Naming quarter half-serious business

By Ned Cantwell: State columnist

Let’s establish something right up front. This is serious business. The state needs a new quarter.

To be precise, it will not be a state quarter, but a federal quarter saluting New Mexico. We have not yet begun to mint our own money. But keep your eyes on Gov. Bill. If the Dems snub him in favor of Hillary, the guv may declare New Mexico an independent nation and assume the role of dictator. I got dibs on the press czar gig.

So important is the quarter design, The Bill established a seven-member New Mexico Coin Commission. The Coin Commission is accepting 150-word essays that describe what the new quarter should look like. Please e-mail your suggestions to me and I will forward it to the proper authorities. Just as important, the column will share your wisdom, if any, with others.

Warning: The first person who writes “I think our New Mexico quarter should be two dimes and a nickel stuck together with chewing gum” will get a visit from hooded goons driving a black sedan sporting stolen license plates.

Here are some examples of essays the Coin Commission might receive:

From a 14-year-old skateboarder:

“I think the new quarter should be like, way cool, like with a pitcher of a righteous babe doin’ a half-pipe. Like our quarter should have kids and stuff on it and not some president guy from 100 years ago like that Raagen dude. I mean, like I went to a history class once but it was so totally lame I grabbed my board and boogied.”

From Gov. Bill Richardson:
“On behalf of the people of New Mexico, let me thank you in advance for your dedicated service that will certainly enable our wonderful state to choose an appropriate design for the new quarter. Enclosed please find several pictures of me riding my horse, Sundance. While I have full confidence you will do the right thing, I am requesting each of you to submit letters of resignation for use at my discretion.”

From the president of the New Mexico Bar Association:
“It has come to our attention that the New Mexico Coin Commission (hereinafter and in all cases later in this document, unless otherwise specified, to be referred to as NMCC), has with clear and obvious intent issued a formal request on behalf of the governor of New Mexico to seek 150-word essays describing a design for a coin piece representing a value to be known as 25 percent of a United States dollar …” (Whoops! Sorry, ran over the word limit).

From the head of the New Mexico American Civil Liberties Union:
“If you even think about sticking art work on this quarter that looks like a cross, we’ll sue your butt. Go ahead and use a picture of an Indian if you want to, but he better not look like Jesus. Change “in God we trust” to “God — Why all the fuss?”

From “Anonymous:”
“I think our coin should salute just ordinary folks, like, say, a fellow who sells insurance, or maybe a housewife, or an auto mechanic or — WAIT, I GOT IT! — a guy who writes a two-bit newspaper column.”

From God:
“I’m getting irritated by both the ACLU and the idiot who wrote the last essay. Don’t make me come down there!”

Ned Cantwell sent the Commission a photo of himself perched atop a Zia symbol. Contact him at: