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Buffalo Lights: Tales From an American Journey [Kindle Edition]

John Hamilton Farr
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.99

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Book Description

At age 55 the author and his wife, a college professor, trade burn-out for glory on a pure leap of faith. Life in a high mountain village bears no resemblance to the world they left behind, and New Mexico is famous for plans not working like they would elsewhere. In the 21st-century American Southwest, there’s a bull in the window and a rat under the bed. John and his wife dodge gunshots at Christmas, sink in mud to the axles, and find human bones in the dirt. Along the way he meets a shaman, Buddhist monks, knife-toting tough guys, a guru mechanic, Jesus himself, and the devil’s own dogs.

This 46,000 word photo-illustrated collection of true tales about moving to New Mexico in 1999 includes the sections Maryland, My Maryland; New Mexico Project; San Cristobal; Hard Journeys; Taos; and Awakenings.

NOTES ON THIS EDITION: The principle differences between this ebook and the print edition (subtitled "Maryland to New Mexico") are the new cover, added photographs, and assorted edits. With the exception of the new images and two chapters that didn't make the final cut, the content is the same as the original 184-page paperback published in 2005 (still available from Amazon or All photographs by John Hamilton Farr.


Product Details

  • File Size: 3751 KB
  • Print Length: 170 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Zoo Pilot Publishing (December 30, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #991,396 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glory Days Deferred May 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Change is hard, even when you are young. When our daughter was leaving Texas to attend college in Michigan, I remember her taking stock of the rooms where she grew up. She turned off her computer, hugged her old dog Bingo, and then put her head against her dad's shoulder and cried.

But she was strong. She was convinced that going away to university would be a grand adventure and self-reliance needed to be quickly learned. I was less fortified and was not able to keep down any food other than watermelon and crackers for a week.

As we lose the color in our hair, changing our locales and habits becomes an even greater challenge. But there is sometimes an unanswered urge of our youth and there are those of us who respond. There is also the character that has never stopped moving and only lands temporarily in the world of the homeowner and car payment maker and insurance buyer and jobholder.

John Hamilton Farr, who had reached the age of contemplating paid off mortgages and social security checks, decided he needed change. Farr and his bride, an accomplished college professor, had been living in Maryland and he had been dreaming of the western light and air on the other side of the Rockies. Trees and waterscapes are grand but anyone who has ever sat a New Mexico or Colorado or Utah or Arizona sunset will have it lodged into their soul and over time its image becomes a blessing and a nagging curse.

Farr went through the agonies and joyful anticipations of a young person setting off to find their future and he wrote lovely essays about his experience in "Buffalo Lights." We accumulate more than junk in our attic as the years pile up.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Putting the Tao back in Taos September 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is in the great American tradition of Twain and Melville - of "lighting out for the territories", of putting out to sea, of moving on down the road when you get the willies about the way you are living your life in civilized parts. Farr never quite articulates what it was about Maryland that put these thoughts into his soul, but it's easy to take his restlessness and dissatisfaction as a given. Many have felt such things before him, and many will feel them again in time to come, whether in Maryland or elsewhere. We will always need accounts of their experience from those who make the journey.

The text is mainly devoted to the specifics of the journey, the funny and maddening details which dog and humanize Farr's transition from point Maryland to point New Mexico. For most of us the interest lies in the telling of the tale, not its ultimate meaning, despite some heavy breathing of the writer about the latter. And certainly this much is true: What could have been a mundane traversal of the continent on super-highways becomes a journey into a different way of life, glimpsed, hinted at, caught briefly in words from time to time in this or that adventure, but ultimately elusive. A disjointedness, an ironic appreciation of his own contradictions and frailties, lies at the very heart of the story. Something tells me the author is still working it all out for himself some years later on that mountaintop outside Taos. He will likely never find the rest and satisfaction which would lead him to proclaim, "This is the Place, I am now at peace." Well, if so, he is only following in the footsteps of some other famous author-adventurers - Lord Byron, Miguel de Cervantes, T.E. Lawrence and our own J. Kerouac.
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4.0 out of 5 stars One man's journey March 3, 2014
By Lindah
Format:Kindle Edition
John Farr has lived in various parts of the country mostly the east coast. In looking for a new place to live with nature around him, he decided to move to New Mexico which is my new home but a different part of the state. We moved for basically the same reasons. In many ways his journey does not always make him happy and he regrets making a move. I guess I learned earlier than him that picking up and moving to a new location can make you very happy with no regrets. He has a difficult time making that adjustment. If you are looking for a book about Mans insecurities this is the book for you.
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More About the Author

John Hamilton Farr lives in Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. His latest book is The HELEN CHRONICLES. He and his wife moved to el Norte from Maryland sixteen years ago from Maryland. Read BUFFALO LIGHTS and TAOS SOUL to learn how it went. (Writing from the heart, folks.) You can also follow John on Twitter at @jhfarr.

From the author's website:

John's Air Force family moved over forty times before he graduated from high school. He's lived in Maryland, D.C., Virginia, Germany, Texas, New York, Arkansas, and New Mexico, not exactly in that order and sometimes more than once. He went to high school in three states and earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees from U.T. Austin. At one time or another he's been a sculptor, painter, teacher, office manager, groundskeeper, cartoonist, online news editor, Web designer, and rock and roll songwriter. A few years ago, he played rhythm guitar for Los Changos del Mar, "New Mexico's only extraterrestrial, psycho-surf-punk, spy-billy, harem conjunto."

Author Statement:

"When I'm able to write like that, I feel ecstasy and unity with all Creation. It's like an athlete performing an 'impossible' feat with seeming effortlessness and grace. I live for that... When I'm in that state, I don't care about money or sex or food. I don't care about who I am or what I am. I don't care if I'm in the front of the line or at the very end. I don't even care if I'm alive or dead, because it seems I'm in the same place, either way." - JHF (@jhfarr)

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