SMITH: THE MANY SIDES OF OUR NEIGHBOR TO THE SOUTH
President Obama’s recent trip to Mexico is good news for Colorado. Exports to Mexico are up. Its manufacturing sector is increasingly strong and will continue to attract U.S. companies that had previously off shored operations to China. Mexico is finally focusing on the corruption in its educational system and the need to make more competitive its telecom and oil sectors. Drug-related violence appears to be down, although it’s hard to have confidence in the Mexican reporting system.
SMITH: ADAMS COUNTY POL WAS A SOFTIE AT HEART
“I just shook hands with a good man,” a patient named George says, pointing to Eldon Cooper. It was May, 2012 and we were at the Colorado State Veteran’s Home in Aurora. Even though Eldon was in a wheelchair then, he would visit once or twice every week, bringing friendship to older veterans, many of whom were totally alone. His second visit that day was to Ed Gatewood, 92 years old. When Eldon said something about how you can die at any minute, Ed responded by saying, “You’re too ornery to go early.”
SMITH: IN THE COMPANY OF TWO GREAT WORLD LEADERS
“Let’s go talk to Margaret Thatcher,” my brother-in-law, Phelps Anderson said. He was the Republican National Committeeman for New Mexico and we were at the annual Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) dinner in London where both Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were to be the speakers. His father, Robert O. Anderson was the Chairman of ARCO; thus our invitation. It was the early ‘90s, both Reagan and Thatcher were out of office and, therefore, free to talk openly.
SMITH: LITTLE THINGS SOMETIMES MEAN A LOT
I was thrilled when Barack Obama defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary and, like many, skeptical about her promise to campaign for him. That all changed in Española, New Mexico on August 17, 2008.
SMITH: THE VIEW FROM SPAIN
“Unemployment brings misery,” says José Luis Galván. He’s a fisherman and we’re at the edge of the Guadalquivir River near the town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda in southern Spain. Columbus sailed from here on his third voyage and in 1519 Magellan left Sanlúcar to circle the globe. Now it’s a small town known for seafood and wines.
SMITH: COLORADANS SHOULD PASS AMENDMENT 64
What do Hector and Yeira Beltrán, Enrique and Bethsaida Cisneros, and Iván and Claudia Vasquez have in common?
They are victims of our drug war. They live on the Mexican side of the U.S. border in the pathway of the billions of dollars in drugs that come northward to meet the demand in this country. In all the debates about legalization — marijuana and Amendment 64 in Colorado — their story is the one you never hear, the story of those who have to survive in countries that we have destabilized by our desire for drugs.
SMITH: REMEMBERING OUR PAST
SMITH: AN ADAMS COUNTY ANGEL HAS PASSED AWAY
Jean and Floyd Marks. What an odd couple! Yet they were both such good friends and so pivotal to the very special years that Julie and I spent in Adams County.
SMITH: KEEP ME IN YOUR HEART — JOHHNY TAPIA
“Keep me in your heart,” the man with the battered face said as he hugged me. It was March 6, 2004 and Julie and I were having breakfast in a Mexican restaurant in Las Vegas, New Mexico while en route to Denver. Johnny Tapia had lost a boxing match the night before and was having breakfast with his entourage, preparing to return to Albuquerque. Nervously, I’d asked if I could take his picture. The courtesy with which he treated me was something I will never forget.
SMITH: COMBATTING THE CARTELS REMAINS CRUCIAL
“He’s a born again revolutionary,” Carlos, a prominent Nicaraguan businessman says of his country’s President, Daniel Ortega.