Monthly Archives: January 2016

Give ‘em licenses, mayo

Here’s hoping my auto insurance provider doesn’t read this column, lest the Trujillo family graduate to a higher rate bracket.

Let me explain:

Unlike some whose names appear often in the Optic’s jail log, I have been issued only four traffic tickets in my long life. One was for rolling a stop sign on Mills, way back in 1955, when making my morning delivery of the Denver Post. My mom and I delivered that massive newspaper every morning to homes and a sprinkling of businesses

For the Sunday Post, we found that by removing the back seat of our car, things fit well. Anyway, I rolled a stop sign and got ticketed. Fine: $5.

I received two tickets — a week apart — when I worked in Gallup in the early ‘60s. I rolled a stop sign, got ticketed, and the SAME THING happened a week later: different cop, same location, same $10 fine, in the days when a ten-spot equaled a day’s wages.

Ticket No. 4 came the same day I had new tires installed, a bit bigger but longer lasting, they said. I argued, politely and acted somewhat victimized, that the larger circumference of the tires made the car go faster without affecting the speedometer. Didn’t matter. Continue reading

Riding double hoss power

He may not remember it, but to me the event is quite clear. Well maybe not THAT clear, perhaps a bit fuzzy, as clarity and fuzziness are what inspired this topic.

Back in the olden days, bicycles were rare, almost as rare as they are now, but for different reasons. A bike today seems affordable to most, but apparently so are cars, which is why we don’t see bikes too often. And it makes me feel good, if a bit guilty when I see an elderly man riding around town. He usually pedals his bike along North Grand; he’ll sometimes stop for a cold drink at Burger King, and then go home, which is close to the East Las Vegas Schools Administration Building. Anyone know his name?

But back to the point: One autumn afternoon I was riding a single bike with my classmate Chris Martinez along University Avenue. We had one bike between us. We called the arrangement “double hoss power.” With one of us in front and the other on the carrier or fender, we both could pedal, providing more “horses” to power the bike.

On one of our rides, Chris asked me if I planned to vote for Jan Black for homecoming queen at Highlands. At Highlands? We’d just begun our freshman year at Immaculate Conception. Who’s Jan Black anyway? How can we vote for anyone at Highlands? Continue reading

Ah! Me oh mayo!

It’s interesting how quickly and easily an item on Facebook can make its way into the pages of a newspaper such as the Optic.

Feeling ornery last week, I posted a note on the Internet disclaiming any love for mayonnaise.

Yes, I enjoy some of the jokes about that creamy, tasteless stuff that some people call food. I like the one about how the largest shipment of Hellman’s mayonnaise was loaded on to Titanic, back in 1912. It was headed for Mexico, where its residents love that squishy stuff.

But the super ship, on its maiden voyage, hit an iceberg, sinking and killing many, including Leonardo DiCaprio. It was in early May. The Mexican people were disconsolate and soon declared a National Day of Mourning, which has for years been called Sinko de Mayo. Continue reading

Spelling helps with dates

During a discussion of students’ school performance, I brought up what I thought were salient points about what was expected back in the’50s as compared with today. What’s different? I mentioned that many public schools have dropped cursive writing.

What’s the big deal? The big deal is that cursive writing must have been invented to speed things up. Rather than composing each letter — and by necessity having to lift the pencil between each letter, as we do in printing — we link letters together by using cursive.

But it’s even more personal than that. My dad left us a Bible he used when he was 8, in 1911; the date, written cursively along with his signature, are great to behold. The gentle, flowing lines, varying in thickness as he pivoted the pen are impressive. Dad earned extra cash as a youngster in Wagon Mound by painting signs on buildings that still stand (the signs, if not the buildings).

On the menu today obviously are cell phones with a typing feature to allow the user to peck out a message. And what’s the usual message? It’s LOL, a phrase I won’t define here but instead suggest you ask any teen. Continue reading