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By Denise Kusel

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ďWhen I first moved to Santa Fe about 26 years ago, I cried,Ē the author says. ďI didnít know anyone. Didnít have a job. All the houses were the same color. The streets didnít make sense, often turning into one-way roads at whim. Then something happened. I began to enjoy the idea that nothing made sense. Nothing worked. Nothing was expected to work, including the telephones when it rained. But no one really cared. Life went on. When I wrote my first check for $2.56 for breakfast in a place where most people spoke Spanglish and the chile was hot enough to spring tears into my eyes, I knew I had arrived in someplace that mattered.

ďIt was a place where people wore western hats, dusty boots and blue jeans. In the true tradition of the American West, people left you alone, unless you didnít want to be alone, and then they embraced you. I discovered that I had to leave my native California to go East in order get West. I wonít say that living is easy here; itís not. But itís good. The people are truly wonderful and for years, Iíve been able to tell their stories, sometimes helping them find their own voices, sometimes using my own. I learned a long time ago a good journalist writes the truth with love. Just as Iíve learned that Iíve never met a person who didnít have a story to tell. Here are some of those stories.Ē

DENISE KUSEL has been a journalist for so long youíd think by now she would have changed careers to something that actually makes money and earns respect. She currently is a columnist at The Santa Fe New Mexican, where her columns ďOnly in Santa FeĒ appear three times a week.

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6 X 9
ISBN: 978-0-86534-446-4
172 pp.,$18.95

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