TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Unbuttoned – Gay Life in the Santa Fe Arts Scene

UnbuttonedSometimes when we visit a town we wish that we had read more about it before going. Such is the case with Santa Fe, New Mexico where we have visited many times over the past 30 years. We visit all the really great places and shrines and churches and really appreciate the architecture, etc. When we visited last year we ran across a new published book about Gay Life in the Santa Fe Arts Scene written by Walter Cooper. It is a great history of Gay Life in Santa Fe particular in the art scene. Walter was born in New York, got his B.A. in American Studies from Hobart College and worked in New York City and Tokyo for 10 years as a copywriter. but yearned for more out of life. He then moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in the early 1970’s and as they say, the rest is history and what a rich life he has had in Santa Fe. Like many of us, he enjoys “people” in all forms, shapes and sizes. Walter’s artwork has been exhibited in major galleries and private collections. His work in graphic design includes opera posters, book and record album covers, wool rug, greeting cards and postage stamps. He is the author of two previously published books. Santa Fe has always been a haven for artists and writers, poets and sculptors and the rest of the arts including their famous Santa Fe Opera which has become a world renown Opera. It is located just to the north of Santa Fe in the high mountains and draws thousands of visitors each year. Santa Fe has it’s mountains and scenery and chapels and architecture but it is PEOPLE that makes a community and Santa Fe has had a very colorful history of people from all walks of life.” Why be like everyone else” would be a good description of  the people in Santa Fe ? Walter Cooper’s book of more than 250 pages, including over 80 photographs, tells about most all of the people that he has met in his many years living in Santa Fe. And what colorful characters he has met and partied with ! From Grande Dames to artists, writers, entertainers, and just people who live there. Often it is those people who are most interesting to be with. He tells his readers about his social life as well as his personal life with the different lovers that he has had. He tells readers about the dozens and dozens over extremely interesting characters that has met and become friends with.  Readers will really get involved with his stories and wish that they were there enjoying the life as he has lived and continues to live.  You will be introduced to so many VERY interesting people. This is certainly a book that when you start reading, you cannot put down until the ending. The one thing that readers need to take home with them from reading his book is that one can have the life that he has had anywhere that they live. One just has to enjoy people and get involved with people on different levels of life. Being ‘different’ is a good thing ! Walter Cooper has now lived in Santa Fe and he and his partner of many years, Doug live in the countryside near Santa Fe. Many book stores sell his books or you can purchase them from After reading his book all we can say is that he has had a life, well lived. Readers should take heed and live their lives more fully. Walter certainly as had a life well lived. Next time you are going somewhere to visit, try learning about the ‘people’ before going there. And when going to Santa Fe the best place to stay is El Farolito Bed & Breakfast Inn. They are located at 514 Galisteo which is just a few short blocks from the Plaza. Their website is: and their phone is: 505.988.1631 or 888.634.8762. Owners Wayne Mainus and Walt Wyass have owned the Inn for nearly 20 years and they have guests that keep coming back all the time simply because they are the BEST ! If they are booked up, which they often are, they also have another B and B, The Four Kachinas Inn, just a few blocks away, And on top of everything else about Santa Fe, they have a very handsome and WONDERFUL Mayor, Javier Gonzales. Hopefully he will be the Governor one of these days. Don and RayAlways remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone! TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married). Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at [email protected] and visit their website at

Santa Fe Gay Travel Resources