Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

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Bill & Julie James

Bill &
Julie James


Honored July, 1991

William 'Bill' & Juliana 'Julie' James

The walls of Julie James' El Castillo apartment provide a glimpse of two artists, who, for half a century, shared their lives and their love of painting.

"Bill painted these portraits and abstracts," Julie said. "This is the portrait he painted of our daughter, Sara. Bill's work was exhibited in a small gallery in Woodstock, Vermont."

Bill and Julie met as neighbors in Vermont and married in 1945. Julie's two sons, from a previous marriage, David and John Borden and three children of their own, Nathaniel (known as Spook), Sara and Jemima made for a large and lively household, passionate about painting, music, storytelling and entertaining. It was a rich and fulfilling life.

The family shared another interest Ñdowsing, the search for hidden objects by means of a forked divining rod or a pendulum, that swings significantly in reply to well phrased questions. Bill learned this ancient skill from "an old country man back in New Hampshire, and used it to find objects friends had lost. "More often than not it worked," according to Julie.