This is my first visit to Taos, I was excited to check out the little slice of New Mexico! So I walked around some then I found a little coffeeshop on Bent St. and set up shop to work outside with Mazzy. Within 5 minutes an older gentleman asked if he could sit at my table and eat his rather large polish sausage. I said of course and he sat and we started to chat.
He introduced himself as Stan and before long he told me he was going on his 96th birthday, but you would never know it by his sharp wit and intellect. He made many references to poems, plays, books and philosophers.
We talked (I mostly listened) about art, politics, meaning of life, hydrogen cars, religion, his connection with local native americans and beatnik writers. Stan is a painter and this time around has lived in Taos for 30 years. He said he studied in Paris and New York and traveled the world over both as an artist and as a solider.
He told me he was good friends with Jack Kerouac and had many drunk nights with the writer, (I think Kerouac was drunk, not so much Stan) even some at Vesuvios, a bar right next to City Lights Bookstore, a favorite hangout of mine in San Francisco. He said Kerouac wrote the book The Subterraneans in 2 days at a place called the Buddha Cafe in San Franciscos China Town, a story about a short lived girlfriend. He also knew William Burroughs and Neil Cassidy as well. It was so cool to hear his stories about the past and some of those iconic figures. He even knew well the little town of La Vita that I just visited and fell in love with.
Stan is also has been a Buddhist teacher for over 50 years. He is a teacher at Hokoji, Phoenix Light Temple in Taos. I wish we had more time for him to chat about that part of his life but he was off for a power nap so he could do some gardening in the afternoon. He told me about a great place to hear some music which I went to the following night.
Stan most defiantly made my day and he was such a pleasure to chat with and really just listen. Of course as soon as he left I googled him and found just a couple things .here you go
I just happened to have a copy of The Subterraneans in my camper and began to re-read that night!!
Stan you are the man!!!
Last modified: June 9, 2016