The King and Land of Enchantment

by Ted Holteen

Every so often I realize how fortunate I really am to have this column as an outlet to vent the frustrations that every one of us feels or encounters on a daily basis. Time was when my pent-up anger at the incompetence of everyone who wasn’t me would manifest itself in batteries being thrown at drivers from first New Jersey and later New Mexico (I think we should give both back to their nations of origin. We didn’t need new versions of either) or in profanity-laced tirades at old women that would make Dice Clay blush. I’m not proud, but people suck. So does Andrew Dice Clay. You know it, and I know it. But with the freedom endowed by a public forum such as this, which on any given week could be read by as many as 17 people, that venom is diluted to a point where I can return to a policy of constructive criticism, which my mom always insisted was different than punching people. My boef de semaine is not a new one, and I know that bad comics from Louie Anderson to Paula Poundstone use it for material, but it is unique to the season. In short, please get rid of the holiday decorations. As a public service, I will reprint here the county’s list of places to get rid of the Christmas tree, knowing full well that such info will be repeated in countless public notices in the area’s newspapers, including this one. But acting on the assumption that readers of “The Society Page” aren’t wont to read much else, here it is, dumbed down as far as I can go for you people. Remember, this is only for Christmas trees, and these places won’t store your other decorations for you until next year. But get rid of them, too. Please. (See? Constructive.)

Durango: Folsom Park; Intersection of Highway 160 & Wildcat Canyon Road. IGNACIO – Across the street from the High School on Becker.

Bayfield: Convenience Center; also the Marvel Convenience Center (the only person I know who lives in Marvel is Jewish. Hi, Pammy!).

If dropping the trees off is not an option, city residents can leave them on the curb all next week beginning Monday. And now onto life after the holidays.

I guess Liggett’s bucking for another raise, because for years he’s made fun of my appreciation of the great Elvis Presley, and now he’s gone and co-opted The King for his own self promotion. Whatever his motivation, Durango’s live music scene wins when KDUR puts on their Cover Night, and it’s upon us again. Saturday night at The Abbey, local musicians will unite to pay homage on Elvis Night, with a bonus celebratory toast at midnight, as Jan. 8 would have been his 71st birthday. Oddly enough, it’s also David Bowie’s birthday, but they already had a Bowie night. When it comes to bands on these things, the more the merrier is always the order of the day. If you happen to be a groupie or have access to someone with talent, marginal or otherwise, tell them to learn a couple of Elvis songs (which in their childlike simplicity would seem to be a breeze to learn on a day or two’s notice to anyone other than me) and call Liggett so we don’t have to hear 12 versions of “Hound Dog.” As always, the door money goes directly to your community radio station, so buy a lot of drinks and ensure that the Abbey keeps thinking this is a good idea. Then walk home or call Buckhorn and ride in that really boss stretch Wagoneer. Enough already with the drunk driving.

With all apologies, I gotta stay with the birthday thing. On the day after this newspaper hits the racks, the Land of Enchantment, home of Santa Fe and Taos, the 47th state in the U.S. of A., celebrates 94 years of statehood and all the free federal highway maintenance that entails. I don’t like New Mexico. It’s bad enough that the television universe thinks we’re in Albuquerque. But that “state” also includes Farmington, Aztec, Las Cruces, Gallup, Los Alamos and a lot of other places that are scary and weird. Don’t tell me about the scenery or the solitude or the aliens or anything else enchanting or spiritual. New Mexico was taken by invasion, the nice parts were taken by the rich people, and the rest was designated for Indian reservations, oil and gas development, and nuclear testing. It’s not enchanting, it’s sad. Give it back. Oh yeah – happy birthday.

One more look back before we keep moving ahead with this New Year thing. Thirty-four years ago today, Richard Nixon officially authorized the startup of the space shuttle program. Thirty-four years ago. It doesn’t work, and they’re still doing it. Surprised? Don’t be. It was 37 years ago that Richard Nixon first authorized the Animas-La Plata project in Southwest Colorado. Richard Nixon would have been 93 years old on Monday. That’s almost as old as New Mexico. Thanks for reading.

I still need books. Come see me. I wonder if they deliver the Telegraph in New Mexico … •



In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows