Tim Hagaman describes himself as an actor, writer and speaker, cultural economic development promoter, and film historian. He grew up in the mid-west and attributes a lifetime of experiences to his love for history and the great outdoors. “Raised a Midwesterner from Peoria and now 26 years living in the wild places of New Mexico,” he said. “Life is too short to not live in a beautiful place of daily blue skies, mountains amongst the first North American history and culture in the desert southwest.”
On Jan. 27, Hagaman will give a presentation on the topic of “Historic Outlaws of New Mexico.” In this Q&A he talks about history, work and living the dream.
ORP: As a writer, what is your focus?
Tim: As a member of the Wild West History Association, my focus is Southwest Americana Nonfiction from the Civil War to the Mexican Revolution. Most of the articles I have written have surrounded the greatest ambassador of New Mexico. My single goal is writing one book in my life, a biography of James Henry East. Kaskaskia, Il: Drover to Tascosa, Texas, Lawman Captured Billy the Kid New Mexico Territory, Douglas, Ariz. during the Mexican Revolution.
ORP: How did you become a presenter for talks like the one you will be doing at the Las Vegas City Museum on Jan. 27?
Tim: Michael Rebman, Museum Specialist for the Rough Rider Museum was being interviewed on KFUN about the new Wild West Exhibit. I introduced myself to Museum Director Cabrini Martinez and discussed my speaking on this subject.
ORP: Talk briefly about “Historic Outlaws of New Mexico,” the presentation you will be giving and how you prepared for it.
Tim: I did not select the title but will concentrate regionally on the cowboys that became outlaws and lawmen traveling on the ATSF Railroad from rail head cattle towns like Abilene, Dodge City, Springer and Las Vegas. I prepare for presentations like show and tell, bringing historic maps, books and original tools of the cowboy lawman.
ORP: You have experience as a cowboy reenactor. Talk about that and how it influences your presentations.
Tim: A writer and speaker tells stories about others and ourselves. As a reenactor, we live the experience as an actor through the eyes of history playing cowboys and Indians like we grew up in the 1960s, watching Fess Parker (Daniel Boone) on television. After driving five hundred head of cattle from Roswell to Lincoln, I have a better understanding of the founders of the Goodnight Loving Trail. When Oliver Loving died, he was buried in Fort Sumner. Stories of the trail later became the basis for the most accurate western, Lonesome Dove, according to True West Magazine readers.
ORP: As a writer, what would you most want people to know about you?
Tim: My specialty as a researcher and collector give me greater access to new material and, yes, makes me smile too.
ORP: You’ve said, “Life is too short to not live in a beautiful place…” Talk about why you choose to live and work in New Mexico.
Tim: I have been operated on every part of my body. As of this year, I’m a 30-year cancer survivor. Living in the Sangre De Cristo Mountains on the Mora River gives me the lifestyle to read and write in a 1880s adobe. Yesterday, I mentioned to Bill Hendrickson about my appreciation for his cooking a ham for dinner, and mentioned that Kit Carson wrote in his autobiography that he was lucky to have one sit-down meal a year. I came to New Mexico as an eagle scout on Amtrak to attend Philmont, and have lived here for 35 years, living along all of the great cattle trails in the Southwest and Midwest.
ORP: You work for the state office of economic development NMEDD. How does promoting NM history help the local and state economy?
Tim: As a preservationist, first we track what has worked in the past and apply that to the future in growing economies where towns and regions are diversified, building economic development organizations and economic based capacity through state programs, and partnering with local governments that offer local incentives. It is the business sector that actually takes those local and state incentives to create higher-wage jobs, which compliment retail income jobs. See www.gonm.biz.
ORP: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from history and how do you apply it in your day-to-day life?
Tim: I recently joined the Catholic Church and would like to visit the places that Jesus walked, which I read during the holidays in National Geographic entitled Jesus. I live through these events attending daily mass in the most colorful cultured state.
ORP: What’s next for you?
Tim: Finish my manuscript for review at Oklahoma University Press.
What: Saturdays @ the Museum
When: 11 a.m., Jan. 27
Where: Las Vegas City Museum, 727 Grand Ave.
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