History: Golf Coach Billy Aldridge, “Mr. Irrelevant” a title given to the last player picked in the NFL draft was relevant!

The title of “Mr. Irrelevant” is given annually to the last player picked in the NFL draft. 1960 brought a change in leadership of the Alamogordo football and the track and field program. The new program leader was Coach Ralph Tate. Coach Tate had a connection to the Alamogordo school system, via his college friend, Alamogordo Golf Coach Billy Aldridge. 

Photo Coach Billy Aldridge New Mexico Golf (Photo Courtesy Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days Book Series 2nd Life Media Alamogordo Town News)
Photo on Blog of Mr. Relevant Coach Billy Aldridge New Mexico Golf – (Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days Book Alamogordo Town News 2nd Life Media)

Both were alumni of Oklahoma State University, both were competitive and avid golfers; (competing in many tournaments together and against each other) and both were drafted to the NFL’s Green Bay Packers. 

Neither actually had play time in the NFL instead; Aldridge pursued his passion of Coaching Golf and Tate followed his passion into Coaching Track & Field and Football primarily Track and Field. 

For a brief time Tate coached in Alamogordo for the 1960/61 Track & Field Season, while Aldridge had a long career in Alamogordo as a recognized winning coach.

Tragedy shook the boys and coaches competing at State in 1976. Concurrent to the State Track and Field meet is also competition of other athletic events, Golf being one of them. Alamogordo had one of the winningest and most successful high school golf programs on the west coast. 

The Golf Program was under the Coaching leadership of Billy Aldridge. Aldridge and Coach Tate had a very strong bond and strong relationship in the early 1960’s. Tate moved on from Alamogordo but Aldridge built a reputation unsurpassed in Alamogordo even in more modern times. 

Coach Aldridge’s program was unique in that it was coached by him and he had exclusive control of that program. He collaborated in PE and was respected by all the other athletic coaches. He produced the 3 and only three State Golf Titles Alamogordo has ever won per the NMAA. The Tigers won the team state title in 1968, 1971 and 1972 under Coach Bill Aldridge.

Alamogordo High School has had 4 male golf champions win the state golf title 3 were under Coach Aldridge.  Under Coach Aldridge in 1966, Bruce McKenzie won the title and the title went to Brad Bryant in 1971 and 1973. Bryant attended the University of New Mexico for three years, but turned professional and qualified for the PGA Tour in 1976, a year before his scheduled graduation.

May 13, 1976 Alamogordo News Headline Page 1 Article by Rick Wright: “Team Playing for Coach, Aldridge Hit by Car on Duke City Street”

“ Alamogordo High School Golf Coach was listed in critical condition…after being struck by a car Wednesday night… Aldridge 53, was struck by a car while walking across Albuquerque’s Central Avenue… A medical center spokesman said Aldridge was in critical condition and suffered a broken back, broken ankle, broken leg, broken ribs and collapsed lung…

Aldridges 5 man golf team competing at state was badly shaken up by the event. Alamogordo’s individual leader Dan Koesters spoke for the team and said,”We are trying to win for him. He’d like for us to win for sure. We are trying to put the accident out of our minds for a few hours and win it for him.”

Per the Alamogordo News, May 14, 1976; “the Alamogordo Tigers Golf Team was 3rd after the first round and only 3 strokes behind Sandia and Santa Fe.”

Coach Bob Sepulveda was asked to step in to console the boys and fill in as the tournament coach during the final phase of the golf tournament. Coach Sepulveda said, “the boys were obviously shaken up as was I. I was there to console the team and provide support. We were all shocked and broken hearted.”

Coach Billy Aldridge did not recover and died of complications from the accident with the announcement of his death on May 16th, 1976.

Jimmy Tramel, World Sports Writer did an interview with Aldridges wife in 2006 and outlined a great highlight of his life…

1945’s ‘Mr. Irrelevant,’ a former OSU player, was relevant to many people during short life. The title of “Mr. Irrelevant” is given annually to the last player picked in the NFL draft. The label doesn’t fit Billy Joe Aldridge…

Aldridge, an Alma, Okla., native and former Oklahoma State football player, was the final player picked in the 1945 NFL Draft. He was selected in the 32nd round — 330th overall — by the Green Bay Packers. Aldridge never played a lick for the Packers, but he was relevant to many people during a life cut short 30 years ago this month.

Aldridge was a successful high school golf coach in Alamogordo, N.M., for more than two decades. He accompanied his team to Albuquerque for the state tournament in 1976 and the fatal accident occurred before the event concluded. His grief-stricken players got the worst kind of wake-up call the next morning, but teed it up nonetheless.

