Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

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Saul Cohen

Honored June, 2009

Saul Cohen

In the early 1970s a young lawyer named Saul Cohen arrived in Santa Fe, and immediately began leaving a mark on the town. He has continued leaving a mark ever since, in a wide variety of ways.

He has served on numerous charitable and not-for-profit boards, often as president. They include: the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, New Mexico School for the Deaf, the International Folk Art Foundation, St. John’s College Library and Fine Arts Guild, the New Mexico Supreme Court Building Commission, and several others. He chaired the Historic Design Review Board, and won its Heritage Preservation Award.

He often took part in the Christmastime Las Posadas pageant of Mary and Joseph searching for an inn before taking shelter in a stable and finding a manger. Several times he took the role of Joseph, and even provided his own burro, which he led around the Plaza, with Mary on it. Exuberantly he taught Greek dancing. In the Santa Fe Run-Around he placed high in his age group.

A voracious reader, Saul is renowned for his vast library, and has written books and many articles. He has represented the literary estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes. He hosted a raucous limerick contest for the Palace of the Governors Press, and contributed some of his own limericks to the mix. He has studied and lectured on the Jewish surnames of New Mexico.

A notorious punster and quipster, he has evoked guffaws, chuckles and groans on occasions too numerous to count. His wit has lightened many serious meetings, and his wisdom has helped steer them to successful conclusions. His quick smile and evident joy in the things that surround him embrace friends and strangers alike.

“Among his many talents so generously shared is that of just plain old-fashioned kindness, so refreshing amid the dissension and criticism expressed on so many sides in current times,” wrote one admirer. “I feel that his remarkable personal virtues, in addition to his exhaustive list of accomplishments, serve as an example to all Santafesinos.” Another summed Saul up as “a gem of a person”--an especially fitting description for a Santa Fe Living Treasure

Story by Richard McCord

Photo © 2009 by Genevieve Russell