I just got back from a trip to Phoenix, where I saw probably the fourth or fifth "Juan Tabo Boulevard/Street/Avenue" I've seen in the United States' Southwest. Clearly Juan Tabo was somebody important to have all these streets named after him. But if you Google for "Juan Tabo", you get thousands of hits for stores with addresses on Juan Tabo Boulevard, and nothing for old Juan himself. If you Google for "Juan Tabo biography" or "Juan Tabo history", you don't do any better.
So, folks, you're my last hope. Anybody know who this fellow was?
The only thing I could find was not really very helpful --
.... I had to talk to the DJ since she wanted to know who Juan Tabo was (the name of a large local street). I actually spent weeks trying to figure this out when I moved here, finally talking to the local historian at the Albuquerque Museum, who told me that no one had any idea. Wierd.
FILM-CUBA: SPANISH-LANGUAGE U.S. MOVIES HEAD TO HAVANA FESTIVAL Inter Press Service English News Wire; November 30, 2000; STAFF feature-length films: "Hacerse el Sueco" (Play Dumb), by Daniel Daz Torres, and "Lista de Espera" (Waiting List), by Juan Carlos Tabo. Guevara said it is "nearly impossible" that Cuban filmmaker Orlando Rojas would finish "Las Noches de Constantinopla ... [from HighBeam]
I could of course be completely wrong!
[ January 26, 2005: Message edited by: Peter Rooke ]Waiting List Film [ January 26, 2005: Message edited by: Peter Rooke ]
The legend of the shepherd haunts the scholars of Albuquerque.
No one knows who he was or how his stories came to be.
This is his little known tale born on the wings of truth.
Some had to be imagined by your humble sleuth.
Villagers could not hear the footsteps of his sandals.
In his pack were blankets, food and candles.
Above his head, near cloud high, he sees an eagle.
He would wish that good times would come for his people.
In 1756 Comanche Indians raided Tijeras canyon south of the Sandias.
His village was small, only sheep corrals and a few casitas.
In his early years as a boy in a small pueblo he didn’t have time to play
Juan had learned the Pueblo way and the Christian way
Of the two, he didn’t know which was right.
But, with a little bit of schooling, he learned to write.
He was Juan, son of Lupina a Taboso, Pueblo Indian basket maker.
It was his uncle on his father’s side that taught him to be a sheep herder.
Man and dog lead their sheep to high pasture.
He could direct the dog and sheep with a simple gesture.
His summer days with the sheep were long and quiet
Dried fruit and meat made up his simple diet.
He was Juan of Taboso. He wrote his name Juan Tabo.
Sometimes he would say it out loud in the canyon to hear it echo
In his early years of herding sheep to the mountains in summer
He would scratch his name on rocks and canyon walls so he could remember.
Coming back in the fall he could easily follow and find his way home.
He could take different trails. Juan Tabo loved to roam.
In the warm summer afternoons in Taboso he would tell stories
The children would gather and hear about the Conquistadores.
The Comanche raided villages they did some bad and some good.
Sometimes in the olden days it was hard to get enough food.
They learned of the great sickness when everyone washed with yucca soap;
Of planting seeds to harvest corn and squash and cantaloupe.
Juan lived for many years and told his stores to all who would listen.
The people loved him. He would smile and his tooth would glisten.
He was a simple man, a shepherd of sheep, a teller of tales
He left his name so he and we could follow his many trails.
And, so it was, in the life and times of Juan Tabo
We still find his name on the trails of New Mexico.
Scottsdale Poet Laureate
author and iconoclast
With a name like Bob Frost, I guess the pressure's really on to become a poet. Cowboy poetry isn't usually my favorite genre, but I really like this one. If it's not Juan Tabo's true origin story, it really ought to be. It makes me want to learn Spanish and move to the Southwest in the 18th Century.
Joined: Apr 28, 2012
Thanks. I like to do cowboy poetry, but I write in all styles and genre.