New Mexico a state of unique Americans

Ned Cantwell

Go up to your ordinary guy on the street in say, Hobbs, and tell him he looks like a space cadet, he’s liable to deck you.
Try the same thing in Clovis, but first make sure the rifle is still hanging on the rack inside the pickup.
Say it in Santa Fe and there’s a good chance you might be right. There was a story recently that surprised just about everyone in the country except New Mexicans.
The Albuquerque Journal’s Wren Propp wrote a piece about a film maker who traveled to the Santa Fe Film Festival to show her film, “Touched.” The movie is a documentary about people who say they have experienced alien abduction and contact.
After the movie the director held a seminar where she said she was “blown away” when someone asked if anyone in the room had ever experienced personal interaction with aliens from other worlds.
This is in Santa Fe, mind you. About half of a standing-room-only audience said, sure, they once had some contact with beings from outer space. I would venture that 30 of them were members of the New Mexico State Legislature, but that is not only untrue, but a cheap shot as well.
The movie director told the reporter, “I would guess that the people in Santa Fe would be different from those in New York. They might be more open spirited instead of digging in their heels.”
New Mexicans differ from New Yorkers, but they also, refreshingly, differ from one another in how they think, the values they hold, how they perceive themselves and how others perceive them. Look around.
Artesia will forever be proud of her mighty football team, the Hornets. Just kidding. Who in New Mexico has not heard of the Bulldogs? Artesia has, to my knowledge, no city slogan, but I may be wrong. And if I am, I will hear about it. Artesians are not a bashful bunch.
Hobbs says, “It’s The People That Make a Difference,” and since she likes to think of herself as “Hobbs, New Mexico, U.S.A.,” the hint is those people are perhaps more patriotic than the rest of us.
Over in Deming, the community brags she is the “southwestern corner rich with history, atmosphere and sunshine, all in great abundance.” To be honest, lots of places have history, atmosphere and sunshine, but they don’t by golly have a World-Famous Duck Race.
One of the things I like about Lordsburg is that her newspaper, the Lordsburg Liberal, lays claim to being the oldest newspaper in the state. The other thing I like about Lordsburg is that I have never experienced traffic gridlock in that community.
Carlsbad is famous for her caverns, and during a newspaper career spanning a quarter century in that community I tried to promote Carlsbad as the “City on the Grow,” a slogan that turned out to be neither particularly clever nor prophetic.
Home is now Ruidoso that bills herself the “Playground of the Southwest,” but in reality is filled with Texans, none of whom, to my knowledge, travels by spaceship.

Ned Cantwell does not believe in outer-space people but thinks New Mexico is out of this world. Contact him at: