I would like to introduce David Brugge, because he became one of the most important resources that we had as we tried to answer our many questions about Quincy Tahoma.
Several people recommended that we talk to David Brugge, who, they said, knew more about Navajo genealogy than anybody. David lives in Albuquerque, and although he is retired, he still continues his scholarly study and makes presentations to professional bodies. I was going to Albuquerque, so I contacted David and we got together for lunch. We sat on a bench waiting to be seated at a crowded Mexican restaurant, and I wondered where to start on my long list of questions about Navajo relationships and genealogy.
David casually said, “When I knew Tahoma…” and I did not hear the rest of the sentence. He personally knew Tahoma. At that point, the only person we had talked to who personally knew Tahoma was Harrison Begay. Our reliance on David quickly grew from mining his academic knowledge to drinking in the personal recollections that he could add to our story.
Throughout the process of researching the book, I consulted frequently with David, visiting him every time I went to Albuquerque. We sampled the best East Indian restaurant, the best Mexican, Pueblo Indian at the Pueblo Cultural Center and the neighborhood Chinese along the way. He corrected our errors in explaining Navajo culture and Navajo history, and he told us the story of two young men who tried to help the artist as they were starting a gallery in Albuquerque’s Old Town, a story which I will return to later.