Johnny_Mango's Blog (313)

It Was Earth Day: Time for Soap, Goats, & a Whiff of History.

NOB HILL—I have always had a soft spot in my heart for germs.  I’m covered with them and we seem to get along very nicely, thank you.  So it was completely out of character for me to buy a scented bar of soap about a year and a half ago in York, England.  It had been recommended by our travel guide, Martin.  He was…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on April 26, 2016 at 10:30am — 2 Comments

Ten Predictions: Gutsy Calls Written On My Birthday

NOB HILL—Yesterday was my birthday.  Here’s what Ben Moffett had to say about my age:



“Jon, take it from a dəsˈleks ic -- you are looking damn good for a 37 year old.”



Thanks Ben...I guess.  At any rate, I’m going to use my birthday as an excuse to make some far-out predictions about the state…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on April 19, 2016 at 10:30am — No Comments

Bugging Out: The Quebradas Backcountry Byway

The Sunday drive, a common form of family entertainment when I was a boy, seems to have become pretty rare these days.  Maybe cheaper gasoline will help re-institute this wonderful pastime, for it is both educational and a great way to keep the family talking together in these days when so many forces are…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on April 12, 2016 at 10:30am — No Comments

Going Mano a Mano Against the Big and Famous

NOB HILL, ALBUQUERQUE—I’m sick and tired of people who run down Albuquerque and New Mexico for not having much of anything important or breathtaking.  Well, our state has features that are every bit as good as those in the rest of the country.  In fact, I’ve made a list to prove it!  Add to it if you…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on April 5, 2016 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

The Four Waves of Coffee

NOB HILL—I’m a First Wave guy living a Second Wave life.  But now, in a world of Fourth Wave changes, I look to upgrade to today...this second decade of the 21st century.

I was born a bit before the middle of the 20th century in a northern Illinois factory town of 100,000…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on March 29, 2016 at 10:30am — 6 Comments

Albuquerque’s Mayors: History, Highlights & What the Smarties Know.

NOB HILL—The mayors of the modern era in Albuquerque started in 1974 with the election of Harry Kinney.  Following him in order were David Rusk, Harry Kinney again, Ken Schultz, Louis Saavedra, Martin Chavez, Jim Baca, Martin Chavez again and Richard Berry.

That makes 7 different…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on March 22, 2016 at 10:00am — 5 Comments

The BIG Meeting About ART...and My Last.

ABQ CONVENTION CENTER, KIVA AUDITORIUM—The place looked pretty empty when the meeting started.  But according to somebody at the podium, over 50 people had signed up to speak so it sounded like it could be interesting.



Unfortunately, there was nobody on the podium to hear them.  Oh, there were seven…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on March 9, 2016 at 11:07am — 9 Comments

Columbus, NM and the Pancho Villa Raid: The Only Land-Based Invasion of the United States in Over 200 Years.

On March 9, 1916, almost exactly one hundred years ago, the continental United States suffered its only ground invasion since the War of 1812, and it happened right here in New Mexico.  The village of Columbus, situated about 35 miles south of Deming and only 2 1/2 miles north of the Mexican…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on March 8, 2016 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Deming: Fast Ducks and Something in Common With Albuquerque.

Anybody who does much driving in the Great American Southwest, will sooner or later wander into Deming, New Mexico.  For one thing, it sits on I-10 which is the main wintertime route to the west coast.  Even northerners like to go south from Albuquerque on I-25 and take the Hatch Cut-Off to I-10 in…

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Added by Johnny_Mango on February 9, 2016 at 10:30am — 2 Comments

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

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