GEORGIA O'KEEFFE, A PRIVATE FRIENDSHIP, PART II
Walking the Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch Land
By Nancy Hopkins Reily
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The time is 1946. From Georgia O’Keeffe’s old hacienda sitting on a bluff in Abiquiu, New Mexico, she could see my aunt and uncle, Helen and Winfield Morten’s property across the Chama River. Georgia had begun the restoration of her property. The Mortens, in the final stages of purchasing land along the Chama River, had recently completed their restoration of another old hacienda they called Rancho de Abiquiu.
As one of few Anglos in the Chama River valley, Georgia ventured over to Rancho de Abiquiu to introduce herself and a private friendship resulted with the Mortens and their family. In this close family circle, Georgia revealed herself and proved that beneath her bare face there was more to her than just an artist of legendary proportions.
Nancy Hopkins Reily spent many of her childhood days walking the Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch land. She explored the canyons, the White Place, Echo Amphitheater, the mountains, and the Chama River by walking the trails worn by earlier moccasined feet. In a seamless, clear, and straightforward narrative of excerpts from their lives, Reily presents Georgia in a time-window of her age. The book features Reily’s youthful experiences, letters from Georgia, glimpses of the family’s memorabilia and photographic snapshots—all gracefully woven into the forces of the contemporaneous scene that shaped their friendship. In addition, there are insights into the land’s beauty, times, culture, history and the people who surrounded Georgia, as well as many minute details that should be remembered and which are often overlooked by others when they speak of Georgia O’Keeffe.
Nancy Hopkins Reily was born in Dallas, Texas, and attended Gulf Park College in Gulfport, Mississippi, for one year. She graduated from Southern Methodist University with a B.B.A. in Retail Merchandising. Since childhood she has divided her time between Texas, Colorado and New Mexico. At a young age, the colorful New Mexico landscape captured her heart and gave her a sense of place. She continues to enjoy its beauty. Reily makes her home in Lufkin, Texas.
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