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).
My friend, Wilfred Martinez, and I were always welcome in Murphey’s. Invariably, as we entered to sell our competing newspapers, we’d be greeted by Roy Browning or Sketchley Moore, a pair of pharmacists. They’d call my friend “Little Head,” presumably because there was too much information there to be contained in his head.
Roy Browning called me “Garbled.” Why? Because once I read the Optic headlines to him and he asked me to read an article itself. I got past the first couple of paragraphs and suddenly came across a few lines that made no sense. I said “garbled” for that passage, to which Browning said, “typical Optic.”
Murphey’s was a well-stocked store that offered free gift-wrapping. I believed Herman to be a world-class gift-wrapper. Somehow the process never seemed rushed, and there was never any mention of a fee, which some places charge today.
Of course, I mentioned some of these drugstore memories during the interview with Julia. She agreed and complimented me on my ability to remember things in such detail. It’s true; although I can scarcely remember whether I had Cheerios or Fruit Loops this morning, I remember the distant past quite well.
But the memory compliment should go to Julia herself, who pinpointed the location of a couple of skating rinks, the Duncan Opera House and a host of long-shuttered small businesses in town.
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Two weeks ago, when Gov. Susana Martinez was scheduled to deliver an address at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, many New Mexicans tuned in to watch and listen.
She’d barely reached the podium when officials at the three major networks, ABC, CBS and NBC, pulled the plug and feted the TV audience with talking heads instead.
That caused consternation among many Nuevo Mejicanos who believe Martinez’s speech should have been carried in its entirety. Apparently, there were some after-the-fact options, such as streaming the speech online the next day, but that’s not the same as watching and listening to a live speech.
In spite of modern technology, it just goes to show that it can’t be denied that artificial intelligence is no substitute for the lack of the real thing.
• • •
Heard on local radio the next day: “Gov. Martinez got ‘snobbed.’” That she did not, but the reason for the wrong usage is explainable: The vowel sounds in “snob” and “snub” are only a millimeter apart.
A “snob” is generally thought of as someone overly impressed by his or her importance. That could be brought on by an exaggerated respect for high social position or wealth. “Snob” rhymes with “sob,” but not with “snub.”
“Snub” is a verb. It means to rebuff, ignore or spurn disdainfully, as in the notion that New Mexico’s governor isn’t important enough to be listened to when addressing the GOP national convention.
“Snub” rhymes with “sub,” but not with “sob.”
So how can we make things right for our governor? What if a better known sub were to have pre-empted Martinez at the last minute, causing Susana to sob? Would the networks have snuffed out any chances for the sniffing governor to become better known?
Let’s not forget that months ago she was being considered as the vice-presidential running mate for Gov. Mitt Romney, or whichever Republican was likely to get the nomination. There was a large stable of Republican office holders whose names were dropped by the front-running presidential candidates.
It’s good practice to “consider” a number of people as slate mates. It keeps them happy, not to mention that it’s flattering to those whose names get dropped. And if she indeed had been chosen, would she likely become a “snob” and would she then “snub” the populace?
• • •
It seems that each day we read startling new information on nutrition. The latest is that the benefits of food grown organically don’t really justify the price difference. A friend in Santa Fe said that the health-food emporium, Wild Oats, ought to be re-named Wild Profits.
Surely in a week or so, scientists will come up with findings that contradict the latest research and will advise us to eat more organic stuff.
Along these nutritional lines, my friend, Klare Schmidt, never one to disappoint, sent the following email:
“According to a recent article I just read on nutrition, eating right doesn’t have to be complicated. Nutritionists say there is a simple way to tell if you’re eating right.
“Colors. Fill your plate with bright colors: greens, reds, yellows.
“In fact, I did that this morning. I had an entire bowl of M&Ms. It was delicious! I never knew eating right could be so easy.”
Art Trujillo is a copy editor at the Optic and a contributing member of the newspaper’s Editorial Board. He may be reached by calling 425-6796 or by e-mail to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.