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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

WC 062922 An Event


Today is an event in my life no one would believe.

Okay here goes. This is way back in 1995, Bruce King was governor of NM. I was teaching and sponsor of YMCA's Youth and Government program. Students had their choice in the fall semester to either write a bill or they could be in the newspaper and have to write an article. We met on Tuesdays after school and went over their bill or bills. They were allowed one joke bill, but they had to have a serious one too. I had previous bill books and newspapers for them to use as examples.

The legislative session starts in mid-January and lasts thirty days on odd years and 60 days on even years. In February I took my students during the day on a bus up to Santa Fe with other students from the high schools in Albuquerque, for what we called pre-ledge. In the morning the students could attend the regular committee meetings to get a feel for what they would be doing when our time came. They were on their own for lunch and then we held sessions in another government building with a lecture hall. Here all the sponsors from all over the state got to know one another, same for the students, the student governor, vice-governor, secretary of state, attorney general, elected the previous year, would lead the legislative session going over the procedures and decorum for our sessions. The editor of the newspaper and the sponsor of the newspaper would meet with the new reporters and go over their articles.

After the real legislature finished, a week later on Saturday, Sunday and Monday is when we held our model legislature in the Round House, using the committee rooms and chambers.

Some students thought being on the newspaper was the easy way, here they were informed that after dinner during the session when all the legislators were having free time, they were writing their articles and then having to lay them out on the computers and get them ready to be printed first thing in the morning. They were lucky to get to bed by 3 in the morning, then had to witness the committee hearings and general sessions the next day to write their next article. I digress.

That year, 1995, a senator from Rio Rancho had a school voucher bill. The year before it passed the committees but died without a hearing on the floor. He thought this year it would sail through as the committees had the same senators and votes.

Sponsors kept an eye on the students, but they were on their own to choose which committees or sessions. They just had to stay in the capital building. At this time, I always wore a suit with bolo tie, cowboy boots and George Strait cowboy hat. I was not hard to miss.

I was sitting in an area outside the committee rooms. Senator Benevides, a high-ranking member of the senate and was always on TV making comments, he was hard to miss as he wore a patch over one eye, he came up to me and said, "You might want to sit in on the Senate educational committee, it just started." 

Why he did this I haven't a clue. We'd never met before. I went in and they were reading the school voucher bill, The RR senator went to another committee meeting thinking he had this one in the bag.

Going over the bill it stipulated that a student could use the voucher to attend any school of his choosing if there was room at the school. The president of the AFT-NM stood and said this violated church and state as students could use public money for church schools. The archbishop of Santa Fe spoke in favor as it would give all students a choice of schools.

I saw the flaw in the bill, so I stood and said, "This bill would open up for coaches to start recruiting from other schools to get a monopoly on the good talent.

One of the senators looked at me, nodded his head, and said, "I hadn't thought of that."

When they voted the bill was tabled.

Needless to say, the senator from RR was rather miffed. 

The next year Gary Johnson was elected governor. He ran on the platform of allowing gambling on Indian land. He was as anti-public education as they come and for eight years, he had a voucher bill that never passed. NM still does not have a voucher law.


Wednesday, June 22, 2022

WC 062222

 This week's challenge it Auto Buy authors. Writers who when they come out with a new book, you have to buy and read it in a single day even if it nearly kills you.

For a long time, these authors fit the category until I couldn't keep up, or they died:

Isaac Asimov

Harlan Ellison

James A. Michener

Anne McCaffery

Collen McCulloh

Harold Robbins

Micky Spillane

C. S. Lewis

Deitrich Bonhoeffer

Barry Sadler

Anne Rice

Today's authors are:

Tony Roberts, I just got his 8th book in the Dark Blade series and I'm loving it.

Blake Banner

Tom Clancy

Leigh Berdugo

Mark Dawson

Julia Quinn - Love Bridgerton

Paula Paul

Berthold Gambrel, blogger friend who has reviewed a number of my books on his blog.

Joseph Badal, local author and I've met a number of times at book signings.

Hank Bruce, another local author and member of Writers2writers. He had great books on gardening, and is pushing the nutritional value of the Moringa Tree for developing nations.

Dr. Irene Blea, another member of Writers2writers, she has a trilogy about her aunt who was sold into marriage at age 13, ran away from an abusive husband and went on to live her life. Great reads, she has an autobiography of her life coming out soon that we in W2W read portions and gave input, as they did with my work.

Jonathan Miller, local author who told me about Soutwest Writers way back in 2006. I went to my first meeting, found out about a print on demand in August, had the first two copies of Optimus Praetorian Guard by November. He's an attorney and writes legal thrillers.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Legend of Bagger Vance


Hard to imagine it's been 24 years since this movie came out. It cost 80 million to make and earned 39 million. A bust for Mat Damon, Charlese Theron and He who shall not be named.

Of all the movies on golf, this is by far the best. It's more than about golf, As is often said, Golf is life. It's a game that can't be won only played, like life.

It's set during the Great Depression and Matt Damon is a local golf hero before WWI, he comes back damaged. The girl he left behind is spending all her money to save her father's golf course by holding a golf tournament with Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen, two of the best golfers alive. Junah is roped into playing in the tournament. Bagger Vance comes along to be his caddy and gets him back in mental shape to play.

