Right about now I’m reminded of Rudyard Kipling, who once said, “Oh no, everything shuts down around here in the afternoon. It’s just too hot! Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.” In other words, you have my permission to be lazy.

It started on Tuesday. The day when the northern hemisphere is closest to the sun, making us warmer than the bottom hemisphere, so to speak. The summer solstice. It’s all about the tilt. The prevailing theory is that four and a half billion years ago, a ginormous asteroid or small planet smacked Earth with a glancing blow, knocking it 23 1/2 degrees off its axis, and then circled off to become the Moon.

I sometimes wonder what it would be like if that hadn’t happened and there was no tilt of the earth. Mainly, there would be no seasons, which would be very boring, so depending on where you lived it would be like the middle of summer or the middle of fall or spring all year long. Maybe I’m overthinking this but without seasons agriculture would be radically different – if any at all – because the weather wouldn’t vary much, just the same ol’-same ol’. And without the need to deal with all that, technology would not advance, because a lot of that had to do with keeping warm in the winter.

I have no idea what I’m talking about, so I’ll leave it up to science fiction writers to come up with their alternate reality. But no matter how you look at it, we’re in for three months of that wonderful New Mexico dry heat.

And probably dry rain, your basic virga.

Face it though, summer also means a buncha’ family fun … and food. The big July 4th blowout at Macey Center put on by Ronna Kalish and the crew at Tech’s Performing Art Series is something not to be missed. And then on July 9 is the St. Mary Magdalene Fiesta in Magdalena with food and music and dancing, and the rumor is that organizers are working on Old Timers that same weekend.

But first, there’s the San Juan Bautista Church Fiesta this Saturday in Kelly.

There’s a potluck, music, horseshoe-throwing and lots of visiting with old friends and acquaintances. It’s an all-day affair, beginning with Mass at St. John The Baptist Church, live music throughout the afternoon, and ending with dancing in the evening.

Running the show for many years is Carlos Tafoya, who has kept up his family’s tradition of “being in charge” of the Fiesta. Carlos tells the story of his brother Celso, who was the previous Mayordomo. In 1997 Celso was very sick, dying of leukemia. Carlos remembers riding in the ambulance with him to the hospital and Celso asking him, “Who will take care of our church when I am gone?” Carlos promised him he would, and he has ever since.

Truth be told, that little chapel is not in its original spot. It first stood in the center of town but was torn down in 1947. A year later it was rebuilt and that’s where it stands today. You can practically trace the history of the place by the headstones remaining in the Kelly Cemetery.

Besides the ruins of the Kelly Mine with its towering headframe a little farther up the mountain, all that’s left of the town are a bunch of foundations, a bit of a concrete sidewalk and stone walls of a once-thriving business, complete with an old rusted out safe.

I’ve mentioned this before, but Kelly started out in the late 1860s as a mining camp that grew to a population of close to 3,000 souls and was for a brief time larger than Socorro. In its boomiest years, it laid claim to a couple of schools, three churches, a bank, a clinic, a movie theater, and no telling how many saloons. It’s said so many men came to work for the Kelly, Patterson, Waldo, or Linchburg mines that the two hotels ended up having to rent rooms in eight-hour shifts.

Bennie Zamora of Magdalena, a former Old Timers Queen, reminisced with me one time about better days in Kelly when her father Antonio Otero worked at the various mines in the district for 50 years, retiring at 69 years old. They lived in Magdalena and he would drive to work every day, although for a time he rode a burro the three and a half miles up the hill to the mines.

Anyway, the fiesta at the Kelly church is one of those New Mexico get-togethers that bring old friends back together and leaves the door open for new friends.

And if you’re incredibly lucky you might look down and spot some Smithsonite. There’s a four-inch chunk of the rare mineral on eBay selling for $5,000.

It’s listed as “used.”

It doesn’t say what it was used for.