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Columns

  • Work of Art - The word was ‘tie-teh’

    The rate of exchange didn’t fluctuate much for people like your resident doorman who doubles as a columnist.

    The few quarters I carry in my pocket remain there, even after an exchange of pleasantries and cash as my entry fee to local businesses.    

    We’re referring to two things here: My habit of asking for a quarter tip when I hold the door open for someone; and the ceaseless greetings by some mendicants who ask for “spare change” of customers when they enter — and leave — restaurants.

  • Editor's Note - A ‘Hunger Games’ challenge

    If you’ve read “The Hunger Games” — a three-book series written by Suzanne Collins— I dare you to find its deeper meanings.

    If you don’t, or can’t, I think you’re missing something. And if you don’t believe there’s any deeper meaning worth finding, that it’s just written as entertainment, I must wonder if you are being shallow in your literary consumption.

  • Work of Art - ‘Twenty-five cents, please’

    Sometimes I meet the most interesting people. I did Sunday at Souper Salad in Santa Fe. Let me explain.

    One can usually identify me as the man who, when holding open a door for someone at a restaurant, will ask for a tip.

    True, the denotation of “Twenty-five cents, please” means, of course, “Hand over the cash.” The connotation — and to me that’s what communication is mostly about — is “I’m just joking, trying to be friendly."

  • Editor's Note - A psychological impact

    In the afterglow of a successful President’s Gala at Highlands University, I can’t help but wonder what will come of it.

    The most obvious results are that more than $100,000 was raised to help Highlands students pay for their educations, and support for President Jim Fries was celebrated, and solidified, as never before.

    But I think the gala’s success was more than that.

    For Highlands and Las Vegas alike, I think the gala was a psychological boost, in a manner that’s unprecedented at least in recent years.

  • Nuestra Historia - Gov. Ezequiel C de Baca of Las Vegas

    Our Centennial series would be incomplete if we did not recount the life of Ezequiel C de Baca, New Mexico’s second governor and first lieutenant governor — and one of the great sons of Las Vegas.

    In 1916, from his modest home in Old Town, C de Baca waged his successful campaign to become New Mexico’s second governor. Tragically, he would die on the 49th day of his governorship — administering the affairs of state from his hospital bed in Santa Fe.

  • Work of Art - Hopefully this is correct

    The issue still isn’t settled. It might never be. Hopefully, this column will enlighten some people and bring a few to my way of thinking. Notice I said “hopefully.”

    For years, language purists recoiled in horror over the misuse of words and phrases that the Miss Grundys of our youth would implore us to avoid.

    Let me explain:

  • Editor's Note: New dynamics at City Hall

    Alfonso Ortiz has pulled it off, but Tonita Gurule-Giron is far from done. And yet it’s the new guy who may now hold the keys to power at City Hall.
    I’ll take ‘em one at a time.

  • Nuestra Historia - Taft made it official: NM statehood!

    It was almost two months before New Mexico determined the election results for its first state officials, as several won by razor-thin margins, and those contests consumed many weeks of legal argument. Finally, on Dec. 30, 1911, the Nov. 7 election was certified to Washington.

  • Work of Art - Please don’t tell me yet

    “I don’t wanna hear it!”         

    Usually we hear that refusal when 1) the utterer of the admonition believes, “Don’t confuse me with the facts; my mind is made up.”
    We also hear it in the context of refusing to hear the bad news: a firing, a loss of a game or an announcement that follows, “Hey Dad, you remember that can of paint on the shelf by the car in the garage?”

  • Editor's Note - A letters ‘explainer’

    This is what people in the news business call an “explainer” piece, where I offer up insights about how letters to the editor get published here at the Optic. Whether you’re a letter writer or simply a letter reader, hopefully you’ll find this informative.

    I have the privilege of handling the letters sent in for publication. In a typical week, I get a steady flow of letters, mostly by e-mail, a few typed up and dropped off or mailed in, and one or two a week sent in someone’s handwriting.