top of page
  • Writer's pictureLaura Peters

Santa Fe

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

Offspring tourism started when, in 1983, I invited my parents to attend the Santa Fe Film Festival called, “The Spirit of Zoetrope,” honoring Francis Coppola with whom John and I both worked. To my surprise they decided to leave their comfort zone, get in their car and get to Santa Fe.

Born and raised in California, my parents' idea of vacation meant camping in Santa Cruz or Mendocino. We lived in Berkeley, so these places were not great distances. I think what really motivated my mother was the thought of meeting Gene Hackman in person.

They accepted our offer and I booked a suite of rooms in Santa Fe at a lovely hotel, The Inn and Spa at Loretto. At the time it may have been just an inn without the spa.

My parents, who never went anywhere, figured out how to visit Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Albuquerque and make it to Santa Fe with plenty of energy and bravado at their great adventure. They had friends, Rosie and Stir, who lived in nearby Los Alamos who came down for the weekend as well. They attended all the films and all the parties. Sat in on all the question/answer sessions with the celebrities and explored the city of Santa Fe in depth.

They had read about Santa Fe style, but actually being there, amazed them. They reveled in the adobe architecture, the Spanish influence in food, and the Native American jewelry and clothing. Most of all they reveled in the quality of the light and great expanse of the sky; things as simple as the pinyon and aspen trees unseen in California, or as grand as the nearby mountains. The ancient cliffside dwellings awoke their sense of place and time.

I think it was on the last night of the festival, when we all met in a bar where Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, Roger Ebert, Francis Coppola, Gene Hackman and others were relaxing after the demanding weekend. The only person my mother saw was Gene Hackman. She and Rosie sidled up to him, reached out their hands, and introduced themselves as ardent fans. Hackman was totally gracious. He thanked them, gave each a firm handshake and megawatt smile. Mom’s goal completed she swore she’d never wash her hands again.

As John and I checked out of the hotel to get to the airport the next morning, Mom and Dad came to thank us and said that they had so fallen in love with Santa Fe that they intended to move there within the year. My father was a wonderful landscape painter. They decided that he would retire and become a Santa Fe Artist.

One year later to the day, the moving van carried their things to their new house in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They lived there for twenty wonderful years, making new friends, visiting new places and above all, selling my dad’s paintings which had been re-awakened by the new colors around him. All this came about because they joined their offspring for an adventure.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page