Johnny_Mango's Blog (304)

Report From the Pat Davis ART Meeting: Start Late, Blah Blah Blah, End Early

NOB HILL—A couple hundred people showed up last night to discuss their concerns about the pending Albuquerque Rapid Transit project.  From the look of the negative signs on various businesses along the street, I was sure it would be a lively meeting.  Most said something like, “NO ART!”

The meeting was well…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on February 4, 2016 at 12:00am — 13 Comments

Monday was the birthday party. Today I vote.

NOB HILL—Yesterday I went to Monte Vista Elementary School.  I haven’t taught there for over 15 years, but still it was a pretty emotional experience.  And today, of course, is our school bond election.

But what is a school?  There is something about a school that cannot be captured in statistical…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on February 2, 2016 at 10:00am — 7 Comments

The Sunday Drive: 2 Miles Up, But a Short Hop From Here

NOB HILL—When I was a boy growing up in Rockford, Illinois we would go for a lot of Sunday drives in the…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on January 26, 2016 at 10:30am — 6 Comments

2016: The First Four Days. Small Pleasures in an Uneasy World.

NOB HILL—We know this is going to be a year constantly defined in the media.  I don’t even want to imagine all the evil that will be assaulting us via the newspapers, TV, and Facebook.

There are pictures I refuse to look at; people I can’t listen to without anger and words I refuse to read or write…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on January 5, 2016 at 10:30am — 7 Comments

Is It Time to Rip Up What You Think You Know About Evangelicals?

It was on Friday, December 4, two days after the mass shootings in San Bernadino, that Jerry Falwell Jr. stood in front of the students at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.  Falwell, as president of Liberty, the world’s largest Christian school, addressed the student convocation and urged them…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on December 29, 2015 at 10:30am — 2 Comments

"Ma'am, drop your cross!" he shouted. Judy was led away in shackles. And thus, in hell, came a brilliant light.

MICHAEL THOMAS COFFEE, NOB HILL—You must have seen her.  Judy Bierbaum drinks her coffee here now, but for years she was something of a fixture at the Flying Star on Central Ave.  I interviewed her ten years ago after hearing something of her remarkable story from a third party.  My wife and I count her as a…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on December 22, 2015 at 10:30am — No Comments

Bugging Out: "Christmas on the Pecos"

Want to get away with your partner or family this holiday season, but you’re out of ideas and the clock just ticks away?  I get it, but there’s still time to do this!  Head southeast to the Pecos River.

In Carlsbad, the Pecos River is contained by two dams to form Lake Carlsbad in the center of town.  In…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on December 8, 2015 at 10:30am — 3 Comments

The Leaf Peepers

TWIN RIVERS CG-BATH, NEW HAMPSHIRE—We are in the White Mountains of New Hampshire tonight.  Today, Monday, was the last day of the Columbus Day holiday.  Not much noted (favorably, at least) in New Mexico, it is an observed 4-day holiday weekend here in much of New England.

The license plates in the…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on October 13, 2015 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

Travel Bling and a Late Report from the Pop-Up

PORT AUX BASQUES, NEWFOUNDLAND—MaryAnn and I have come over 5,000 miles from our home in Nob Hill on this road trip that has lasted a month so far.  Finally we stopped heading away from New Mexico and started back to Nova Scotia.



We had bought a trailer last summer, a short pop-up camping…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on September 29, 2015 at 10:30am — 4 Comments

Bonjour...er, Hello!

SAINT-JEAN-PORT-JOLI, QUEBEC—”Bonjour...er, Hello!” she said as we walked into the restaurant.  It was almost ten o’clock and we were looking for a late breakfast.



How did she know we were not Quebecers?  Well, I’m not sure...but it has happened before.  There is something about the way we…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on September 15, 2015 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

Adios Land of Enchantment, Hola The Wandering Life

NOB HILL—Always on the lookout for adventure, MaryAnn and I bought a small pop-up trailer last summer.  Called a “Hi-Lo”, the ceiling and walls lift up as a single unit to reveal a space large enough for living.



We tried it out once already on a trip down to Caballo Lake.  It worked well.  I really like…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on September 1, 2015 at 10:00am — 4 Comments

Death on a Bike: Three thoughts.

NOB HILL—I have put well over 10,000 miles on my bicycle riding the roads of North America.  For the most part, I felt pretty safe.  Riding in Albuquerque, however, is a different story.

When it comes right down to it, a rider in the Duke City cannot depend on traffic laws for safety.  They are no protection…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on July 21, 2015 at 11:00am — 15 Comments

Bugging Out: A Weekend At Bottomless Lakes

Bottomless Lakes State Park was New Mexico’s very first state park, having been dedicated in 1933.  It is located about 12 miles east of Roswell off U.S. Highway 380, and then south on NM 409.



They say that cowboys tried to find the bottom of these lakes with their lariats and couldn’t, even when…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on July 14, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

The South Valley: Big Plans, Lots of Traffic, Buckets of Paint

I spent the last two months writing for NMMainStreet.  I loved it, but it involved writing 30 pieces in 60 days...9 of them while riding a bicycle across the state.  I covered New Mexico Gallup to Lovington and Raton to Silver City.  If I wasn't writing, I was driving. …

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Added by Johnny_Mango on June 30, 2015 at 10:00am — 3 Comments

In Raton, I Get a Room and a Hat

Out here where the antelope play, even shopping is an event.  Click here for the…

Added by Johnny_Mango on June 9, 2015 at 10:06am — 7 Comments

Touring New Mexico: Kit Carson's Cave

One of the forgotten landmarks of old Route 66 is just northeast of Gallup.  It is a spectacular sandstone formation called Kit Carson’s Cave.  The entrance stands an imposing 50 feet high, while the inside goes back about 100 feet on an uphill slant.  At the far end there is a wall which encloses a live…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on June 2, 2015 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

A Visit to Valle de Oro...And No, It’s Not a Casino...

SECOND ST. SW—Last Thursday’s ABQ Journal had an article on birding that mentioned Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge.  It gave the address as 7851 2nd St SW.  Hmmmm….  Somewhere in that dizzying swirl of information particles that constantly recycle themselves just behind my eyeballs, there came a speck of…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on May 26, 2015 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

Route 66: Day #8, Las Vegas to Santa Rosa. 66 Miles.

Yes, it's a big, wide, wonderful world out…

Added by Johnny_Mango on May 17, 2015 at 10:38pm — No Comments

Route 66: Day#7, Pecos to Las Vegas. 47 Miles.

Weather that bites, a tombstone that…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on May 16, 2015 at 11:06pm — 1 Comment

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