100 Hikes in a Year
What one hiker learned along the way, and some of her favorites for you to try

A Little Night Music
Still playing at 86, Silver City musician Dane Dexter knew all the greats

Mining Santa Rita's History
Terry Humble has a passion for the mining district's past

A Real Hoot
Meet the burrowing owl, Frank Sinatra of the owl clan

Columns and Departments

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Desert Diary
Henry Lightcap's Journal
The Starry Dome
Talking Horses
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Guides to Go
Continental Divide

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Red or Green

Millie's Bake House
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Las Cruces Arts Association at 50
Narrie Toole
Gallery Guide

Body, Mind
& Spirit

What Do You Need?

About the cover


Desert Diary
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Annals of inebriation… A pair of yarns set in imbibing establishments, beginning with this from Aletteration:

"Barney had been the bartender at the Squire Inn for the 30 years since it had opened. He'd weathered many promotions as managers and owners changed, sometimes twice in a single year. Despite his misgivings, Barney kept his mouth shut and thus kept his job.

"The latest ploy was by the owner-manager, Gunner Gunsalis, who had visions of drawing an upscale clientele. Toward that end, he'd invited the most regular patrons to a whiskey tasting to be preceded by a sumptuous buffet. Hoping to encourage a full house, the owner announced that he'd invited Tom Cushing, the area's foremost booze expert, to join the patrons in a blind tasting-judging.

"The big evening arrived and while guests were eating, Gunner lugged assorted whiskey bottles to the bar and instructed Barney to fill multiple shot glasses and line them up in a specific order.

"Deciding to add a demented twist to the festivities, Barney had secretly peed into a bottle, then poured into one shot glass, which he placed halfway down the line up on the bar.

"The expert started down the line, proclaiming one whiskey after another, 'that's Carstairs, that one is Old Smuggler...,' and so on. When he came to Barney's special glass, he sipped, wrinkled his brow and proclaimed, 'That's a new taste, let me think on it.'

"After every couple of new tastes, he'd go back for another sip of the strange one.

"According to the chart Barney had laid out, the connoisseur identified all of the whiskeys except THAT one.

"Admitting defeat, the expert said at last, 'All right, I don't what it is, but I can tell you one thing: It'll never sell!'"



Next, raise a glass with Pop Hayes:

"I was in a pub last Saturday night, and drank a few, and noticed two very large women by the bar. They both had pretty strong accents, so I asked, 'Hey, are you two ladies from Ireland?'

"One of them chirped, saying, 'It's WALES, you friggin' idiot!'

"So, I immediately apologized and said, 'I'm sorry. Are you two whales from Ireland?'

"That's pretty much the last thing I remember…."


Age before beauty… Speaking of smart remarks, there's this tale from Ned Ludd:

"I took my dad to the mall the other day to buy some new shoes (he is 66). We decided to grab a bite at the food court. I noticed he was watching a teenager sitting next to him. The teenager had spiked hair in all different colors — green, red, orange and blue. My dad kept staring at her. The teenager kept looking and would find my dad staring every time.

"When the teenager had had enough, she sarcastically asked, 'What's the matter, old man, never done anything wild in your life?'

"Knowing my Dad, I quickly swallowed my food so that I would not choke on his response; I knew he would have a good one. In classic style he responded without batting an eyelid: 'Got stoned once and had sex with a parrot. I was just wondering if you might be my kid.'"


Persons of the blonde persuasion… On the subject of hair color, redneck jokes or not, it just wouldn't be Desert Diary without a hair-hue joke. As always, feel free to substitute brunette or redhead (or, heck, bald) in this funny from the Packrat Out Back:

"A few days ago I was having some work done at my local garage. A blonde, about my age and hair color, came in and asked for a 'seven-hundred-ten.' We all looked at each other and another customer asked, 'What is a seven-hundred-ten?'

"She replied, 'You know, the little piece in the middle of the engine. I have lost it and need a new one.' She added that she did not know exactly what it was, but this piece had always been there.

"The mechanic gave her a piece of paper and a pen and asked her to draw what the piece looked like. She drew a circle and in the middle of it wrote '710.' He then took her over to a car just like hers that had its hood up and asked, 'Is there a 710 on this car?'

"She pointed and said, 'Of course, it's right there.' The mechanic fainted.

"The blonde was pointing to the top of the cap labeled 'OIL.'"


Vote early and often… Finally, short but sweet, we close out this election season (thank goodness!) with this commentary from CharlesC:

"A recent survey discloses that the number-one problem is voter apathy.

"Another survey indicates that 99% don't care about voter apathy."



Send your favorite anecdotes, jokes, puns and tall tales to Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax (575) 534-4134 or email diary@desertexposure.com. The best submission each month gets a brand-new Desert Exposure mouse pad, scientifically proven to take the strain out of emailing jokes to Desert Diary.



Postcards from the edge… We still have some catching up to do with reader photos sent in response to our invitation to submit photos of themselves on vacation holding “the biggest little paper in the Southwest.” But that’s a happy problem to have, so keep them coming!


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In the meantime, here are Satoko and Ray Goellner, visiting northern Japan earlier this year. He writes, “The picture was taken at a traditional Japanese inn in the northern part of the main island with friends, still in winter’s grip in late April.”




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Going all out, Lyle and Susan Sedlacek shared not one but three snapshots he took of her with Desert Exposure on a recent cruise to the Mediterranean and Europe—at the
Parthenon in Athens, the Colosseum in Rome and, shown here, at the ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey.



Whether you’re vacationing in Turkey or TorC, snap a picture of yourself holding Desert Exposure and send it to PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, or diary@desertexposure.com.




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