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New Mexican Comes Up With Slogan: Carpe Manana

By Phaedra Haywood/
Associated Press
      SANTA FE — According to our license plates, New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment, but locals know it's also the Land of Manana, where things get done just a little bit slower than might be anticipated.
    George Adelo Jr. of Pecos came up with the perfect slogan to describe the New Mexico way, ese way: "Carpe Manana.''
    Seize Tomorrow.
    But don't try to seize Adelo's idea. He's got a copyright on it.
    "I came up with that one after standing in line way too long at the DMV one day,'' he said. "I knew a good idea like that would not just be mine, I knew a couple of other people would come up with it too, so I copyrighted it.''
    That was in 1995. He didn't get the copyright until 1997. Case in point.
    "I tried to sell it as the New Mexico state logo but it doesn't really fit in with economic development,'' Adelo said. "I tried to sell it to the tourist department, but bureaucrats don't always have a sense of humor. I guess they thought people might think we are lazy or not go-getters, but it's just whimsy.''
    Adelo is your typical New Mexican renaissance man. By day he's George Adelo, Esq. He has his own law practice. In his free time he's "Georgie Angel,'' his "lawyer dude's alter ego,'' riding a 17-foot-long super-trike with a Corvette engine, playing guitar in the Georgie Angel Blues band and thinking up funny slogans to put on T-shirts.
    He's been selling his shirts at his family's store in Pecos since 1979. Most are locally inspired. For example: "Pecoslovakia, a whole other country.''
    "We have our own customers, our own language, our own political ideologies,'' he said. "It is like another country.
    "Pecos is the kind of place where you'll get a lot further with jumper cables than a wallet full of money. People from other places think we are sort of out there. I'm not saying that in any disrespectful way. I'm proud of that.
    "I use it to my advantage in my law practice, like, 'You may not want to tangle with me, I'm from Pecos.' I like that.''
    Another one of Adelo's shirts says: "Pecos, gently resisting change since 1692.''
    "That's the year of the re-conquest after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680,'' Adelo said. "I could have used another date, but I picked that one.
    "It's just a tongue-in-cheek way of saying Pecos is a traditional village and we like things the way they are. It's an homage to the fact that we've got a place that is somewhat traditional. We are an old-timey kind of town. We are lucky not to have the suburbanization of America, the Wal-Mart Super Centers. We still have an identity. People come to Pecos and see open pastureland inside a municipality — you don't see that any more.''
    Adelo said the most popular shirt with locals says Terrero Symphony Orchestra.
    It's an inside joke. There is no Terrero Symphony Orchestra.
    At least not yet. Adelo has a dream of inviting musicians to join the nonexistent orchestra and putting together an impromptu concert at the pavilion up the Pecos Canyon in Terrero.
    "We'd just do a concert with whoever responded, even if it was like a cellist, a guitarist and a juggler,'' he said.
    Adelo is serious about the concert, but said his reputation as a jokester has made it hard to get others to take the idea seriously.
    "Knowing me, people think I want to play a practical joke so I haven't gotten much response,'' he said.