Monthly Archives: October 2015

Hug them extra tight

It’s hard to remember being so affected by a single, simple — even stupid — incident. True, I’ve spent sleepless nights over the death of a loved one, such as Mom and Dad or other close relatives and friends.

But what about days of fretting over the death of someone I never met, was never likely to meet — in fact over someone whose name before her death might have been known by only half a hundred people.

Of course, I refer to the sudden death last week of Lilly Garcia, shot dead by a participant in a road rage incident in Albuquerque. To me, the publicity on TV and the newspapers over this 4-year-old’s senseless murder ranks in import along with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy 52 years ago.

Yes, Lilly’s death is as vivid to me now as was Kennedy’s death 52 years ago, when I was living in Gallup, a reporter for a newspaper, the Independent. Continue reading

Cleansing Playboy magazine

What? Playboy’s becoming sanitized. Thus read the headline in one of countless newspapers and magazines over Hugh Hefner’s decision to stop featuring nudes in the publication that spurred the nudity trend on Dec. 1, 1953, with a revealing photo of Marilyn Monroe.

Playboy, “the magazine that men read for its intelligent articles (the daring photos of women being purely incidental), has decided to cover up feminine attributes. Hefner’s plan to pitch the pulchritude is probably predicated by the plentitude of provocative poses on our PC. Wrrronngg. (More on that in a few paragraphs).

Yes, Playboy, the magazine that men often hid in their sock drawer, only to be discovered by their adolescent sons, ostensibly so the boys could read the well-written articles, is changing and soon will be rated PG-13.

But first, let me explain that I have had a tangential connection to Hefner’s publication; I once entered the Chicago Playboy Mansion on business. Essentially, a co-worker, a man I considered a great people photographer, was being considered for a job with Playboy — not to photograph the models for the centerfold or adjoining pages, but to develop the color film of the models. My friend, with whom I’d performed newspaper work, indicated he’d more willingly take the job if I were to be his assistant. Continue reading

Avoid that manhole

A sizeable pothole near a crosswalk at the Behavioral Health Institute is large enough to cause serious damage. The hole is about 15 by 15 inches, but the worrisome aspect of the hole is its depth, possibly four inches.

Beneath the four inches of asphalt rests a small, round manhole cover, which was probably accessed to address a recent water or sewer issue. Most of the traffic simply straddles the hole, but if motorists aren’t extremely observant, there’s a great chance they’ll face some tire and some serious front-end repairs. Worse, it’s hard to imagine any biker retaining control after hitting that hole.

It’s clearly a danger; it’s unmarked and barely visible. Let’s hope crews fix the problem before serious injury or death results.

• • •

Every college has one. Highlands certainly did in the hiring in 1964, of John Adams as chairman of the English Department. I was in the first literature class he taught in the summer, and we English majors learned never to come to class unprepared. Adams, who passed away a few years ago, simply epitomized the notion that professors ought to have and maintain high standards. Continue reading

Things we knew as kids

This will be an audience-participation-type column in which readers will be invited to submit some of their own comments on how things used to be (and maybe still are).

The inspiration came from a web site that lists a number of things we were taught as children, things that were probably explained to us by our parents, who heard the same things from our grandparents, who in turn . . .

Get the picture? I write this in spite of the expected denials from members of the Trujillo family — my siblings, who have been prone to say, “That’s not the way I remember it.” Dorothy Maestas, in particular, often insists she and I must have grown up in different households.

But like a good umpire with 20-20 vision, “I call them as I see them.”

The web site I came across lists some behaviors near to many of us. One of them says that if you make yourself cross-eyed, there’s a good chance your eyes will remain in that position. I remember as a child doing that because it made my brothers and sisters laugh. And they’d encourage me to keep doing it. Then Mom stepped in with a strong admonition to stop it. How many readers learned that . . . and maybe even still believe it? Continue reading