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Columns

  • Let there be light

    I was 10 when I'd go to Marquez Grocery on Grand, a short distance from my house to buy a treat to enjoy on the way to Immaculate Conception School.

    In the store, I saw a scruffy kid around 7, who asked the grocer, Orlando Marquez, for "a bag of George Gershwins."

  • Consider poverty from multiple points of view

    Some insisted during the recent Tri-County Poverty Summit, spearheaded by San Miguel County Commissioner Rock Ulibarri, that the problem is structural.

    If true, how is the structure defined?

    The other logical question, of course, is who imagined and saw to its being built?

    If one can’t honestly define the structural problem, how can one clearly take the necessary action to address or fix the problem?

    One significant point was made that emphasized perspective.

  • Oh, the joys of aging!

    Recently, Vicki Howell asked me, “How do you like being retired here in Las Vegas?”  I explained to her that I dislike both the word and the concept. “Retired” sounds like I’m tired, over and over again. I’m not doing anything again. I’ve never been retired.

    Although I’m not working full-time anymore, I am teaching at Luna, writing a column for The Optic, and singing with Contrafact Jazz Band.

  • Adjust your sails to add value to others

    No one has ever attained greatness in a job they hate.

    There, I said it.

    Let me take this a step further. No one has ever been good at parenting who has hated being a parent. So much of what we do in this world is controlled by our core attitudes and beliefs. From our core comes our actions.

    This concept on greatness is quite simple. If you don’t have your heart into what you do, you will not excel at what you are doing.

  • Confessions of a neurotic media consumer

    I’ve been about three months without television and it’s made my life quieter. Couple that with the fact that I hardly ever get on Facebook anymore and I’m a veritable hermit.

    Sorry, friends, but I got tired of social media years ago. I keep a presence out there, and I check to see what’s up with friends from time to time, but I don’t really contribute to the social media conversation out there anymore.

  • What, exactly, is a 'cascaron'?

    How often does it happen that a holy day clashes with a hellish day? It happened only three days ago, when a calendaric (is there even such a word?) date occurs to combine Easter Sunday with April Fool’s Day.

    That’s an opportunity for churchgoers to take part in both events.
    Easter Sunday is one of those holy days that flit all around the calendar; sometimes it falls in March, sometimes in April. My birthday is constant, on April 21, but Easter is not. However, I can recall several times when my birthday fell exactly on Easter.

  • Easter and a man who lived long ago

    By Rick Kraft

    I think from time to time, “What if everybody in our community went to church on the same Sunday?” What would that be like? Every seat in every church could be filled and there could be people who would have to stand outside the sanctuaries or be turned away.

    It's Easter weekend. There will be more people in church today than any other Sunday the entire year. Nationally, church attendance will climb an average of 25% on this one day.

  • It’s about Wonder Woman — and me

    At some point during last Saturday’s March for Our Lives in Columbus, Ohio, I walked behind two young girls wearing star-spangled blue capes.
    The one with the ponytail kept looking around at the crowd of thousands, as if she couldn’t believe her eyes. The other girl marched face-forward, holding up a handmade sign: “I cannot stand by while innocent lives are lost. ­They had most likely seen Gal Gadot utter those very words as Wonder Woman in the 2017 film, and now they saw themselves in her. What a lift on such a somber day!

  • Fresh young voices must be heard

    Every now and then, big national news turns into significant small-town news. You can see it on the pages of many hometown newspapers.

    Since the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., there have been plenty of reports of threats making the news — all over New Mexico. Estancia, Roswell and others have closed schools for a day or more as a result of threats.

  • ‘But I wuz robbed’

    I miss my dad. He died at age 94 — way back last century. He was long-lived and clung on, despite some 25 hospitalizations of at least a week’s duration.

    But before you surmise this column is going to be one of those “I Remember Mama” themes, let me assure you it is not. Throughout most of life (his), I was far from his favorite son (there were five of us children, and Dad’s younger brother moved in with us on the death of their mother).