Category Archives: Life in New Mexico

Bringing the Civil War to life in New Mexico

When we saw a couple of women in hoop skirts and sunbonnets walking across the dusty parking lot, we knew we were in the right place: the annual re-enactment of the Civil War Battle of Valverde near Socorro, NM. The … Continue reading

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Pumpkins in the air

Pumpkin chunking! Elaborate, home-made machines hurl ripe pumpkins high into the air to smash down hundreds of yards away. What’s not to like? I stumbled across the World Championship Punkin Chunkin on cable TV a few years ago and was … Continue reading

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Two cheers for Columbus

Today is Columbus Day in the United States. But in Albuquerque it’s been re-named Indigenous Peoples Day to commemorate the struggles of Native Americans against genocidal invaders like good old Chris. What makes this a little odd is that about … Continue reading

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Feeding the hummingbirds

It’s hummingbird season at my house. The Rio Grande, a few hundred yards from my house, is a bird superhighway with seasonal flyovers of geese and sandhill cranes. Quail and roadrunners trot across my yard every day. But the hummingbirds … Continue reading

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Confessions of a weather snob

Albuquerque got an unusual six inches of snow last night. The skiers are ecstatic, the city is paralyzed and I get to annoy my neighbors once again with tales of my hometown of Chicago. Yes, I’m a weather snob. While … Continue reading

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Rio Grande opera

I spent a pleasant afternoon at the opera last Sunday, enjoying Opera Southwest’s performance of Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers in Albuquerque. In June, the season begins at the Santa Fe Opera and I’ve already ordered tickets for two performances. I … Continue reading

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Cinco de Mayo on the Old Town Plaza

I spent a pleasant Cinco de Mayo afternoon pretending to sell books on Albuquerque’s Old Town Plaza. The plaza, traditional center of every Hispanic town, is one of my favorite places. For those of you in Anglo territory, picture a … Continue reading

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A lawn grows in the desert

I bought a rain gauge for my garden a month ago and finally got enough rain to measure: almost two-tenths of an inch. That’s a big deal because Albuquerque averages only 9.4 inches of precipitation a year – compared to … Continue reading

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The desert Navy

I started my Navy career in Albuquerque, New Mexico. People do a doubletake when I tell them that. When I graduated from Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI, the Navy apparently had a bunch of shore billets to fill.  A … Continue reading

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My favorite spectator sport

If politicians did not exist I probably would be a big fan of professional wrestling. But politicians are so much more colorful and comic. It’s probably my upbringing. I grew up in Chicago, was an avid reader of Mike Royko’s … Continue reading

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