“The Hung Jury” hid a 1936 New Mexico Campaign

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This weekend I made a trip to Tucumcari to visit my mom, who has dementia. On this visit, we decided to take a look at possibly cleaning some things out of the garage. Over the years, she has acquired a pretty impressive collection of cardboard boxes and empty plastic cranberry juice bottles. The bottles and boxes are actually nicely aligned on shelves in addition to being stacked rather neatly in about every corner of the garage. To my dismay, she decided she better keep them all, because, well, “You just never know.”

During the garage tour, I happened to notice a poster with an old photo in a very old frame that had my grandpa’s name on it. I’ve stumbled upon many things in mom’s various piles and stash, so I thought I would take a closer look at the picture when I got home.

At home, I discovered the picture in the frame actually wasn’t old at all, but a recent local museum poster using an old photo. That was still pretty neat, but what I found under that, and then even further under that, was some lost New Mexico political family history that I wish I had a story to go with now.

After I pulled out the museum poster from the frame, I discovered an old familiar print, “The Hung Jury” by H. M. Brett. After a little Internet searching, it seems this print was a gift from a law book publisher back in the 1950s -1960s. It was like seeing an old friend from many years ago. The print was always hanging in grandpa’s law office. It really brought back some great memories of just hanging out in the office when I was a kid.

Then, I pulled back “The Hung Jury” and noticed another hidden surprise. There were two Clyde Tingley New Mexico Governor Campaign posters trimmed and used as backing for “The Hung Jury” print. I had to brush up on my New Mexico history but soon discovered from some old newspapers that these posters were from Tingley’s 1936 re-election campaign for governor. By 1936 grandpa was pretty active in New Mexico politics and a big supporter of FDR, so it’s not surprising he would have supported Governor Tingley, famously known as “The New Deal” Governor. I just never knew. What a fun piece of lost New Mexico history discovered in mom’s garage.

The layers of images found in the old picture frame. Click to view a larger image.




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