“He would have kicked us in the a– if we didn’t play,” said former player Dan Koesters, who is now director of golf at New Mexico State University’s course. “It was definitely one of those deals. There was never a day when you weren’t going to play some golf.” Aldridge coached Alamogordo teams that won multiple state championships. By Koesters’ count, at least seven Aldridge pupils played major college golf and five were All-Americans. Brad Bryant is fourth on  the Champions Tour money list this year and younger brother Bart Bryant is on the PGA Tour.

Billy Joe Aldridge died a month shy of his 54th birthday. He lived a long time in comparison to a younger brother, Bennie, a five-year NFL veteran who died in a 1956 plane crash, and a brother who died at age 3.

Another brother, Hubert, flirted with the grim reaper while in Iwo Jima. He took a sniper’s bullet and was unable to walk after he was transported to a military base.

Billy Joe Aldridge played football at Oklahoma A&M from 1941-42. His college career was interrupted by World War II. He spent three years in the Marines and his primary wartime duty was entertaining troops via athletic feats. He boxed and suited up for a Marine football squad alongside Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch, an NFL Hall of Famer who was picked 325 spots before Aldridge in the 1945 draft.

Aldridge once spotted a pretty female Marine, Bonnie Pedigo, in a dance hall. He told buddies he was going to marry that gal, and he was true to his word. Said Bonnie, “He called home and said ‘Mom, sell my 4-H calf. I’m going to get married.’ ” He had to pay a whopping tab (more than $30!) for a multiday honeymoon stay at the Statler Hotel in Washington, D.C.

After his military stint was over, Aldridge returned to his home state because he wanted to fulfill his dream of being a star runner at Oklahoma A&M. Problem was, a lad named Bob Fenimore already had that job.

Aldridge and his wife took advantage of the G.I. Bill to earn degrees and, while in Stillwater, golf became a passion. He soon was playing or practicing every day, regardless of weather.

If it rained, Aldridge would go out after the downpour stopped and hit balls until “dark-thirty,” said his widow. She recalled the time she made a hole-in-one and it was so cold that when she reached in the cup to grab her ball, she came away clutching a handful of ice. Aldridge burned a pile of leaves on the next hole so he and his wife could get warm.

Billy Aldridge wanted to coach and was determined to find a way to coach and was soon enroute to Alamogordo via teaching hitch in Carnegie. His first job was a $2,400-per-year gig in Carnegie. He and Bonnie took jobs in Idabel the next year because two incomes would allow them to be better providers for a son, Kent. Oklahoma teachers weren’t getting rich back then and Aldridge doubled his salary when he drove sight unseen to take a teaching and coaching job in Dexter, N.M. He left after one year to go to Alamogordo. “I heard they were building a golf course here and decided that since I liked golf better than any of the other sports I had been connected with, I would come here,” he once told an Alamogordo sports writer.

Aldridge coached nothing but golf at Alamogordo. Dan Koesters said Aldridge was ahead of his time as a high school coach, including the use of yardage books. Koesters said Alamogordo golfers “did things as a high school golf team that college teams didn’t do and things that I still have never seen a high school team do. We would meet at the park at 6:30 every morning and hit golf balls . . . and when we would get out of school, we would go to the course and play until dark.”

During Aldridge’s coaching career seven people came out of Alamogordo High and played Division I golf, that was really pretty amazing,” per Dan Koesters.

Koesters is in New Mexico State University’s Athletic Hall of Fame. “There is absolutely no question that my whole career hinges around a couple of people — coach Aldridge and my college golf coach, another guy I would put in that same classification. I guarantee you that Brad Bryant would say the exact same thing,” said Koesters of Aldridge.

Aldridges wife Bonnie, in an interview in 2006 acknowledged her husband’s contributions and his imperfections…

The late Billy Joe Aldridge was not perfect (no golfer is — imperfection is what makes golfers always come back for another round).” She acknowledged, “he battled the demon in the bottle.”

Bonnie found out what others thought of her husband after his death. She said “people I didn’t even know sent cards and letters.” She takes solace in the fact her husband made a difference. “I would like to think that every individual did good things for other people,” she said.

So the 1975,76 Alamogordo Tiger graduating class moved forward with tears and also great memories. The decade was a period of great change. Change did come to Alamogordo over the decades but the history and contributions of Coach Billy Aldridge are certainly relevant to this sports history of Alamogordo and of New Mexico. His impact on so many youth within New Mexico was relevant and is relevant today.

To learn more stories of the relevance of Coach Aldridge, Coach Tate, Coach Sepulveda and 100s of athletes. For more stories purchase Coach Robert Sepulveda The Early Days book series available on Amazon in 46 Countries or in the US also on Amazon and at fine independent book sellers such as Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo, New Mexico or your local independent book seller. 

