Friday, May 20, 2011

/njuː ˈmɛksɪkoʊ/

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak of a place I have never actually stepped foot in, although I have flown over it in an airplane at an altitude of 35,000 feet. That place, as the rest of this post will make clear, is our sixth most sparsely-populated state, the great and sovereign state of New Mexico, which is called New to distinguish it from Old Mexico, which is not actually called Old Mexico at all, just Mexico, but which many people in the neighboring state of Texas believe is also a state, which it is not, it is a country. But I digress.

Mr. Speaker, in my reading of blogs, one I enjoy is Reamus, written by a man named Michael Burns, who lives in Carlsbad, California. Let me just mention here that Carlsbad, California, may have Michael Burns, whom I have never seen at all, but Carlsbad, New Mexico, has world-famous caverns that I have seen in three dimensions by looking at two photographs simultaneously through a Viewmaster Stereoscope and out of the mouth of which millions of bats fly every evening. The caverns I mean, not the Viewmaster Stereoscope.

In a comment on one of Reamus’s recent posts, a woman named Sherry Peyton who lives in Iowa told Michael Burns that she and her husband will soon be moving to Las Cruces, New Mexico.

A word to the wise: I just want to state here for the record that back when I was a teenager in Mansfield, Texas, in the mid-fifties, my piano teacher, Mrs. Alyne Eagan, suddenly married a Mr. Cyrus and moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico, and was never heard from again.

I took a peek at Sherry Peyton’s blog (a feather adrift) and couldn’t help noticing that three or four posts back she had one entitled “Truth or Consequences?” that had absolutely nothing to do with New Mexico, although she did mention again that she and her husband will soon be moving there, to New Mexico I mean, not to Truth or Consequences.

Mr. Speaker, need I remind you that there is a town in New Mexico called Truth or Consequences that used to be called Hot Springs until a man named Ralph Edwards broadcast his usually-Los-Angeles-based radio program, Truth or Consequences, from there many years ago for several weeks in a row, and the town fathers, enamored of the attention and apparently craving even more publicity, decided to change the name of their town to the name of Ralph Edwards’s radio program so that people wouldn’t keep getting their town confused with Hot Springs, Arkansas? Just think what might have happened if Edward R. Murrow had ever decided to broadcast See It Now! from Albuquerque and the New Mexico Board of Tourism had gotten wind of it! Fortunately or unfortunately for us, however, depending on your point of view, he never did.

Furthermore, Granny Howell, the mother of my stepmother’s first husband, Clarence Houston, moved to Clovis, New Mexico, which is barely in New Mexico at all, to live with her daughter, Etta Stringfellow, and although it can’t be said that Granny Howell was never heard from again, she was heard from only rarely.

And we all know what happened in Area 51 near Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947. Don’t we?

Anyway, Mr. Speaker, aside from the fact that the Rio Grande flows through New Mexico (and notice that I do not call it the Rio Grande River, which would be redundant), I know nothing more about New Mexico than what I have already told you, except for a few place names like Santa Fe and Taos and the fact that New Mexico became our 47th state in 1912 and also that its nickname, which is emblazoned on the automobile license plates of its residents, of which I have seen only a few, both license plates and residents, is Land of Enchantment.

Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I have taken the liberty of inserting into today’s Blogressional Record the article from Wikipedia entitled “New Mexico” for the reading pleasure and enlightenment of every one of our constituents who cares to avail himself or herself of this unprecedented educational opportunity.

Mr. Speaker, I yield the balance of my time.


  1. "Under a sky of azure,
    Where balmy breezes blow,
    Kissed by the golden sunshine,
    Is Nuevo Mexico."

    First, and perhaps partial, stanza of the state song of New Mexico. Students in the school system in Albuquerque (which I attended second through 10th grade) were required to learn it. It also has a most pleasant melody.

    I remember Ralph Edward snd the 'Truth or Consequences' radio program. My entire family were regular listeners at the time the name of Hot Springs, NM was changed. Ah! Nostalgia!

    Sorry to say that, in all the years we lived in NM (1940-1950) we never visited the caverns. My brother was an ROTC instructor at NM State University in Las Cruces, but I didn't visit him there.

    It appears that I haven't visited Sherry Peyton's blog in far too long, as her move to NM is news to me. I shall rectify that immediately after posting this comment.

  2. Hi, Pat! It slipped my mind that you used to live in New Mexico!

  3. RWP:
    In the process of my many great adventures, I have been to the "other Carlsbad." I have also been to Clovis which, in case Wiki did not mention it, is the Mule Capital of the World and has a Mule Museum. I have no plans to return to either.

  4. John Denver and Demi Moore both hailed from Roswell, New Mexico. Can your adopted state - Georgia - boast any sons and daughters of that magnitude? Erskine Caldwell the world-famous writer perhaps?

  5. Reamus, the Wikipedia article on Clovis, New Mexico, makes no mention of mules. Further research reveals that Bishop, California, is the home of the American Mule Museum. The times, they must be a-changin'....

    Yorkshire Pudding, perhaps you have heard of Margaret Mitchell Joel Chandler Harris, James Dickey, Sidney Lanier, Flannery O'Connor, Carson McCullers, Alice Walker, Gladys Knight (and her Pips), Travis Tritt, R.E.M., the Allman Brothers, Martin Luther King, and Jimmy Carter?

  6. I know New Mexico, well let's say I know I-10 going through NM! Been past Las Cruces more times than I can remember and even stayed in campgrounds in NM twice (once near Las Cruces and once near the Continental Divide when there was snow on the ground). We lived in Arizona (or were moving from/to AZ, we lived there several times). I loved the area around the Continental Divide/Rocky Mountains. Mostly along I-10 it was BARREN, much more so than in Arizona or Texas. Never saw Albuquerque, Truth or Consequences, Taos, or the caverns. Did visit Colossal Cave near Tucson, by the time Kartchner Caverns opened, my Don was in a wheelchair. Thought about visiting, I even thought about living there but it was way too expensive for us and there was NO Veteran's Administration Hospital close by!

  7. Theanne and Baron, I never really know why I am moved to write certain posts, and this was one such post, but I am glad I did because you opened up and shared some information about your life because of it. Thank you for doing that. The nearest I have ever come to New Mexico on the ground is either Pueblo, Colorado, or Lubbock, Texas (whichever is closer) but when I was flying back to Atlanta from San Francisco one time the flight attendant said, "If you passengers on the right side of the airplane will look out your windows, you will be able to Farmington, New Mexico, which we are now passing over." I have no idea why that particular flight attendant made that particular announcement.