Anglos have been coming to Santa Fe for centuries, and early in the last century the city's beauty and exotic cultural mix became particularly attractive to artistic immigrants looking for freedom from the greed and competitiveness of mainstream American culture. By the late twentieth century, many New Mexicans felt, Santa Fe's unique charm was nearly overwhelmed by the evils that people had moved there to escape. The interviews collected in this book preserve the old Santa Fe, the one people are still looking for. The interviewees represent a cross-section of Santa Fe during the best of times: native Santa Feans, both Spanish American and Anglo, artists, immigrants, those who came by accident, those who came intending to stay, those who fought to preserve the older cultures' traditions and values. The author, unlike most journalists, has kwn the people he interviewed his entire life. Most of these men and women were old timers when the interviews took place, and many have since died. Most readers of this book will t remember the good times it evokes. But the lively stories told here will enthrall all Santa Feans and would-be Santa Feans, as well as visitors who can only dream of living in the City Different. Interviewed in Turn Left at the Sleeping Dog are Amalia Sena Sanchez, Consuelo Bergere Mendenhall, Fray Angelico Chavez, Katherine 'Peach' Mayer, Anita Gonzalez Thomas, Josephine E Baca, Chuck Barrows, Hazel Frederickson, Alice Henderson Rossin, Calla Hay, Letitia Evans Frank, Paul Frank, Tom and Doris Dozier, Samuel Adelo, Richard Bradford, J. I. Staley, Miranda Levy, Jerry West, Margaret Larsson, and Carol Smith. Interlaced with the interviews are comments from other Santa Feans: historian Myra Ellen Jenkins, cultural geographer J B Jackson, and anthropologist Oliver La Farge, the author's father.
John Pen La Farge, a native of Santa Fe, is a freelance writer and historian who specializes in intellectual history.