Monthly Archives: August 2015

A great dad-son combo

The cause of much consternation as we returned from our summer break to resume classwork at Immaculate Conception School in 1954 was whether the bulk we’d acquired during vacation had magically slipped away. That was the time we returned as freshmen to the homeroom of Sister Mary Missa Massa.

The baby fat we thought we’d exchanged for muscle just wasn’t there. Here’s what happened:

The closing of West Las Vegas High School created a spillover on the east side. Sure, then-Las Vegas High could have accommodated the transfers from west, but I suspect most of the Westsiders preferred I.C., which offered new students a chance to beef up our anemic athletic programs. It’s true that we already had a few good players, especially in basketball, but the addition of several from west of the Gallinas was I.C.-ing on the cake.

One of the new students was Ken Ludi. He and a few others impressed us regulars because of their size. Several of us wondered whether something the kids drank, on the other side of the Gallinas, gave them growth spurts. Kenneth, a fellow freshman, born in April, was two days younger than I. Why, therefore is there such a difference in size? And the size paid off. We wondered why Ken was able to throw a baseball much harder than the rest of us, and run faster, and catch fly balls better, and grab grounders better, and pitch better. Continue reading

Too late for lefties day

Alas! I missed it by a week, but in my defense, I’ve been reminded that people with my condition are perpetually behind the times.

I refer to National Left Handers Day, observed Aug. 13 and described “as a chance to tell your family and friends how proud you are of being left-handed, and also raise awareness of the issues lefties face in a world designed for right-handers.”

They’re right! Too many of us get left behind.

We’re playing with a stacked deck. Those who lean left need to compensate for our built-in linguistic disadvantage. People on the political right aren’t necessarily “right” as in correct. And those on the left realize that the opposite of “right” is “left.” But so is “wrong.”

Consider the many put-down terms associated with left-handedness: “sinister,” “awkward,” “gauche,” “insincere,” “sardonic” and “hypocritical.” Did you ever feel honored after receiving a left-handed compliment? Continue reading

Those were the days

Charles Arnold Goddard has lived to be 100. Several dozen relatives, friends, neighbors and even business associates gathered at his Myrtle Avenue home Saturday to share the occasion. A group of fellow veterans was there to present him with a certificate for his Army captaincy, and Mayor Alfonso Ortiz handed him a certificate from the city.

Goddard was born in Denver and is the former owner of Southwestern Oil Company at Grand and Washington. The company supplied coal oil and gasoline. Goddard is widowed, his wife, Margaret, having passed away eight years ago. Mrs. Goddard had a long tenure as a teacher and principal with the Las Vegas City Schools.

Lynn Esquibel has been a caretaker for 36 years. She organized the centennial party, which included a buffet and music by Lorraine Varela, who led the guests in a round of “Las Mañanitas.”

Old-time friends such as Marie Montoya, Karen Pettine, Mary Edith Johnsen, John Moore, Bob and Sharon Vander Meer, Gilbert and Marcy Pino, Kathy and Fred Allen, Gloria Ortiz, Kathy, Allen and Steve Franken, Janet Remenyik, Alnita Baker and Chuck and Carol Searcy attended and gave their best hugs and wishes to the honoree. Continue reading

Are personal notes passe?

Some people said I was trying too hard to win the girl. Carol’s parents, who encouraged the match, told me they approved of the way I would send them a thank-you note each time they invited me to spend the weekend at their house.

What’s unusual about a thank-you note? Not much — unless it’s mailed from the town of the hosts before I even left town. Back in the ‘60s, here’s what happened often:

Carol lived in a resort area called Lake in the Hills, a suburb of Algonquin, Ill. I lived in a then-small town called Naperville, about 40 miles away. But those 40 miles are not quite like the distance from here to Wagon Mound. At the time, there were probably 40 Chicago suburbs along my path, with the requisite 1,400 traffic lights to navigate.

The cards I’d send usually arrived at Carol’s folks’ house the day after I mailed them (once, because I was delayed in Algonquin, the card arrived the same day.) Friends I’ve discussed this with often laughed at me for two reasons. Some thought it was unnecessary to mail the cards the day I left; others questioned my mailing anything at all. So eager to win Carol’s heart was I that (only) once I mailed the thank-you card before I even arrived at the Kucias’ house. Continue reading