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Columns

  • Work of Art - A fresh, new topic

    Months back in this space I mentioned some of the extremely specific topics I’ve covered since this column began in 2003.

    Would you believe one of the columns analyzed the word “up,” and how it can be used in many contexts, as in finish up, grow up, wise up, etc., without necessarily having anything to do with direction.

    Another column discussed the way people end their sentences with “so ...,” and, you know, another like parsed the overuse of “like” and “ya know.”     

  • Editor's Note - Revisiting the regional idea

    Do you know what came of the regional water symposium held Oct. 30 at Luna Community College?

    Apparently, not much; at least, not yet.

    The symposium, which was organized by Richard Trujillo of the State Engineer’s Office and Pete Campos, state senator and Luna president, was intended as a starting point for a more region-wide approach to the water problems in northeastern New Mexico.

  • Nuestra Historia - Kistler was ubiquitous provocateur

    Russ Kistler was not entirely preoccupied with race issues and division, and his Optic reported in earnest on virtually every local activity, though mostly about East Las Vegas.

  • Work of Art - Things smell all right

    A long-held belief — whether it’s based on myth, practice or even superstition — says that whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

    Taking that analogy a step farther, we can then assume that a broken bone actually heals and becomes tougher, or a person who survives a particular illness soon become impervious to that ailment, a kind of immunity.

    It was later in life that I heard many versions of the “makes us stronger” mantra, usually on the football field or at some athletic event.

  • Editor's Note - Throwing a pity party

    Think I’ll throw myself a pity party.  I caught a cold, I’m overworked, I’m gaining weight from my comfort food and I have no company to enjoy my misery with, so I’m in good shape to invite you in as I feel sorry for myself.

    Join me as I lay out some of the reasons why my life sucks:

  • Dulcey Amargo - ‘Tis the season

    Thanksgiving is behind us, and we’re sated and, perhaps, overstuffed, but there’s more “stuff” and nonsense in the works.

    Christmas and New Year’s Day are on people’s minds, and so is the word “holidays.”

    And that they are, but there’s a bone of contention for some people when someone says, Happy Holidays.

    Well, they are holidays, and we want to be happy, but whatever happened to our “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and Mele Kalikimaka,” as my Hawaiian roommate, Betty Ganiko, taught me over 40 years ago? And we mustn’t forget Happy Hanukkah, either!

  • Nuestra Historia - Kistler’s Optic spurred racial divide

    In 1979, a century after Russell A. Kistler founded the Optic, beloved Optic editor Lois Beck wrote of her predecessor: “Kistler had unabashed contempt for all other racial and ethnic groups but his. ‘Mexicans’ were barely tolerated by him, positively not considered ‘Americans’ even after Kearny told them they were. This racial dementia was so much a part of him that he disclosed it unconsciously, as well as deliberately. No, Russell and I didn’t belong in the same century and certainly not in the same town.”

  • Work of Art - Some things don’t mix well

    Time changes things. Or at least, the lack of time changes things by rendering them trite, banal.

    Ever notice when someone utters something while taking off from a red light, or on the way out the door? In my case, in the rush,  I sometimes fail to understand and respond with something all-purpose, like “You’ve got it” or “That’s correct” or “I see what you mean” or “Yes, I agree” or “Good point.”

  • Editor's Note - Mixing water and oil

    The other day I overheard a man and a woman talking about the water situation in Las Vegas.

    The man asked the woman, what if the city runs out of water, and she said she’d move to her family ranch.

    He replied that he’d do the same, then went into some detail as to the water he has on and under his land.

    Then their discussion turned to the problem such a move would cause, including how expensive it would be to get to and from work if living at their ranches.

  • Just a Thought - The wisdom of Lincoln

    Abraham Lincoln’s name has been in the news lately with the release of the Steven Spielberg produced  film “Lincoln.” As is portrayed in the movie, President Lincoln led our country through a low point in our history at a time when we killed over 600,000 of our own citizens during our Civil War.  He had to carry the weight of a divided country on his shoulders each day of his presidency.