New Mexico Olympic History: The 1950’s, Alamogordo High Schools First State Track & Field Title & New Mexico’s First Native Born Olympian Marvel

The 1950’s and Alamogordo’s First State Track & Field Title in New Mexico History

Photo on Blog and in original article posted to 2nd Life Media’s Alamogordo Town News courtesy of Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days Book Series and Archives. To see more photos of sports from the 50’s, 60s and 70s, visit 2ndlifemedia.com

The 1951/52 Track & Field Season was very historic for Southern New Mexico and for Alamogordo, with a state medal win from some very distinctive athletes.

The results of the State Competition winners include…

  • Bobby Lee, 1st Place, 100 Yard Dash, 9.8
    • Bobby Lee, 1st Place,220 Yard Dash, 21.21.6
    • Bobby Lee, 1st Place, Long Jump, 21’-01.375
    • Norman Kinder, 1st Place, Pole Vault, 10’-10.50”
    • Benny Garcia, 1st Place. Javelin, 193’-01.325

The Alamogordo Tigers Track and Field Team of 1951/52 smashed the competition at the state finals of that year.

They took and won the state competition with 48.5 points. Albuquerque High, the 1951 State Champion scored 21.5 points less for a 2nd place finish of 27 points.

  • Lee in addition to setting 2 state records personally scored 24 ¾ points. He broke the state records in the 100-yard dash by .2 seconds and the 220 by .8 seconds better than the record.
    • Lee was also 3rd Place in Shot Put
  • Benny Garcia shattered the state record in Javelin 11’ 3 ⅛” of 5 state records; the Tigers broke 3 of them.
  • Norman Kinder Placed 1st in Pole Vault with 10’-10.50”
  • Ed McAlpine, 2nd Place. in the state competition in Javelin behind Garcia.
  • Bobby Fritz, 3rd Place, Broad Jump
  • In the sprints in addition to the 1st Place wins of Bobby Lee, Oliver Lee, 4th Place 180 Low Hurdles.
  • The 880 Yard Relay Team consisting of Henderson, Fritz, O Lee and Bobby Lee placed with a 3rd place medal.
  •  Benny Garcia shattered the state record in Javelin 11’ 3 ⅛” of 5 state records; the Tigers broke 3 of them.
  • Norman Kinder, 1st Place, Pole Vault, 10’-10.50”

Coach Rolla Buck was incredibly pleased that year with his team having won both the state football title and the state track and field title. He said his boys; “overperformed and beat his expectations.”

 Coach Buck viewed Bobby Lee as “the best high school overall athlete the state of New Mexico had ever seen” to that point.

He also said that Garcia was the best Javelin player ever to come out of New Mexico’s high school system.

Two incredibly special athletes and their legacy is an honor to Alamogordo from that seasons track and field team of the early 1950s. Both athletes go down into the sports history of the United States, New Mexico and certainly of the Alamogordo community for their achievements.

Bobby Lee, after the amazing team results at Ysleta, (7 first place finishes out of 10 competitions) and winning the District Meet several athletes went to Albuquerque and competed at University Stadium in the State Competition. It was here that Bobby Lee set the state record on the 100 Yard Dash with a 9.8 which stood for 20 years and of course this strong team won Alamogordo’s first State Track and Field State Title.  

Bobby Lee also won the 220 Yard Dash and the Long Jump garnering enough points by himself to win the track meet for Alamogordo High School beating favored Highland High School which placed second.

In 1951 there was no class system in competitions, so all size schools and teams competed.

Bobby Lee kept his competitive spirit going as an adult and became a recognized political cartoonist and eventual New Mexico State Senator.

Coach Bob Sepulveda Alamogordo High Schools winningest Track and Field Coach in its 108 year history of the program  said of Bobby Lee; “Bobby Lee remained a strong supporter and advocate for the Alamogordo High School Track & Field Program as an adult. He attended many of the state meets. Bobby would come by and visit my student athletes in the 70’s and the 80’s for support of our team. He was a true leader on the field and as an adult for decades beyond.”

                                Also, of note from the 1951 competition was the amazing Javelin Talents of Benny Garcia with a distance of 193’-01.325.

The next year of 1952 brought Alamogordo High School Track & Field back to the winner’s circle with Benny Garcia winning for the second consecutive year in the Javelin competition.

  • Javelin Benny Garcia medalled with 186’-03.50”

Benny Garcia was an excellent Football kicker. He was on the B team. After some injuries and with the objection of his father concerned about him being injured, he became the primary starting kicker. Albert Romero sprained his ankle and Benny became the primary kicker after that. He had a reputation for making it between the goal posts when it mattered most.

