It never occurred to me as I was walking around the University of New Mexico campus taking digital photos of the buildings that Tom Ridge might arrest me. Thank heaven I didn't end up in a cell on Guantanamo! I just wanted images to show my high school senior son to explain this lovely campus.
Few people would look at me and yell, "Terrorist spy!" That's a good thing, and it's mostly that I look every bit the nearly fifty mother of three grown kids that I am. My hair is chrome colored, my shoe choices are based on comfort, and my body is pear-shaped. As an art teacher I am more afraid of students losing control of bodily functions in my class than of airplane hijackers. But we can't just go by appearances anymore. We can't use common sense to decide what or who is a potential threat. And so, I am glad that none of the dog-walkers, bicyclists, or joggers on the UNM campus Sunday morning called the cops to notify them of my aberrant photographing.
I don't know the truth about the Pakastani man who photographed that Texas dam and buildings around the country. I did run into some photos I took at a dam near Yankton, S.D. on a vacation in the Sixties when I was looking for an old scrapbook to show my students. We will be talking about how artists use memories as inspirations. We had a lot of fun at that lake long ago, wading, and taking a tourist boatride, as I recall. I've taken photos of sensitive buildings in Washington, D.C., too, on more than one vacation. I've even taken photos in airports, mostly of little boys wearing Texas Rangers baseball caps.
A few posts back I wrote about buying some packing tape at Walmart to close the battery compartment on the digital camera. It was a good thing, too, because I used that tape to seal a box of books I mailed home to myself from Santa Fe. I used it to keep the poster mailing tube shut before I checked it at the Albuquerque airport. I was afraid I would forget my Georgia O'Keeffe and El Malpais posters in the overhead bin when I deplaned if I carried the tube on board. I did have enough sense to throw away the tape cutting edge once I sealed the tube, and before I entered the airport. I'm not a box-cutter maniac! I kept the packing tape, though. You never know when I might need to make a large papier mache animal.
This is outside the UNM Student Union looking toward the Sandia Mountains.
Here's the atrium of the UNM undergraduate art building.
The UNM campus is much more green than I had expected. I saw two weddings being held at the duck pond.
Let's think a bit. When cameras become illegal, only criminals will have cameras?