regressed while we were away and chewed up his nanny’s mattress. He ended up back at the kennel for that. 

Chimayo  5. While visiting the famous church at Chimayo, the Lourdes of America, my car ran over a big rusty-looking object of a very solid nature and from then on my car started making funny sounds. Luckily it was only a bent exhaust pipe hitting a heating shield. Maybe the dirt at Chimayo truly is miraculous and Bluebelle had some of it stuck on her tires. My bf drew out a cartoon drawing of what he remembered the object looking like as we hit it and later my father could only surmise from the cartoon that we must have hit a very small UFO.

Taosclouds  6. Northern New Mexico truly is the land of enchantment. Only there, could majestic rock formations, looming mountains, thousand-year old pueblos and quaint adobe casitas be overshadowed by awesomely choreographed cloud formations.

7. I can drive 12 hours in one day. Needles, California (“I only made it out to Needles” from "Never Been To Spain"/Cher, Foxy Lady, 1972) is hot and gas is expensive there.

Myrelatives 8. At the reunion, my bf was a definite hit with the distant relatives (including two who never usually come up and talk to me but made a point to tell me how much they liked him) as well as with the nuclear family, mostly for making a good gazpacho and steak-sandwich dinner one night at our Santa Fe casita.

Red10 9. I miss New Mexican red sauce already.

10. At my parents’ anniversary party, I spoke to the parents of my first childhood friend (he died of Leukemia when I was about 8). Back in the 1970s, when I would visit him on their ranch, I was always kind of scared of his dad, a tall and skinny cowboy with a big mustache who mostly leaned up against walls and looked like he could kick your ass just for the sport of it. But 30 years later I was surprised to find myself chatting with him and his wife and when they found out my bf and I were engaged, they told us their secret to a long marriage was sleeping in the nude.  Which was possibly TMI but I can top that because, (whisper) to be honest with you, sleeping in the nude makes me itchy.

11. My brother found some of our long lost family friends The Padillas on the Internet and he surprised my parents with them at an anniversary party and it made my mother cry again.

12. The tram from Albuquerque up the Sandia mountains is the world’s longest tram. 

Gorge1 13. There is a big awesome crack in the earth made by the Rio Grande river and you can see it from Taos, New Mexico. Click open the picture to the left and look closely. Then look at it from the Taos Gorge Bridge below.

Gorge2 14. When my bf and I drove my parents to Roy, New Mexico, where my Dad spent his summers with his grandparents and cousins, he told us a story about how his grandfather would drop him off on the ranch with an axe to cut down prickly pear trees all day. My dad said that years later it occurred to him that by cutting down all those trees he had actually been spreading hundreds of prickly pear seeds all over the property. My bf later told me he enjoyed hearing all of my Dad’s funny stories about growing up on the ranch, which is what I love about my bf b/c he likes the same quirky stuff I do.


15. I got stopped by a New Mexico cop for speeding through Cimarron with my bf and my elderly parents in the car.

16. You can eat a gelato in Santa Fe called sage and another called Strawberry Habanera. 

Hopi_pottery_1234xyz 17. My Dad’s former babysitter on the Hopi Indian reservation is now a famous potter named Olive Toney. We tried to find her on our way home through Arizona but were too shy to knock on her door at the first mesa to buy a pot.

18. I am lousy at picking out motels. On our drive back I insisted on a run-down Howard Johnson in Flagstaff to save money and they over-flattered us and then over-charged us for a room right next to the train tracks where trains whistled by all night long. To add insult to injury, its restaurant served inedible french fries, practically a culinary impossiblily. Luckily we were able to eat at our favorite Flagstaff breakfast place the next morning, Let’s Eat.



Robrt Pela


Congratulations on giving your parents a wonderful 50th party. I know how much work can go into those, so kudos to you.

Hey. I actually own three Olive Toney pots, because they're the ones that get plopped on top of every First Prize Press Club Award, which I mention arrogantly to you only because one of my Press Club awards is for writing that story about CHASTITY (the movie, not the lesbian daughter). So draw a line from Cher to Olive Toney, and you pass Mary Ladd and me on the way there. Huh.



You really must know the story of Olive and her Husband. Hint: the Snake Dance was buried with him.


You were never going to find her in NM. Your father should have known that. I do however have a picture of her home on 3rd Mesa but she is not in it because of beliefs.

Cher Scholar

Hi Paul, As I stated above "We tried to find her on our way home through Arizona" We weren't in New Mexico anymore. We were driving home to California. Do you know how to contact Olive?

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