Coach Buck saw Garcia’s talents and made concessions to ensure he was able to take part in the school athletic programs.

Benny would walk or run 6 miles home in the dark after practice to La Luz.

 At the request of Coach Rolla Buck, Superintendent Barnie arranged the use of a driver education vehicle for Benny to use so that he could take part in Sports.

The extra effort paid off for the High School and was life changing for Benny.

His real notoriety came from the Javelin throwing. He set the state record that stood from 1951 to 1966. That record got the attention of the Arizona State University Track and Field Coach that awarded him a full ride scholarship.

He is the only graduate of Alamogordo to make it to the Olympics taking part in the Melbourne Olympics in 1956. He was the first native-born New Mexico athlete to ever compete in the Olympics.

His name is displayed at the Tigers Hall of Fame, Arizona State Hall of Fame, Drake Relays Hall of Fame, and US Navy Hall of Fame.

At the 1956 Olympics he finished 8th place, disappointing Garcia but making his hometown exceptionally proud.

Garcia went on to live a phenomenally successful life as a high achieving Tiger Alumni and a respected businessman in Arizona.  He died in 2015.

Special Note on Alamogordo New Mexico:

Alamogordo High School and the region of Southern New Mexico has a rich history in sports and academic achievement. In the 1950’s and 60’s Alamogordo High School ranked in the top 10 High Schools for athletic and academic achievement in the United States. The region has a rich history in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It is home to the International Space Hall of Fame and is the testing ground for the latest in drone and military technology via Holloman Air Force Base and White Sands Missile Testing Grounds.

Today, Alamogordo is also the home to New Mexico State University, Alamogordo and is recognized for its pistachio farms, proximity to White Sands National Park and the Lincoln National Forest. As an oddity, Alamogordo is home to the largest Pistachio Sculpture in the World at the McGinn’s Pistachio Tree Ranch just outside Alamogordo.

For photos and more visit https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/27497/1950s-alamogordo-high-schools-first-state-track-field-title-new-mexicos

For the complete sports history of the founding of interscholastic sports to its impact on a small town check out Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days 1912 to 1976 on Amazon and fine independent book sellers such as Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue Alamogord, New Mexico and fine independent book sellers nationwide. Coach Bob Sepulveda The Golden Years 1977 to 1995 coming soon.

Excerpt from: Get F–ing Real, Get Right! Harsh Motivation for a Rough & Tough World

Harsh Motivation for a Rough & Tough World Get Fuc-ing Real, Get Right! From Best Selling Self Help Author Chris Edwards of 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Lifestyle and 2 Hours Unplugged: Unplug & Reconnect

This book is also dedicated to some of my rough and tough formal co-workers in the trucking and distribution side of the business. Roslyn and Miranda cornered me one day and said, “I get it Chris, I get the positive thinking and the quotes but I need them real. They need grit or vulgarity to be real to me.”
So, Roslyn & Miranda and to the group that worked with you on the dock and in the trucks. This one is real and just for you. This one consists of a little humor, some vulgarities in wit, some quotes that will make you think and take action and other that may make you say WTF?
Thank you for the motivation to do a book with a little grit and to be real.
Enjoy, Chris Edwards, Napa California, Spring

Lesson 1

Put down the fu—ing phone, get off Facebook, stop with the Tweets. Quit making excuses and blaming all the dumb-as-es around you. Take a moment each day and take some responsibility for yourself. Open a book. Fu—ing read and realize that you can actually become something if you get your head out of your ass and actually educate yourself.

Now, a few of you asked me to be real with you so here it is. You have potential, but you are so stuck into the drama around you and just bitching about it rather than do something about it. You have the potential as you have been through a lot of shit. I know it, you know it and everyone that knows you, knows it. Hell, it may even be a miracle you are still alive and survived the shit in your past to get you here.

So now stop. Take 15 minutes each day aside and put a plan in place to get your shit together. You are a good person under that tough foul exterior.

You Get Fu–ing Real, Get Right! You want things and deserve a good life. So, take 15 minutes a day and let’s evaluate the day.

Begin the day by reading one of our daily quotes and put it into action. Some are actionable, some will just make you think. Others will make you go, WTF.

But here is the plan.

First put down the phone and put things in life in perspective.

• In 1900, <10% of families owned a stove, or had access to electricity or phones

• In 1915, <10% of families owned a car

• In 1930, <10% of families owned a refrigerator or clothes washer

• In 1945, <10% of families owned a clothes dryer or air-conditioning • In 1960, <10% of families owned a dishwasher or color TV

• In 1975, <10% of families owned a microwave in 1990,

Today, at least 90% of the country has a stove, electricity, car, fridge, clothes washer, air-conditioning, color TV, microwave, and cell phone. We are living in a faster paced world that is adopting the use of technology faster then ever before.

