Friday, January 23, 2015

Inflate Gate

The NFL deflated football chief investigator:

The coach and his quarterback

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tijerina Page 2

Another significant thing happened during my coverage of the courthouse raid and other activities.

During a discussion with a New Mexico State Police Sergeant who was operating out of the sheriff's office in TA, the officer inquired

"Rodger, do you have a gun in your car?"

"Uh, no, I don't even own one."

"I think you should get one."

Upon my return to Albuquerque I went straight to H. Cook Sporting Goods downtown near 3rd and Central and bought a Police Special .38 revolver.  I think it cost about $75.

For months I carried the gun in my car.

A couple of years ago, I sold it.

I'm not sure I could ever have used it against anyone...but I was never put in a position where that might have happened.

Thank God!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Reies Lopez Tijerina

Reies Lopez Tijerina died this week.  

I knew him. He was the central figure in an ongoing battle involving land grant issues – issues that remain a point of much consternation even today.

Reies was, first,  a firebrand preacher with thousands of followers.  He spent time in federal court houses, county court houses, and with his followers through Rio Arriba County, primarily.

While working at KOAT-TV, I covered Reies Tijerina. 
June 5, 1967, police scanners blared with reports of an armed attack on the Rio Arriba County courthouse where a district judge was holding a hearing.

It took about two seconds to decide that our TV station needed to get up there.

I loaded up a 16mm sound-on-film camera, made sure the batteries were charged – and headed out the door for Southwest Air Rangers where a charter flight was waiting to take me to the county seat in Tierra Amarilla.

Prior to my departure I’d called around to find a ride and hooked up with the Justice of the Peace in Chama.  He agreed to meet the plane when we landed at Chama Land and Cattle Company’s private strip just south of Chama.  He did that and we headed for the courthouse about 10 miles away.

Reies and his followers had taken some prisoners, including a UPI reporter – Larry Calloway.   I don’t recall the exact timeframe, but I’m guessing we were flying over the same area at the same time that Tijerina and his band were covering in search of cover.

When I arrived at the courthouse there were signs of violence – and things were still in a tizzy.  I interviewed the sheriff, Benny Naranjo, about what happened.   Then I unloaded the camera, gave it to the pilot, and told him to take it back to Albuquerque.  It was back in the city in time for the 6 o’clock Big 7 News.

I don’t recall the next hour or two, nor do I remember how I ended up at the search headquarters, a National Forest Service ranger station in Canjilon – but I got there and continued to shoot film in hopes that someone from Albuquerque would soon arrive and we’d have some method of transportation.   

The story was made bigger by the fact that Governor Dave Cargo was out of state and the Lieutenant Governor, E. Lee Francis, called out the National Guard, commanded by Major General John Pershing Jolly.  

The times were interesting, not only in New Mexico – but around the world.  It was the same time as the famous 6-day war of the Middle East.

In the TV news world, we cared what we talked about and reported on in those days.  It was serious business.   And, it was a time when going live from a remote site like Canjilon was impossibile.   So we shot film and sent it back, hoping for the best.

Network correspondents arrived.  Tom Schell from ABC News Los Angeles arrived, looking for "Baby Huey" to fill him in on the latest - that was me.   A fellow New Mexican, Ned Judge, showed up in a little helicopter that could barely take off in the high altitude.  

The story went on for days, weeks, months and years.  I can’t imagine what would happen if such an incident was to happen today.  

Anderson Cooper would be going live, looking for a talking head to tell him what was happening.   In those days back then, that could have been me!

Here is a terrific chronology of Reies done by Mark Bralley, who was around for much of the time.

And here's Larry Calloway

If you’re interested in knowing more… here are a couple other sites…

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Why? How?

 One of the mysteries of life.   

How can a manufactured product fit nicely into the packaging when it's at the store.

Then when it's time to store it away....

This happens

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014