Stan's Tuesday Walks

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

July 10 , 2001

In my article last week, I promised not to talk about the “T” word
anymore--the place where you go to see movies. But I didn’t promise I
wouldn’t tell any more stories about my mother. So here comes one.

My mother was raised in a small farm community about 60 miles north of Santa Fe. Her parents were poor, but not destitute. Their little farm
was about three miles up a canyon from the main village. Still farther
up the canyon was a corporate retreat that was owned by a large company from Chicago.

My grandmother, my mother's mother, was a high school English teacher, and a stickler about my mother and her brothers learning to read well. She was a prolific reader, and my mother became one also. But there was very limited reading material at the farm or in the village. The few books that were available were at the school, but nobody in town had magazine subscriptions like we all have today. There was no such thing as television, and not even radio could be picked up that far out in the country.

The manager of the retreat became a friend of my grandparents. One day he was talking to my grandmother about what the guests did while they were there. He told her they took trail rides, camped out, played games, fished and did many other things. For guests who were not interested in those activities there was an extensive library, with many magazine subscriptions. My grandmother asked the manager if there was a possibility that she could have some of the magazines when the retreat was through with them. He replied that he would be glad to give them to her as soon as the new issues arrived.

After a few days, the manager stopped by my grandparents' farm and
delivered the first batch of many magazines to come. My grandmother read each one with the idea of finding material to share with her students. She also encouraged my mother and her brothers to read them, an offer as enticing to kids back then as an invitation to go to the movies would be today.

Well, one day when my mother was reading one of those magazines, she came upon an ad for Coca-Cola. Now all of us know that the Coca-Cola brand name is written in scroll form in its advertisements. I'm sure you can see it in your mind's eye. The first “C” in Coca stretches into a long squiggle that runs underneath, and the “C” in Cola reaches out across the “l” in that word. This makes the ‘l' look like a ‘t. Reading that ad, so many years ago, my mother thought to herself, "Boy, would I love to have a Coca-COTA!" Never having seen or heard of a Coca-Cola before, it was obvious why she made that mistake.

My mother loves to tell that story on herself, and she laughs each time
she does. But make no mistake about her intelligence--she’s one smart
lady. She went on to become the secretary of state of New Mexico, a
position to which she was elected three times before she retired from
state government.

As you can see, I'm very proud of her. I hope that all of you have or
have had as wonderful a relationship with your mother as I have had with mine--and maybe like me, you have some funny stories to tell. If so, I sure would like to hear them. I might even write them up in this column one of these times.

Have a great day.


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