“Where are you traveling to?”, asked the Texas Highway Patrol trooper who had pulled us over for doing four miles an hour over the speed limit. “Fort Worth”, I said, discarding some of the more creative “none of your business” responses that jumped into my mind first. I was pretty sure that a dose of attitude was the last thing the situation called for. “What are you doing in Fort Worth?”, he responded in a tone of voice that made me realize that my answer had better be one he liked or all of the yarn tubs, weaving tools, rug bags and suitcases were going to be out of the car being searched. We clearly weren’t from Texas, Jennie and I weren’t related in a way that he would understand and although we had nothing more sinister than a bottle of Excedrin that was beyond the expiration date with us, we clearly looked suspicious to him. I explained that were teaching a weaving workshop, that we were staying with friends in Fort Worth and Jennie got out her portable loom to show him what we were going to be teaching. I think he thought that it was a strange thing to be doing, but he just wrote us a warning and let us get back on the road. He left me wondering what were we doing going to Fort Worth. I felt like we’d been singled out for being somewhere that the Texas Highway Patrol didn’t think we belonged, but we were only two hours from our destination and I wasn’t going back at that point but I sure wondered what anybody could do that would make me come back.
Well, when the workshop started, I realized that I’m just going to have learn how to drive in Texas. As you can see from the picture collage above, we had a wonderful class. They treated us to great friendships and great hospitality that we will always remember. We did a Navajo Rug Reunion and one of the highlights was a rare Leighton Two Grey Hills rug that has got to the Rug of the Day really soon. We had a large group of fifteen weavers, but all of the looms were warped by the end of the first day and their pieces were well under way by the time we reluctantly left after three days of doing what we like to do best, sharing the beauty and elegance of Navajo textiles with anyone who wants to learn.
So that’s what we were doing in Fort Worth and furthermore, if we get the chance to, we’re going to do it again. Maybe we’ll do it so often that the troopers will just say “There go those weavers again.” when we drive by. At a somewhat lower speed.
Hagoshíí (so long for now)