IT IS time to sing the praises of John Trever and Elaine Briseño. Trever with his editorial cartoons and Briseño with her recurring articles on the history of New Mexico deserve special acknowledgement.
Trever has an uncanny ability to highlight the follies of political figures with a few deft strokes. That he has been able to do so over so many years may lull some of his admirers into forgetting how astonishing it is to produce his masterpieces so unfailingly. It would be the equivalent of hitting multiple holes-in-one in golf, or racking up improbable winning streaks in the NFL or MLB.
Trever’s rapier-like style condenses what would require hundreds of written words. He often skewers politicians with their own blades, but never in a mean-spirited way. He favors delightful drollery.
Briseño helps provide Journal readers with historical facts and insights that make for a better-informed citizenry. Knowing why, and for whom, a city or street or building was named, replete with historical context, helps enrich everyday life.
Her most recent article, for example, clarifies that the archaeological site of some of “the earliest Americans” near Clovis was named after the city, rather than the other way around. I do wish in her Clovis article that she might’ve included something on how this city was the unlikely setting for recording by one of rock ‘n’ roll’s pioneers, Buddy Holly, at the Norman Petty Studios.
But that omission is made up for by a delightful piece some time ago — replete with writing that sparkled — about a barber shop in the South Valley. Her eye for detail, including the “distinctly male vibes” of the place, and the mildly profane clock on the wall, make this piece memorable long after it was published.