When you bitch about how bad your work or life is remember how your grandparents lived 50 years ago or your grand parents before them.

Remember what life was like for you when Get Fu–ing Real, Get Right! You were either incarcerated, or in the streets or involved with drugs, or in an abusive relationship or just totally miserable.

There is always hope if we give a fuc- to recognize it. So “unplug” for a few minutes and work with me to work with you through the book or podcast before us.

Now here is the shitter of how that phone is impacting us and we don’t even see it. People don’t want to put down their phones to focus or even read this book or listen to an educational podcast. I see it everywhere…

• Young couples out to dinner pull out their smartphones to check messages, emails and social networks even before scanning the menu, and check their phones repeatedly throughout the meal.

• Shoppers and commuters standing in line, people crossing busy streets, even cyclists and drivers whose eyes are on their phones instead of their surroundings. (I recently got into an discussion online via an app Facebook), with a member of the Napa City Council; Doris, who suggested “making cell phone usage on the downtown sidewalks illegal.” I expressed my frustration in her comment, but I do empathize with where she was coming from in the dialog of people being distracted. (However, as much as we want to, we cannot legislate common sense.)

• Toddlers in strollers playing with a smart-phone instead of observing and learning from the world around them. (And, we wonder what contributes to Attention Deficit Disorder?)Get Fu–ing Real, Get Right!

• People driving down the street with eyes on their phones, texting or playing apps, nearly bumping into other cars and running off the road or over curbs or crashing into obstacles.

There is an argument that the access to digital technology bombarding us and beginning at ever-younger ages, is transforming modern society. The transformation may be in ways that can have negative effects on physical and mental health, neurological development and personal relationships. Or as some suggest they are making us Zombies, driving our brains to mush and in a loss of true human interaction or true connections.

Have we forgot how to “unplug” meaning put the phone on sleep mode or (gosh forbid), turn it off? Have we actually forgot how to go for a walk with a dog, meet and actually chat with friends, acquaintances and strangers while being unplugged?

Can we do it without feeling anxious?

As with everything in life, moderation in the use of our smart-phone should be the hallmark of a healthy interaction with technology.

Too many of us have become slaves to the devise that was supposed to free us, connect us and give us more time; to experience life and the people we love. Instead, we’re constantly bombarded by bells, buzzes and chimes that alert us to messages that we feel compelled to view and respond to immediately.

We get anxious with every ding or chime. A 2015 study released by Deloitte found that Americans collectively check their smart-phones upwards of 8 billion times per day. That means we as individuals check at least 59 times per day, to check emails, text or those Facebook Likes, those amazing Tweets or the most recent Instagram cat photos.

More disturbing trends Deloitte also found that ….

• 81% of Americans spend time looking at their phones while dining out in restaurants.

• 26% of those in the 18-24 age range said they look at their phones immediately upon waking up.

So have you replaced your addiction to drugs, alcohol, porn, cigarettes or whatever with cell phone overdrive. You bet your sweet ass you are getting close.

Let’s look at the signs.

In an article for Health & Trends, Signs & Symptoms of Mobile Phone Addiction and How to deal with it? By Deepak Kumar September 5, 2015; we learn the signs of Smart-phone App Addiction… 20 Signs and Symptoms of Mobile Phone Addiction:

• You keep your phone in your hand all the time remains in your hand more rather than in your pocket or bag. • You get tensed when your phone goes out of your site.

• You spend more time on watching the mobile phone screen rather than any other activity.

• Your phone battery rarely lasts for a day.

• The very first thing you check while leaving any place is your phone. • You even take your phone to the bathroom.

• You keep on checking mobile notifications even when there aren’t any.

• Your day starts with checking notifications on your mobile phones and it ends in the same way.

• The mobile phone is the first thing you look out for just after waking up and you keep your phone near the pillow while sleeping.

• You feel a constant urge to just check whether your phone is with you or not. • You feel like your phone is vibrating even when it isn’t.

• You care for your phone more than your life or anything else in the world.

• Even the thought of losing or misplacing phone scares the hell out of you.

• You carry an extra battery or your charger/power bank with you all the time so that you never run out of battery while using your phone.

• You just unlock and lock your phone time to time without any need.

• Even a small scratch on your phone or a crack on display hurts you a lot.

• You have almost each and every app on your phone and you keep your phone much more organized then your cupboard, desk or bedroom.

• In a group meeting or even at your work station, you are the first to pick the phone out from a pocket and last to keep it back.

• You are constantly scolded by your loved ones or your boss for your growing closeness to your smart-phone.

