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Coco is a pen name I'm using to honor the spirit of the many feisty females in my family's past. The images of Coco are of these women and those they loved. I credit them with my quick temper, devotion to place and attraction to strident political debate.

My first outrage at an institution was at about age ten. I was a devoted equestrian when it was revealed that Albuquerque Public Schools had substituted horse meat for beef in the cafeteria burgers. Being that I had known a dead horse or two, this weighed heavily on my young mind and did nothing for my school attendance. I blame APS for my poor spelling and I seldom enjoy a delicious Lota-burger without thinking of it. For this I also blame APS.

At NMSU I worked at the Solar Institute where we were certain that the future was bright. Soon passive solar applications in home building would reduce coal-powered electricity demand and small-scale facilities for community-owned electricity production would invigorate local economies. Then Reagan got elected.

I've studied agricultural sciences, a little alternative energy, a little land use law, a lot of southwest history, city and regional planning, and the history of city and regional planning. I can fold maps and always find north.

Hunting and fishing shaped my family history. So did horsekeeping and stewardship of certain unforgettable animals, some I've since eaten. Not the dogs or cats, that I know of. I have elaborate dreams about the circus and simple nightmares about chewing gum.

The politics, places and personalities of New Mexico are intriguing beyond measure and I'm in love with the high-desert communities - their people, places and how history shapes us but we never learn from it.

Feisty family females loved traditional celebrations and events like dances, matanzas, mardi gras, tailgating, rodeos, circuses, races, horseshows, packtrips, camping, picnics and the cocktail party. I try to maintain my appreciation for many of these arts.

Especially making the martinis.