June 26, 2017 – Erin Deo

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Erin Christine Deo is a mysterious woman. I only met her the one time, several years ago at the Cabaret de los Muertos, so it’d be a challenge to try and put her qualities into words; I never got to know her that well. There’s something undeniably magnetic about the woman, though. She seems to draw attention even a room filled with people, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. She wasn’t the only beautiful belly-dancer to perform that night, but when she left the venue in a glowing yellow cloak, into the night and down toward The Grand Hotel & Saloon, it seemed like all eyes were on her.

I’m not sure precisely what she’s up to these days, but her social media presence indicates that she’s still performing, still her lovely hippie self at, according to her page, “The Department of Sunshine and Rainbows.” She certainly has the confidence and stage presence, and this is one of my favorite photographs from both years that I covered the Cabaret de los Muertos.’

You can follow her on Istagram HERE.

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Tombstone & Tianya Milagro

Tianya - Big Nose Kates postThere’s nothing more dangerous than a beautiful woman packing attitude…and pistolas.

Everybody knows Tombstone from the movies. A few folks are lucky enough to travel through the desert valleys of Southern Arizona and lay their own eyes on it. It’s a small town, and one’s liable to miss it if they blink. It’s a bit of a theme park now, a mixture of pageantry and bravado, with an entertaining contingent of leather-clad bikers who walk the boardwalks side-by-side with entertainers dressed in 19th Century Western attire.

The West was won and the mining operations eventually slowed down. There are no Apaches in the hills to threaten the camp. The barges that ran north along the San Pedro River are just about forgotten, and the short-line railroads that carried the ore North to the Union Pacific line have been decommissioned. Daily reenactments of the famous “Shootout at the OK Corral” and a healthy flow of live music and adult beverage have prevented the town from turning into a wax museum.

Tombstone attracts a certain kind of person. Eccentricity is a prerequisite for anybody who’d move to a town and wear 1880’s period clothing for a living, adopt the language & mannerisms of frontiersmen and women, and exist under the punishing heat of Sonoran Desert summers. It also takes a certain kind of madman to spot the pretty girl in the saloon and hand her two pistols and insist she hop up on the bar for a photograph.

But that’s what Tianya did. She was performing with the Cochise College Dance Club, and that attractive specimen – fair skin in the sun-drenched thoroughfare, belly-dance threads, all hips and legs – turned a lot of heads. She finished her shot of tequila, plucked those pistols from his mitts and, with a puckish grin, hopped up onto the bar. She takes to the spotlight quite well, and the world is most certainly her stage.

To my own lamentations, the photographs didn’t turn out well enough to publish; the saloon was crowded and the light was pitifully low. Rather than scrap them entirely, it made a lot more sense to paint the scene instead. This would be the result of those efforts and, if I’m to toot a high note from my own little horn, it captures her spirit quite well.

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