The most important part of the movie is after Junah has a disastrous first round. Bagger tries to tell him a story about overcoming adversity. Junah doesn't want to hear it. 

There's a little boy named Harley who is the one who talked Bagger into playing in the tournament and is a fore caddy. The boy's father used to own the hardware store until the depression and is now sweeping the streets and renting out a room in their house to strangers. He tells Junah how ashamed he is of his father and that his friends have too much pride to sweep streets.

Junah then berates him and says, his father paid back everyone who he owed money to instead of declaring bankruptcy like his friends' fathers. "Your father faced adversity and beat it back with a broom."

It's here he realizes what Bagger had been trying to tell him. He and Harley discuss golf and that it's only a game, that can't be won, only played.

That's all I'm saying about the movie. It's great and everyone should watch it. It's available on DVD and on Prime Video.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

WC 061522

 This week's challenge is: name the best father in a book, movie or TV show.

I'm going to date myself here, but growing up watching TV, Robert Young was the father I wish I had. No matter what happened he kept a cool head, and settled it in a loving way. Oh for the days of Father Knows Best.

Don't get me wrong, I had a great dad, but he wasn't perfect like Robert Young. I learned at an early age that life was not perfect like it was on TV.

They had great dads on TV back then, Fred MacMurray on My Three Sons, Lorne Greene on Bonanza, Leave it to Beaver, (stop snickering at the title), they had a great dad, Hazel, Chuck Conners in The Rifleman, Bill Bixby in The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Brian Keith in Family Affair, the list goes on and on. Some were in nuclear family, some were widowers, the last one was an uncle taking his brother's children. then something happened. TV started depicting dads as not perfect, but buffoons. All in the Family, Married with ChildrenCan't they try to go for human? 

He who shall not be named tried to resurrect the perfect father, but he's in disgrace now. 

Rant over.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Don Perkins


Yesterday, one of my heroes passed away. The reason I've been a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan is because of Don Perkins. He was a top running back for UNM and the first from New Mexico to make it big in the NFL. 

On the Lobo field where they play football, they have huge pictures of all the Football players that have been All Americans. His is the first one on the side of the building. Brian Urlacher's is the last for now.

We moved to New Mexico in 1963 and the only football games on Sunday afternoon showed the Dallas Cowboys. The whole city went crazy because Don Perkins was their premier running back. I've been a 'Boys fan from then on. A very disgruntled one for the last twenty years. Dak Prescott makes them worth watching anymore.

After Don retired, he returned to New Mexico. He did some announcing, for a while did sports on a local TV station.

What I remember most was his work with the local high schools through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I was in 9th grade in junior high, my brother was a junior in high school and captain of our FCA huddle. He arranged a meeting at our house with Don Perkins. He forgot to tell Mom.

Mom answered the doorbell and Don Perkins was there a little early and Bruce wasn't home yet. He introduced himself and Mom didn't have a clue who he was, all she knew was that a big black man wanted to come inside.

 Bruce drove up with a car full of jocks. They had a nice meeting. High school got out before junior high, and I had practice, so I missed it.

When I was teaching at Higland High School, Don put on a one-man presentation each period for the U.S. History classes. He portrayed Frederick Douglas and did a masterful job.

It's a sad day now that he is gone. Only a few Cowboy fans remember him now, and only the old timers like me in New Mexico know what a truly remarkable man her was.



Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Bunny O'hare


Today's challenge is a book, movie or TV show set in or around your town.

Albuquerque and New Mexico have had lots of all three. The Oscar best picture No Country For Old Men was filmed in Albuquerque, the TV shows In Plain Sight, Breaking Bad and just finishing Better Call Saul were filmed here. Trying to take pleadings down to the three courthouses as Lomas and 4th street was quite a challenge when they were filming around or in them. Pleadings now are done electronically and that's not much of a problem anymore. That was one of the tasks I fulfilled in order to use an office at a law firm for my writing.  

Sony Pictures has a studio in Mesa Del Sol north of Kirkland Air Force Base and the Albuquerque Sun Port. Lots of filming is happening around here.

I have a story about a movie filmed here in 1970.

I was a junior in high school running cross-country. We had a race at our Western Skies course. It's at the mouth of Tijeras Canyon at the base of the Sandia Mountains and Monzano Mountains. Tramway Blvd, at the time was still a dirt road. The course began about a half mile east of the road on another set of roads where new houses were being built. We started and went downhill that half-mile to Tramway and ran on it until we came to another road then uphill for a mile went around a hill and down to the start/finish line.

Driving in we saw a bunch of poles, cameras and other stuff in the middle of Tramway. At the starting line the coaches got together and discussed this obstruction to our racecourse. They decided our race was scheduled before the movie people showed up and since Los Alamos High had traveled down to run we were going to run.

C-team ran first, we all dropped down to Tramway and watched as 50 guys, this was before Title IX and there wasn't girls sports. Anyway fifty barreled through the mish mash of objects in the way. We heard someone yell, "What the hell!"

When junior varsity's turn came they'd cleared a path through their set and the next two races went without incident.

The movie was Bunny O'hare with Ernest Borgnine and Betty Davis. It was a huge flop. I watched it on late night TV about ten years later and I've seen film on the side of a bathtub better than this one.