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Columns

  • Brotherly banter and what families do

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Ah, family. Two dozen of them on this night, at a housewarming for my daughter and son-in-law Amy and Jae in their new home.

    Having a big family is such a blessing. And, sometimes, a burden.
    There he is, my brother Don, being himself. He’s my socially stunted and politically incorrect brother, who’s also a father, grandfather and licensed psychiatrist with an opinion on everything. He can be insulting and offensive and overbearing in his conversations with people.

  • ‘Miss ya, Dennis Mitchell’

    He said “Pvt. Trujillo, everybody in this platoon is out of step but you.”

    As you parse this sentence, don’t even think of construing the drill sergeant’s criticism as a bushel of compliments.

    The sergeant who was so free with the comments, a man by the name of Brewster, actually was referring to someone else, another Trujillo. And besides, by that time I was no longer a private in the Gallup National Guard but what we called an Sp.3, a rank slightly higher than a measly private.

  • Finally, the world was saved today

    On a small busy cobblestone street I walked by a girl wearing a T-shirt reading “I SAVED THE WORLD TODAY.”

    I didn’t want to impose on her so I didn’t say anything to her as she passed, but I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to get a picture of her.

  • Protecting Mora County from fracking — still

    After years of debate over how to best protect our land and water, Mora County has completed a draft of an oil and gas ordinance and is asking the community to provide feedback.

    Modeled on the ordinances adopted by Santa Fe and San Miguel Counties, the Mora draft ordinance is intended to protect the people and natural resources of Mora County from the negative impacts of oil and gas drilling through a strong regulatory framework.

    During the next few weeks, the public will have opportunities to submit written or oral comments to the Mora County Commission.

  • Unconventional advice for graduates

    Editor’s note: This column was first written and distributed in 2015.

    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 make their families proud.Graduations mark a transition in our lives, but sometimes I think it’s over-emphasized.

  • A bit of a musical treat

    Far be it from me to consider myself musical. It’s true that I took piano lessons in my 30’s, but not much grew out of that, despite my teacher, Ann Mishler’s encouragement and keeping her fingers crossed.

    A few years ago, a neighbor knocked on my door on a hot afternoon, like this one. He wanted to join us, he explained, because he was curious about what our gathering was about. We had decided on a wholesale washing of cars.

  • There is something special about a mother

    By Rick Kraft

    There is just something special about mothers that is hard to fully explain.

    It involves emotions and generally gratitude for the sacrifices they make. I learned to appreciate my mother more when I first-hand experienced the birth and raising of my children. My mother invested so much of her life in me and my sisters and brother.

  • In my mother's mirror

    By Beth Urech

    I was with my mother when she took her very last breath. It was fitting; she was with me when I took my first.

  • Digging in and taking root

    TOM’S NOTE: On May 6, 2013, Tom McDonald launched the New Mexico Community News Exchange, or CNEx, as well as his “Dispatch New Mexico” column — both of which are still being produced five years later. The following is the first column McDonald wrote for CNEx.

    Once there was a man (actually, he was me) who couldn’t seem to settle down.

  • Care for 'raw menudo'?

    Call me picky and fussy. I pity anyone who would ever be in a position to cook for me.

    Yes, my wife, Bonnie, does, but through the years I've trained her. She doesn't like it either, so that's half the battle.

    And what is that "it" that she also doesn't like? Read on.