5/18/2017

This is Bambam, the mayor of San Luis, Colorado. Not legally, of course, but that's how the locals refer to him. He patrols the streets of San Luis, greeting visitors and accompanying them on tours of the town. He is not stray; his owner lives at the edge of town, but he is not fenced in and does not wear a collar. He walks with a free spirit, yet a sense of pride and dignity, a realization of his role. Bambam's ownership and power evoke feelings of freedom and justice in a place where these constructions have not always been explicit. The granting of Native land to settlers as varas, the "somehow" sale of Cielo Vista Ranch to Jack Taylor (despite being deeded to Mexican and Spanish settlers), the shrinking vega by encroachment of private land owners, and the intricacies of the ditch and water rights necessary to survival in the valley—are often not as innocent or uplifting. In the historically charged town of San Luis, Bambam is a mayor that everyone can root for.