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Columns

  • Dispatch New Mexico - The demise of customer service

    Editor’s note: This column first ran in August 2013. It’s been edited to update the details.

    Older people, such as myself, like to think we’ve acquired the wisdom of the ages, but when it comes to the modern world, the young’uns have a leg up on us.

    That occurred to me not so long ago when I had some questions about my cell phone account, and I didn’t want to sit on the phone all day trying to get the answers I was seeking. I decided to go to the local office and talk, face to face, with a customer service representative.

  • Work of Art:Slobs among us

    Memorial Day weekend was surprisingly busy for the Trujillo family. It included trips to the Veterans Cemetery in Santa Fe to see the burial site of my older brother, Severino, who succumbed to prostate cancer in December. On a separate trip to the same place, I took a friend to visit the place where her husband was laid to rest about 10 years ago.

  • Another Perspective: ‘Come, follow me’

    By Charles Padilla

    The record says, “Fighting was fierce in the area dubbed the Fish Hook, May 26, 1943, 15 days after the initial invasion.

    The advance of K Company, 32nd Infantry, had stalled near the top of the pass. If the Enemy could hold the Aleutian Islands, Including Attu and Kiska, from there, they could bomb the west coast.

  • Just a Thought: The fable of six blind men and an elephant

    By Rick Kraft

    Perception is reality to the beholder. Good or bad, right or wrong, our perceptions control us. We make decisions based upon how we perceive things. Unfortunately, many of our perceptions are wrong.

    Oftentimes we become defensive of our perceptions. We are confident that our perception is accurate.  What we don’t realize is that we don’t see the entire picture.

  • Dispatch New Mexico - Extrapolating insights from census data

    It’s amazing what you can learn about a place from its numbers.

    U.S. Census Bureau numbers, that is. If you’ve never linked into its Quick Facts data, you don’t know what you’re missing.

    For example, from this data I can tell you that when compared to our three big neighbors to the west, north and east — Arizona, Colorado and Texas — New Mexico is the widest of the wide-open country that makes up the American Southwest.

  • Beth Speaks for Herself: A good friend makes all the difference

    Day One of our Route 66 adventure in January 2015 had its stops and starts. When visiting Carl Sandburg’s home in Flat Rock, N.C., I had purchased the book on tape “Abraham Lincoln: the Prairie Years.” I had always intended to read Sandburg’s definitive biography so now we would cross the prairie listening to his words. By the second CD, I couldn’t bear the narrator’s raspy voice.

  • Just a Thought: It was not supposed to happen this way

    God takes a loved one away before their time. A young person chooses to get hooked on drugs. Your employer sells his business and leaves you jobless. Your spouse has an affair. The stock market crashes.

    What now? You might look up to make sure a piano isn’t about to fall on your head. At times like this you are walking a valley and it seems there is no way out.

    It’s not in the script. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. But it has.

  • Another Perspective: Treatment courts now the foundation of reform

    This May, drug courts and other treatment courts throughout New Mexico are joining over 2,900 such courts nationwide in celebrating National Drug Court Month. By May 31, thousands of individuals who entered the criminal justice system addicted to drugs and facing incarceration will receive lifesaving treatment and the chance to repair their lives, reconnect with their families and find long-term recovery.

  • Palabras Pinturescas: Praising works of Tony, Anne Hillerman

    Oh, what fun it is to hear from my readers! I just received a beautiful photograph of Edith and John Moore from a reader who thought I’d appreciate it. Do I ever, thank you! And a couple of weeks ago long time friends dropped by for a visit and left a book with me to read. We share the love of well written fiction, who-done-its written, situation in New Mexico.

  • Dispatch New Mexico - Unconventional advice for this year’s graduates

    It’s that time of year, when just about every newspaper in the state gives front-page attention to at least one local graduation. They’re always a big deal, especially to those who walk across that ceremonial stage and the families they’re making proud.

    Graduations mark a transition in our lives, but sometimes I think it’s over-emphasized. Anyone who thinks a diploma or degree is a ticket to success is sadly mistaken. It’s just a ticket to ride; you still have to get there on your own.