Monthly Archives: November 2013

It was as if . . .

It was as if the President had been shot and killed in downtown Gallup. The commotion, the panic, the floods of tears, the anger and confusion must have rained on every community in the nation. Yes, it was as if . . .

Let me explain:

Virtually every living U.S. senior citizen can recall precisely where each was and what each was doing the day President Kennedy was assassinated. The just-published Friday edition of the Optic, for example, compiled reactions from people who remember the event clearly.

A local, Bruce Wertz, furnished us his copy of the Optic’s front page for that date.

Let me explain what it was like in 1963, in the pre-Google, pre-Facebook, pre-cell phone, pre-computer era when things moved much slower. One of my duties was to cover the McKinley County courthouse. I’d sit in on trials, pick up daily records such as divorces, marriage licenses, liens and lawsuits and whatever else went on in the county seat. Continue reading

A super-heated topic

We were leaving a high school play that I had directed, “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson. It was exactly this time of year, and the weather conditions were identical to what’s happening tonight: chimneys blowing over, fences being uprooted, animals shivering.

As I was leaving the school, I saw the wife of one of my fellow teachers at Cuba High School make a dash that would have been the envy of our football coach at the time. But instead of a pigskin, Ida was carrying a child in her arms. She might also have been carrying a baby the other way, but I noticed only the child, about 2 years old.

She’d made sure her husband prewarmed the car and unlocked it for her 20-yard sprint: she didn’t want the child to inhale one molecule of that beastly cold night air, and she’d insisted that the interior of their car be roasting for her arrival with babe in arms. By the time they got home, minutes later, they went through the same ritual: make sure the home furnace is roaring, and have six dozen blankets at the ready when she enters the house. Continue reading

Some people are so nice

Ah, jeez, some people can be so nice. Please don’t overlook the irony to that statement. “Can be so nice” is almost like saying, “You’re so much help!”

I’ve gone over these expressions, orally, a dozen times, and there’s no way I can make them seem sincere. In my experience “So much help” always comes out sarcastically, regardless of who’s uttering it.

Now that we’re experts on irony, let’s get to the point:

My son, Stan, sent me a Facebook item, that reads “It is better to run over a bicyclest then get in a head on accedent because they don’t share the road.” The message appears on a sign next to a highway. The Facebook post doesn’t specify a location.

Now that’s the writing of a nice guy. Even the thought of injuring or killing a bicyclist (compare my spelling of this word with his) is abhorrent. Often we read about someone who ran a bicyclist off the road and drove off. Continue reading

Scout leaders messed up

The aphorism, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” has an interesting pedigree, variously credited to St. Bernard of Clairvaux, a 12th century cleric, and to Virgil’s Aeneid written shortly before the time of Christ, and whose translation reads, “It’s easy to go to hell.”

Those notions certainly apply to the three men who are likely to be facing felony charges for toppling over a huge rock in Goblin Valley State Park in Utah. The unusual formations date back to the Jurassic era.å

The three are David Hall, Glenn Taylor and his son, all Boy Scout leaders, who used a twisted bit of logic and rationalization in modifying the position of a 200-million-year-old rock at that park.

It’s inconceivable that the three would struggle so tenaciously to tip over a massive rock. The park contains many unusually shaped mounds that officials say look like goblins. Remember, now, the ostensible reason for the Scout leaders’ vandalism was to protect others who, after all, could be crushed should the rock tumble. So exhilarated were the three that they videotaped their efforts and spend lots of time high-fiving one another over their accomplishment. Continue reading