Bun Ryan. Photo by Karen Kendall/ladailypost.com
By Kristen Lasky
It does not seem to be a stretch to say U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Bernard “Bun” Ryan, a Los Alamos Living Treasure, Pierotti’s Clowns softball player and long-time Democrat, share more than a few similarities.
It’s not just the political affiliation. Civic work, community responsibility and profound impacts are other parallels. Plus, Ryan worked on Kennedy’s election campaign. So it seems fitting that the Los Alamos Democratic Party would honor Ryan with a JFK Banquet Democratic Achievement Award during a JFK Banquet, which was held Saturday at the Best Western Hilltop House Hotel.
Bun Ryan receives the JFK Democratic Achievement Award from Kyle Wheeler during a Banquet at the Hilltop House Hotel Saturday evening. Photo by Karen Kendall/ladailypost.com
Among those who attended were County Council Democrat candidates Ken Johnson and Pete Sheehey, New Mexico House District 43 Candidate Stephanie Richard, and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan.
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan and Los Alamos County Council candidate Pete Sheehey. Photo by Karen Kendall/ladailypost.com
“He’s pretty much an institution,” Johnson said. Adding that with Ryan’s long list of accomplishments, the recognition is probably overdue.
Los Alamos County Council candidate, Ken Johnson. Photo by Karen Kendall/ladailiypost.com
Richards commented that when Ryan’s name is mentioned regarding an event, people will immediately say, “Oh! I’ll be there!”
Carlotta McInteer and New Mexico House District 43 Candidate Stephanie Richard. Photo by Karen Kendall/ladailypost.com
Lujan said he is a long-time acquaintance of Ryan.
“Bun is an extraordinary person. He’s always had a knack of bringing people together … (he’s) seen as a convener of people,” Lujan said.
Ryan is a proponent of maintaining social security and Medicare, he said, adding, “Bun just gets it.”
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, left, with Jeff Casados and his wife Magistrate Judge Pat Casados. Photo by Karen Kendall/ladailypost.com
“I’ve been a Democrat all my life,” Ryan said, adding that he can see different issues from liberal and conservative view points. “I think differently between being a liberal and a conservative. I’m a liberal in many respects and I’m conservative in many respects.”
He explained he is fiscally conservative and but takes a liberal leaning toward social security and Medicare.
“I feel the unions are responsible for the establishment of the middle class and I’m really concerned about the conservative attitudes toward unions and the diminishing middle class," Ryan said.
He encourages others to get involved in the politics.
“Maintain your rights,” Ryan said. “Your right to vote, your right to free speech. (If you) don’t get involved, your rights are endangered as a participant.”
Ryan is not just an active party member, he is also a distinguished athlete. As a pitcher for Pierotti’s Clowns, he helped raise money for charity as well as win 176 games.
He also served on the State Police Board and works with Alcoholics Anonymous and the Los Alamos National Laboratory Employee Assistance board.
His many achievements were further recognized by a video presentation from U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman.
Alfredo Montoya, candidate for Senate District 5. Photo by Karen Kendall/ladailypost.com
Candidate for Los Alamos County Clerk, Nathan Hjelm and Sandra Chavez-Hjelm. Photo by Karen Kendall/ladailypost.com
Andrea Determan, PRC Candidate Danny Maki and John Determan. Photo by Karen Kendall/ladailypost.com
First Judicial District Attorney incumbent Angela "Spence" Pacheco. Photo by Karen Kendall/ladailypost.com