Friday, November 13, 2009

Never a Finer Man

I heard of Bruce King's passing on the way from Phoenix to Albuquerque this morning. I had a nice long drive to think about him. This is a picture of Bruce King and me in 1975. I was working as his news secretary during his first term in office. I had left journalism suddenly and was out of work. For a whole four hours. I was at home trying to figure out what I was going to do and Bruce King called on the phone to say he heard I might be available. He said he had ten or so people to interview for the news secretary position and that I should come by and be first in line. He called me on a Friday afternoon. Monday morning I was in his reception area in Santa Fe along with all the other folks looking for the position. He called me in first and asked when could I start. I said immediately and then asked him what he was going to say to the other applicants still in the lobby. He said he would make them all feel good and thank them for coming by. I know he did make them feel good because Bruce King had a gift for doing that. I never knew a finer man. He was one of the most influential people in my life. He hooked me on politics and I never looked back. He once told me, "You and me are a lot alike Jim. Were too dumb to be dishonest." He was an honest politician and I tried to emulate him. I just never could conjure up his great personality.

He was so decent to everyone and he liked everyone. He often quoted Will Rogers and said he never met a man or woman that he didn't like. I think that is true, although he did not suffer fools he always treated them well. As he always said to me, "Life is too short."

This is a picture of Bruce, Bobbi and me in 1978 when I worked his campaign for his second term as Governor. He always greeted Bobbi jubilantly and wondered aloud how I ever managed to get her to marry me.


Karen Fayeth said...

Whoa...I'm sad to hear of Governor King's passing.

When I was in grade school, we took a field trip to the governor’s office.

We were there learning some such, when out walks this huge man in the brownest polyester suit you ever saw.

His voice boomed through the room and his arms raised in greeting as he welcomed us in the twangiest drawl ever.

To tell you the truth…he scared the beejeebus out of me.

I never forgot him, tho!

AHD said...

SeƱor Baca I could not agree with you more about Governor King. As a young New Mexican with aspirations for myself and our state I cannot help but to look up to Bruce King. He was in deed the very best. Thanks for sharing. - AHD