Val Boatman and her husband Bill traveled all the way from Kansas to be at Friday’s ribbon cutting for the NCRTD’s Jim West Regional Transit Center in Espanola.
Val is the sister of the late Jim West, the former Los Alamos County councilor for whom the building is named.
By the time the ceremony was over, Val was in tears.
It probably was because of the moving tribute to West, who died of cancer in 2009, that LA County councilor Mike Wismer gave during the ceremony.
Wismer’s talk certainly was powerful.
He recalled meeting West on the campaign trail in 2002.
“We became instant friends and worked together for four years on the council,” Wismer said.
Wismer talked about how West became the transit district’s strongest proponent and its most “articulate cowboy spokesman.”
He referred to West being very “Oklahoma Stubborn.” Wismer said, “For those on the East Coast, that term means damn persistent in his efforts to get the transit system going and for getting the GRT approved by voters and in making the board effective. For that reason alone, it is most appropriate to name this facility after Jim.”
Then Wismer talked about a more personal reason for naming the facility after West.