Inside the Capitol

Saturday, April 19, 2008

4-25 Hanagan Emerges in Ireland

FRI, 4-25-08

SANTA FE - Pete Hanagan, that jolly old codwobbler New Mexicans remember as head of the state Oil & Gas Association for many years has resurfaced from under his bridge in Limerick, Ireland with a book aptly titled "Unprovenanced Chinwaggery."
Pete has spent the better part of the last 10 years on the Emerald Isle, enjoying the Irishness of his ancestral homeland. He was born far away in Roswell, New Mexico, 79 years ago, but the Irish never left him.
And where better to settle than Limerick? Pete always was a great storyteller and that is what his book is about. Essentially, it is a memoir of 50 short stories, anecdotes, episodes and escapades. If you want a complete history of Pete, you'll have to ask his friends and enemies. This book is all about what Pete wants you to know.
He's concocted a diabolical way of accomplishing that goal, leading off with an obituary of his own choosing. Who else would have thought of that? Don't leave it to your family to write your obit. No telling what they might say.
Quite honestly, it surely would be insipidly boring. "Beloved husband, father and grandfather." That sort of drivel. But since an obituary is most people's only time to gain public notice, why not get the things said that you deem important? That's the way Pete looks at it.
Hanagan ends his obituary with a request for a joyous happy-hour mini-wake at the Pink Adobe Restaurant in Santa Fe. He says he has left instructions to automatically serve bloody marys to all attendees. He doesn't say he will pick up the tab and he may not have envisioned outliving the "Pink's" ownership by Rosalea Murphy and her family.
The opening sentence of Pete's book sets the tone of all that follows. "For a long time I have thought about writing a swashbuckling tale whose main character would be full of his peculiar puckish ego, his legendary mulishness, his barmy mannerisms and his exaggerated belief in his ability to spin a good yarn in a prose style of ideal limpidity."
But, says Pete, the further he got into the project, it would be no more than fantasized biography, so why not write it in the first person? Whether one writes his or her own obituary, it is a good idea to leave a record of one's story for future generations. Few ever think to do such a thing.
Hanagan became quite a legend in Santa Fe with his Third House Caucuses held at the beginning of each year's legislative session, They were invitation only, exclusive events open only to the top lobbyists in Santa Fe, The Third House is legislative parlance for the corps of lobbyists that descends on Santa Fe every year for the legislative session.
There are over a thousand of them as compared with 112 elected legislators in the House and Senate. Each year Hanagan would send invitations to the top ones for a rip-roaring party. No legislators were invited and no lobbying was allowed. Besides lobbyists don't do well lobbying other lobbyists.
But Hanagan grew tired of that life and decided to move on to lecturing on the law, first at the University of Limerick and then at the university of Guadalajara. He and his new family lived for a while in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, for a while, before moving to Ruidoso and thence back to Limerick where he's living with a son from each of his two marriages.
I can recommend Pete's book for anyone who knew him or about him. It is engagingly written in the Irish's colorful version of the English language.
You will be entertained by Pete's accounts of escapades as C.A. Jones, Rev. P.J. Masa and the proud owner of a prestige license plate proclaiming him "GOV."
Pete's book can be ordered for $26, plus postage of $7, payable to Peter Hanagan, at

Get in touch in an instant. Get Windows Live Messenger now.


Post a Comment

<< Home