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Columns

  • Nuestra Historia - Montezuma rises like a phoenix — twice

    The railroad was not deterred by the 1884 fire that completely destroyed the first Montezuma hotel, a three-story frame structure built in 1882. A new four-story stone and brick hotel was immediately erected on higher ground and completed in 1885.

  • Work of Art: Not another dam dedication

    What was intended as a joyous occasion — a sign of real progress, with cake as the main course and punch as the chaser — might have instead appeared as an annoyance, if you read newspaper headlines.

    Let me explain:

    A recent issue of the Optic included a front-page photo spread on a ribbon-cutting for a the city’s newest diversion dam. About 50 city officials and townspeople boarded vans to go high up Gallinas Canyon, “to places some of you have never been before,” as Mayor Alfonso Ortiz expressed it.

  • Publisher's Note: Facts and opinions

    Facts are more important than opinions. That may seem like an obvious point, but given the times in which we live, it’s worth saying.

    Straight news reporting is the most valuable contribution being made to the national discussion, but you wouldn’t know that by observing the media’s behavior.

    I suppose it’s because the “most valuable contribution” isn’t always the most marketable. Opinion often sells better than fact.

  • Nuestra Historia - Montezuma, the R.R.’s luxury resort

    Having established its new rail town east of the Gallinas in 1879, the AT&SF quickly embarked on the second reason it chose to make Las Vegas its regional headquarters. The railroad intended to develop the hot springs north of town as a premier resort for the rich and famous who were by then anxiously traveling by rail to the alluring west.

    But first, a brief history of the hot springs area before the railroad arrived.

  • Work of Art: Let’s hope hugs don’t vanish

    We’re not discussing “tacky” here, just the warm, beneficial, feel-good, even therapeutic effects of what we’ve been doing since the dawn of time: hugging.

    It’s something I grew into after several decades, but now, as an admittedly and increasingly emotional senior citizen, I’ve become much more of a hugger. A nasty old man? Never, just a hugger.

  • Publisher's Note: The Roosevelt Republicans

    David Cargo, the former Republican governor, was honored last week in the state Roundhouse with the unveiling of a bronze bust in his likeness. The crowd that gathered for the ceremony included Gov. Susana Martinez, out of respect for one of her predecessors, and a host of friends and relatives out of loyalty to this man and the mark he made on New Mexico.

    Interestingly, Cargo observed that there were probably more Democrats in the audience than Republicans, which illustrates a sad reality to politics today.

  • Nuestra Historia - Eugenio Romero wins, East bolts

    The stage was set for the momentous election to choose the first mayor of the combined city of east and west Las Vegas. It was July 18, 1882, and the racially charged contest was an obvious and heated struggle between the Hispanics in Old Town, and the Anglos in New Town, whose population in just three years equaled or exceeded that of the half-century-old west side.

  • Work of Art: No one the Twain did meet

    HANNIBAL, MO. — “Tom! No answer. Tom! No answer. What’s gone with that boy, I wonder?” Is there a person in America who can’t place that partial exchange?

    It comes from the opening lines of “Tom Sawyer,” a classic of American Literature, whose author everybody remembers as Mark Twain, The Mark Twain, the one-of-a-kind storyteller, humorist, observer of American life along the Mississippi.

  • Publisher's Note: Bits and pieces

    First, a disclosure: My daughter was in this year’s Over the Edge IV put on by the Nat Gold Players. Plus, a couple of days after the last Edge performance, she attended a meeting to organize a youth subgroup of the Nat Gold Players, which they cleverly named Clearly Confused Productions. They are hoping to put on their first production sometime around Halloween.

  • Handwriting off the wall

    Remember those looping, joined-up letters that for centuries have stood as signs of education and sophistication? We used to call that bit of artistry penmanship, or, so as not to offend anyone, let’s call it “penpersonship.”