• You are fighting the work no cell phone policy while on the work floor.

• You are ready to live alone only on the condition that you have your smart-phone with you.

Almost everyone I know, shows some of the signs, above. Does that mean they are a smart-phone addict? Not necessarily. Is Smart-phone addiction real? Yes, it is real.

According to Psychguides.com, An American Addiction Center Resource; Cell phone addiction, sometimes referred to as problematic mobile phone use, is a behavioral addiction thought to be similar to that of an Internet, gambling, shopping, or video game addiction and leads to severe impairment or distress in one’s life.

Their resource article continues: “In a study conducted by Baylor University, cell phone addiction was linked to:

•Impulsiveness and materialism.

•A preoccupation with material objects as opposed to intellectual, spiritual, or cultural values.

•The obsessive use of a smart-phone has been compared to that of credit card misuse and compulsive buying.

Smart-phones have become a representation of social status and thus, there is pressure to own the newest release and to have all of the best applications. People suffering from this condition often times have what has been coined “nomophobia,” or the fear of being without one’s cell phone. Problematic cell phone users can develop a social media addiction as well, which has a number of harmful effects on the user, such as:

•Impaired self-esteem.

•Impaired work performance.

•Interpersonal conflicts.

With the widespread accessibility of cell phones at a younger age now, teenagers are especially prone to developing an addiction to their cell phones or social media. Whether you or a loved one suffers from a cell phone addiction, there is hope for recovery and resources available.

Refer to the website Psychguides.com, for further resources. This book, nor my tamer one: 2 Hours Unplugged: Unplug & Reconnect, is not an indictment of Smart Phones, how you fuc-ing use them; nor apps nor about overcoming addiction.

This is not a treatment plan but a recommended lifestyle recommendation. So put down the damn phone and pay attention to yourself and the real people around you.

These lessons paired with those 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Lifestyle which is less blunt, serves as a reminder to “unplug or disconnect” and to “reconnect to those around you. Quit, being a Zombie or a slave to the smart-phone devise and its apps. Participate again, even if just for 2 hours a day, and enjoy those and the wonders of the life around you. The premise of these idea and those that follow in other posts, podcasts and the book series is for you to get real with yourself, unplug or disconnect from the smart-phone gadget, so that you may re-plug or reconnect yourself into the present joy of living!

Now put it down and let’s live a life in the present!

Author Chris Edwards speaks around the country on disconnecting and being present in daily living. To find out more about him and his lessons visit 2ndlifemedia.com

2ND LIFE MEDIA ALAMOGORDO TOWN NEWS-A Look Back Easter 1921- The Origins of the Easter Bunny

The origins of the Easter Bunny….

The Easter Bunny (also called the Easter Rabbit or Easter Hare) is a folkloric figure and symbol of Easter, depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs. Originating among German Lutherans, the “Easter Hare” originally played the role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behavior at the start of the season of Eastertide. The Easter Bunny is sometimes depicted with clothes.

In legend, the creature carries colored eggs in his basket, candy, and sometimes also toys to the homes of children, and as such shows similarities to Santa Claus or the 

Christkind, as they both bring gifts to children on the night before their respective holidays.

The custom was first mentioned in Georg Franck von Franckenau‘s De ovis paschalibus (‘About Easter Eggs’) in 1682, referring to a German tradition of an Easter Hare bringing Easter eggs for the children.

The hare was a popular motif in medieval church art. In ancient times, it was widely believed (as by PlinyPlutarchPhilostratus, and Aelian) that the hare was a hermaphrodite. The idea that a hare could reproduce without loss of virginity led to an association with the Virgin Mary, with hares sometimes occurring in illuminated manuscripts and Northern European paintings of the Virgin and Christ Child.

It may also have been associated with the Holy Trinity, as in the three hares motif.

But while the Easter bunny technically isn’t real, the tradition is very much alive, thanks to sneaky parents who have been filling the baskets as a tradition since the founding of America. 

Digging the New Mexico historical archives we see the first references to Easter Egg hunts and the “great Easter Bunny” making a showing in 1921 at the town square and New York Avenue area near the train depot. The first reference to an Easter egg hunt was referenced in a church flyer and a few other archival records.

Memories of early Easter Bunny’s and Easter Egg hunts in Southern New Mexico seem to be fading but one individual interviewed said in the 1950’s the best Egg Hunt and Easter Bunny in the region was always at the Lodge of Cloudcroft followed by a huge picnic around the property with all the women in huge Easter hats and the Best new Spring Dresses.

Enjoy your Easter however you celebrate and Happy Spring!





