Press Check

Recent books by NMSU Alumni

Compiled by Jane Moorman
Panorama welcomes information on books and creative works by NMSU alumni. Information may be sent to

Tinsel, Mistletoe & Reindeer Bait

Baxter Black ’67

“Tinsel, Mistletoe and Reindeer Bait” showcases NMSU alumnus, cowboy writer and poet Baxter Black’s unique talents in
a blend of bizarre and serious devotion to Christian faith.

A beautifully illustrated collection of homespun cowboy perspectives on Christ-mas that blends fun and faith, conviction and culture, the book is divided into two sections: Fun and Faith. The Fun section is chock-full of Santy tales for the kid in all of us. In part two – Faith – the content is obvi-ous and specific.

For more than 25 years, the retired veterinarian has traveled the U.S. and Canada scattering his wit to folks looking for a bright spot in their day. Known for his weekly column and radio and television programs, Black has followers in all sectors of society. He has appeared on National Public Radio, public television, Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show and in USA Today. “Tinsel, Mistletoe and Reindeer Bait” is the latest of his many books.


Tortugas at 100: Steps in Time & Grace

Pamela Porter ’92

 Pamela Porter, college assistant professor in NMSU’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, is a working journal-ist who travels the back roads of New Mexico, unearthing stories and gathering images for her books.

In her latest book, travel through time with Tortugas Pueblo as members honor their past and celebrate a century of Los Indigenes de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, a group formed to protect the pueblo’s Na-tive American heritage in 1914. Tortugas Pueblo people share their stories of continuing traditions, faith and their hopes – and uncertainty – about the future as the 21st century unfolds. The book explores the cycle of rituals and events throughout the year, ending with the three-day Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in December that in-cludes an all-night vigil, a pilgrimage to the top of Tortugas Mountain and the joyous feast day.

Harder Than Writing a Good Haiku

Frank Hamrick ’05

Frank Hamrick, a 2005 Master of Fine Art graduate in photography, has been recognized by National Public Radio and was named one of the 100 Superstars of Southern Art by Oxford American Magazine. His most recent book of photography, “Harder Than Writing a Good Haiku,” is a 20-page, hand-bound book featuring reproductions of 17 tintype photographs created during travels through Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Tennessee. Each image initiates its own narrative that points in a particular direction, but the story’s ending is left to the viewer.

This is more than a photography book – it is a work of art, from the letterpress printed title on the handmade cotton rag cover paper to the one-of-a-kind tea stains on the cover inspired by the hills of White Creek, Tennessee, and the fight to protect the area from Nashville’s encroaching development.

Hugh Meglone Milton: A Life Beyond Duty

Walter G. Hines ’65 ’67 and Martha Ship-man Andrews

New Mexico State University engineer-ing alumnus Walter G. Hines and Library Associate Professor and University Archivist Martha Shipman Andrews have collaborated on a book about Hugh Meglone Milton, one of NMSU’s most remarkable leaders.

Milton’s achievements included military leadership, serving as major general and undersecretary of the Army, as well as success in academia, holding positions as professor, dean and president of the institution now known as NMSU.

“Despite his remarkable accomplishments, Milton’s life has been somewhat forgotten. We hope the new book will illuminate and commemorate the remarkable contributions of a man who truly lived a life beyond duty,” Hines says.

“Hugh Meglone Milton: A Life Beyond Duty” includes two sections: Part I, a short biography, and Part II, a collection of selected speeches, essays and letters. It was published by LPD Press and Rio Grande Books in collaboration with New Mexico State University Library and Archives.

Shadow Man

Dorothy Webb ’89

Darcy Redbird is back on the inves-tigation in Dorothy Webb’s second Darcy Redbird mystery, “Shadow Man.” The first Darcy Redbird mystery, “Chindii Woman,” was published in 2011 by Author House.

Webb spins a story about the Navajo people much like Tony Hillerman – but from a woman’s point of view. Redbird is not a law enforcement officer or a private detective; she’s just a citizen who is trying to find out what has happened to her brother and friends.

Set in the Navajo Nation of northwest New Mexico, the NMSU anthropology graduate draws on her experiences of living in Crownpoint while her parents worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Arduino Model Railroad Animation

Paul Bradt and David Bradt ’81

In the model railroad world, Digital Command and Control (DCC) is the control system of choice. A lot of animation can be accomplished using stationary DCC decoders. “Arduino Model Railroad Animation” provides an alternative method using Arduino controllers, servos and other types of motors.

The purpose of this book is to show basic animation examples and detailed how-to-instructions to get the new animator started. The book explains the basics and how to use the powerful standard Arduino board. It has 135 pages full of figures that show how to construct many different animation model railroad projects, along with easy-to-read schematics to help build the systems. The authors encourage the model railroader to dream, research, build and explore other unique ways of using the tools outlined in this book.

Paul Bradt has a Bachelor of Sci-ence degree in computer science. David Bradt has a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from New Mexico State University.

The Final Mission: Preserving NASA’s Apollo Sites 

Lisa Westwood, Beth O’Leary and Milford W. Donaldson

New Mexico State University anthropology professor emerita Beth O’Leary, who retired from NMSU in July 2014, has become a nationally recognized expert in the emerging field of space heritage and archaeology. O’Leary has collaborated with Lisa Westwood and Milford W. Donaldson to write “The Final Mission,” which explores the key locations that made the Apollo mission possible. It reframes the footprints and items left on the moon as cultural resources, and calls for the urgent preservation of this space heritage.

Beginning with the initiation of the space race, the authors trace the history of research, training and manufacturing centers that contributed to lunar exploration. From the early rocket test stands of Robert H. Goddard to astronaut instruction at Meteor Crater to human and primate experiments at Holloman Air Force Base, innumerable places proved critical to developing the equipment for exploring space, surviving the journey, and returning to Earth safely.