Monthly Archives: February 2009

Daily Optic memories

It’s tough to realize that today marks the last Thursday publication of the Las Vegas (Daily) Optic.

The announcement that the (Daily) Optic is to become a tri-weekly the first week in March has generated more attention than the Optic’s decision, when Landmark became the parent company, to publish every weekday, even on holidays.

Remember, the penta-weekly Optic for years observed Thanksgiving and Christmas, New Year’s Day and other national holidays, with the result that on certain weeks we had only four issues.

I’m not sure people ever got used to having a Christmas issue, for example, when that holiday fell on a weekday. And possibly on rare occasions, Optic carriers merely bundled the holiday issue along with the regular copy.

It’s the end of an era, involving rearrangement of Optic features and work schedules. Area subscribers will now be getting their Optic in the mail every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and that day’s edition will also be at single-sales locations around town in the morning. So you can enjoy the newspaper with your morning Ovaltine. Continue reading

Octuplets? Enough already

For many of my grandparents’ generation, the Biblical words, “Be fruitful and multiply,” were more of a command than a suggestion. Grandma and Grandpa Medina complied, delivering 16 children, of which my mother Marie was the oldest daughter. Six remain, most in their nineties, and most of the others lived into that decade as well. And a few of them procreated so efficiently that in the ‘50s it was fairly safe to tell people, “I’m related to half of Santa Fe. If it’s a Medina, there’s a good chance it’s a cousin.”

But that was back in the ‘50s, when Santa Fe’s population was around 25,000, a figure close to the number of exempt employees currently on Gov. Richardson’s staff, not counting his security force.

Like many of my generation, the last-surviving cadre of grandchildren, we self-regulated. Accordingly, none of my siblings even came close to the dozen children my Aunt Stella in Santa Fe delivered. Imagine how much more populated the world would be if every generation, on average, set out to have even more kids than they have siblings or aunts and uncles.

About 30 years ago, when the Zero Population Growth movement was much more militant, people were shamed if they had more than two children. The idea was simple: Every married couple had only two kids — to replace the parents, and so on. Continue reading

Boys worked tire-fully

A photo in last week’s Optic shows an old house on the Highlands campus dwarfed by a most imposing, new building, the new residence hall designed to accommodate 262 students, as part of the university’s burgeoning enrollment.

As I drove two friends — one a student I’m hoping to recruit — around campus, I led an impromptu tour, which included memories of the area.

An aerial photo in the registrar’s office shows the university circa 1950.

Things have changed: Wilson Complex, now a staple for almost anything athletic, isn’t in that photo. Nor is the paved running track or even Tyrone Music Building. Instead, the old women’s gym (the gym was old, not necessarily the women), which also contained the bookstore, appears on the spot of the Kennedy parking lot.

It was inevitable that the few blocks north of National, along Ninth, 10th and 11th streets, would lose their residential flavor as the campus grew north. I remember Agnes and Mary Lou, classmates from Immaculate Conception school, who lived in that area. Continue reading