Peanut Butter and Jelly Fun Facts Good News Alert

The National Day Calendar defines April 2, 2021 as National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day. Fun fact the average teenager graduating from Alamogordo High will have consumed 2000 P & J sandwiches by the time they graduate.


But how did peanut butter and jelly originate and how did it become so popular as a food staple?

The peanut plant originated in Peru. Peruvians made pottery in the shape of peanuts or decorated jars with peanuts as far back as 3,500 years ago. As early as 1500 B.C., the Incan’s of Peru used peanuts as sacrificial offerings and entombed them with their mummies to aid in the spirit life. Tribes in central Brazil also ground peanuts with maize to make a drink.

Now fast forward about 2000 years and we learn that explorers  from Europe discovered peanuts as far north as Mexico, when the Spanish began their exploration of the new world. The explorers took peanuts back to Spain, and from there traders and explorers spread them to Asia and Africa. Africans were the first people to introduce peanuts to North America beginning in the 1700s.

Records show that it wasn’t until the early 1800s that peanuts were grown as a commercial crop in the United States. They were first grown in Virginia and used mainly for oil, food and as a cocoa substitute. At this time, peanuts were regarded as a food for livestock and the poor and were considered difficult to grow and harvest.

Their popularity grew in the late 1800s when PT Barnum’s circus wagons traveled across the country and vendors called “hot roasted peanuts!” to the crowds. Soon street vendors began selling roasted peanuts from carts and peanuts also became popular at baseball games. While peanut production rose during this time, peanuts were still harvested by hand, leaving stems and trash in the peanuts. Thus, poor quality and lack of uniformity kept down the demand for peanuts.

In the early 1900s peanuts became a significant agricultural crop when the boll weevil threatened the South’s cotton crop. Following the suggestions of noted scientist Dr. George Washington Carver, peanuts served as an effective commercial crop and, for a time, rivaled the position of cotton in the South.

Who invented Peanut Butter?

There is evidence that ancient South American Inca Indians were the first to grind peanuts to make peanut butter. In the United States, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (of cereal fame) invented a version of peanut butter in 1895. Then it is believed that a St. Louis physician may have developed a version of peanut butter as a protein substitute for his older patients who had poor teeth and couldn’t chew meat. Peanut butter was first introduced at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.

Peanut butter was considered a delicacy in the early 1900s and was only served in New York City’s finest tea rooms. In a May 1896 article published in the Good Housekeeping magazine, a recipe “urged homemakers to use a meat grinder to make peanut butter and spread the result on bread.” That same year, in June, the culinary magazine Table Talk, published a “peanut butter sandwich recipe.”

It is thought that Julia Davis Chandler issued the first reference to peanut butter (or paste) paired with jelly on bread in the United States in 1901. Her article is found in the Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics. In the late 1920s, the price of peanut butter declined, and the sandwich became very popular with children.

Peanuts and peanut butter became an integral part of the Armed Forces rations in World Wars I and II. It is believed that the U.S. army popularized the peanut butter and jelly sandwich for sustenance during maneuvers in World War II.

According to the Peanut Board, during World War II, both peanut butter and jelly were part of the United States soldiers’ military ration list.

In 1968, The J.M. Smucker Co. introduced Goober, a jarred product that combined alternating vertical stripes of peanut butter and jelly.

For 2021 the department of agriculture ranks peanuts as the 12th most valuable cash crop grown in the United States with a farm value of over one billion U.S. dollars.

Peanuts, peanut butter and peanut candy are some of the most popular products in the United States. Americans eat more than six pounds of peanut products each year, worth more than $2 billion at the retail level.

Peanut butter accounts for about half of the U.S. edible use of peanuts—accounting for $850 million in retail sales each year. It is a popular sandwich spread, for children and adults, because it is both nutritious and economical.

The other half of U.S. consumption is divided equally between snack nuts and confectionery. Peanuts are eaten as snack nuts in many ways: roasted in shell, roasted kernels or in mixed nuts. Snack nuts are often salted, spiced or flavored with a variety of coatings.

As far as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches what is the most popular?

In anAsk Your Target Market’s survey on peanut butter and jelly we learn some cool facts…

67% of respondents said that they have a generally positive opinion of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. In fact, 2% even said they eat them on a daily basis. 13% eat them a few times per week. 10% eat them about once a week. 20% said they enjoy pb&j sandwiches a few times per month. 10% eat them about once a month. 29% said they rarely ever eat them. And 16% never do.

There are, of course, a few different ways people can mix their peanut butter and jelly. But the majority, 55%, said they like when their pb&j has equal parts peanut butter and jelly. 27% like their sandwiches with more peanut butter. 12% like more jelly. And 5% have no preference.

What is our favorite peanut butter brand?

