Stan's Tuesday Walks

A Weekly Feature
by Stan Evans,
President, Santa Fe Always Online

February 19 , 2002

When I went to bed last night, snow seemed to be on the way. But when I got up this morning at 4:45, only a light dusting was on the ground. Nor was the temperature—28 degrees—bad for this time of year. So I set out as usual, at 6, on my walk.

The pavement was slick in spots, where the snow had fallen, then melted, then frozen. After a couple of slips I almost changed my mind about walking. But after a quick lap around the little park in front of my house, I felt comfortable enough with the ice to proceed on to the Plaza. By the time I got to Cerrillos Road, I had hit my normal stride.

Walking along, I thought about my 84-year-old mother, who had just returned from Palm Springs, California. I worry about her in the winter, when she is in Santa Fe, because I'm afraid she will slip on the snow, fall, and break a hip. In Palm Springs, even though I miss her, she is safe from snow and ice. Yet she misses Santa Fe too much to stay away for the whole winter. So I always hope that we get our snows early, and that by the time she gets back, the winter weather is gone.

Suddenly a New Mexico State Police cruiser zipped past me, heading south on Cerrillos. Minutes later another one followed. The combination of the police cars and the thoughts about my mother reminded me of a story she told me many years ago, about a very handsome, popular and flamboyant state trooper in the late 1940s.

This fellow, whom I’ll call GG, was also an impeccable dresser and a gentleman's gentleman. He had turquoise inlaid in his pistol grips and the sides of his whistle. He always took off his hat in the presence of a lady and had all the other charms and manners that women love. The young women of Santa Fe, and I'm sure all over New Mexico, found him most attractive.

He was married, but was having an affair with a beautiful divorcee. After a number of years, he divorced his wife and married his lover. Then the pair decided to move from the new wife’s apartment into a larger one, owned by one of New Mexico’s U.S. senators, Bronson Cutting. When moving day came, however, the policeman was on duty and was not available to help his wife. The lady had a volatile temper, and as she struggled with all the heavy boxes she became more and more angry that GG wasn't there to share the work.

As the story goes, by the time GG came home that night, his wife was ballistic. The apartment was in total disarray, and she was fuming as he walked in the door. Having had a long day, GG, not realizing that his wife was mad, took off his gun, put it on one of the moving boxes and went to fix himself a drink. This apparently was the straw that broke the camel's back, because she let him have it with every abusive word she knew. An argument ensued, and although nobody but the wife ever knew for sure what happened, GG ended up shot to death.

Obviously the new wife was the prime suspect, and was arrested. She hired a very well-known Santa Fe lawyer to represent her, and he managed to get her out on bail. At GG’s funeral, his first wife kneeled by the coffin, caressed his face and wept, while the new wife stood back and expressed no emotion.

Everybody’s opinion was that the new wife had killed GG. Yet at the end of the trial, the court concluded that he was shot by an unknown person or persons. The wife never served any time, except the day or two before she was bailed out. And so ended the life of a very dashing New Mexico state trooper.

Walking along, I wondered what the lesson of the story was. Was it that if you are a cop and are having an argument with your wife, don't leave your pistol lying around? Or was it that whether or not you are a cop, when you come home after a long day, you might want to consider that you might not be the only one who works hard? What do you think?

Have a great day.

Stan

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