Monthly Archives: September 2012

The list goes on and on

An entry in Facebook caught my attention only yesterday. One of the “friends” (members) on the social network listed words that ought to be avoided in academic writing: “interesting,” “basically,” “got,” “firstly, secondly . . .” and “etc.”

But before we parse away, let’s explain the idea of social networks like Facebook, where “friend” has become a verb, as in “I’d like to friend you, my dear.”

Facebook probably does much more than I’m able to express here. It doubtless has some capabilities, such as posting songs and film clips that the friends and friended ones can enjoy. It’s truly a marvel, something that made one of its founders, Mark Zuckerberg, a billionaire and all that before he even reached puberty (almost). Continue reading

You were never my age

“Why, when I was your age . . . “ It’s impossible to utter those six words, in that sequence, without having someone come up with, “Yes, we already know: You had to walk to school five miles, uphill both ways, in deep snow.”

So I won’t be mentioning the daily trudges through snow, in freezing weather that lasted from December to December. Nor will I write about the distance of our treks.

In fact, I’m wary of beginning any sentence with those six words, even though discussing distances to school or climatic conditions might be far from my mind.

Continue reading

She’s 92 and still ‘with it’

Photographing Julia Martinez for the Optic’s Senior Profile feature last week convinced me that hers was by far the easiest interview I’ve helped writer Lupita Gonzales conduct.
I simply go along for the photos; I let my colleague ask the tough questions.

So what made it so easy? Probably our conviction that Mrs. Herman Martinez is extremely alert. Yes, she’s 92, but she’s much more “with it” than many people 30 years younger.

The interview brought back memories of her late husband, Erminio (Herman) Martinez, whose employment at Murphey’s was a short two blocks from their house, on Fifth Street. I don’t remember ever having met or having seen Herman’s wife, but the family photos in her living room reminded me I’d known Herman since childhood (mine). Continue reading

Fleeing a flea market

“Did you catch that typo?” I asked my oldest son, Stan Adam, as we drove past a place of active outdoor sales.

He said he hadn’t, so I made a U-turn to give him another look. “I don’t see anything unusual — for Las Vegas,” he said, “unless you’re looking at the way the people misspelled “flea.”

He had in fact gotten it, even emphasizing that he saw the typo several days earlier but failed to mention it to his language-cop dad. That was a number of years ago when there was a flea market in that empty field close to Mills Avenue and Hot Springs Boulevard. Continue reading