There are even several different choices when it comes to peanut butter. 66% said they prefer creamy peanut butter. 25% like crunchy. 15% like extra crunchy. And 4% have no preference. The most popular peanut butter brands among respondents include Jif, Skippy and Peter Pan.

What jelly do we like with peanut butter?

When it comes to jelly, 45% of respondents said they prefer strawberry jelly on their sandwiches. 42% like grape jelly. 19% prefer raspberry. 11% like other flavors like apple and blackberry. And 7% have no preference. Smuckers was the most popular jelly brand named by respondents. Others include Welch’s, Concord and Kroger brand.

For the full survey results visit: https://aytm.com/surveys/393374/stat/7d6f42738943a1698f70e898ffcc87e5#charts

Sources: www.peanutsusa.com, US Department of Agriculture, Smuckers Inc, National Day Calendar 


Author Chris Edwards, 2nd Life Media Alamogordo Daily News and Author of Coach Robert Sepulveda The Early Days Available at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, NM or online at Amazon

Remembering – International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2021

Eight decades after the Holocaust began, people worldwide pause on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz to honor the memory of Europe’s Jews, LTBGTQ individuals, gypsies and those who were disabled among those who were targeted for annihilation. During this ceremony, leaders from the United States and abroad will join Holocaust survivors in conveying the urgent responsibility we all share to protect the lessons and legacy of this history and to defend the truth—now more than ever.

If you have not done so it should be required for all students and adults to visit the US Holocaust Museum in Washington DC either in person or at a minimum virtually. The lessons are as relevant today as they were the many decades before. to learn more


We will never forget!

“The Hill We Climb” wise words by an amazing young lady Amanda Gorman

Inspirational words and the text of the poem written by this amazing young lady..

“The Hill We Climb”

Author and Auditory by Amanda Gorman

“When day comes we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade? The loss we carry, a sea we must wade. We’ve braved the belly of the beast, we’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace and the norms and notions of what just is, isn’t always justice. And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it, somehow we do it, somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken but simply unfinished.

We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president only to find herself reciting for one. And, yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect, we are striving to forge a union with purpose, to compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.

So we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside. We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another, we seek harm to none and harmony for all.

Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true: that even as we grieved, we grew, even as we hurt, we hoped, that even as we tired, we tried, that we’ll forever be tied together victorious, not because we will never again know defeat but because we will never again sow division.

Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one should make them afraid. If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade, but in in all of the bridges we’ve made.

That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb if only we dare it because being American is more than a pride we inherit, it’s the past we step into and how we repair it. We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it. That would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy, and this effort very nearly succeeded. But while democracy can periodically be delayed, but it can never be permanently defeated.

In this truth, in this faith, we trust, for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us, this is the era of just redemption we feared in its inception we did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour but within it we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves, so while once we asked how can we possibly prevail over catastrophe, now we assert how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us.

We will not march back to what was but move to what shall be, a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free, we will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation, our blunders become their burden. But one thing is certain: if we merge mercy with might and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.

So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left, with every breath from my bronze, pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one, we will rise from the golden hills of the West, we will rise from the windswept Northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution, we will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the Midwestern states, we will rise from the sunbaked South, we will rebuild, reconcile, and recover in every known nook of our nation in every corner called our country our people diverse and beautiful will emerge battered and beautiful, when the day comes we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid, the new dawn blooms as we free it, for there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.”

#nextmayaangelo #powerofpositive #2ndLifeMedia

Author Chris Edwards 

Executive Operations Coach & Author of

#1 Football Biography Track & Field Category Top 10 Bestseller

Coach Robert (Bob) Sepulveda: The Early Days 

Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce Christmas Lights Contest Video featuring Roadrunner Emporium -Video created by Chris Edwards & Rene Sepulveda-authors, artists, coaching

Check out a few of the Alamogordo Christmas Lights contest entrants. From Cuba road to McKinley Avenue and beyond and the Winter in the Desert window display at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo. All are officially entered in the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce Christmas lights contest. 

Come check out each vía the attached video or do a Covid SAFE drive by. Locations for each are found 

Trail of Lights Holiday Contest Participants https://goo.gl/maps/TogBGmiYZQLk8o6N8

Come see our window display at 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, comment and like us on our and the Chambers Facebook page. Thanks and enjoy a natural Alamogordo lights and our Natural Desert Winter Holiday display..

 #roadrunneremporIum #AlamogordoMainStreet #2ndLifeMedia #ArtistReneSepulveda #AuthorChrisEdwards #ShopLocal #windowdisplay #ChristmasLights #AlamogordoChristmas #AlamogordoChamberOfCommerce #ShopAlamogordo #ShopNewYorkAve #AlamogordoArts