New Mexico

The Land of Enchantment
January 6, 1912.   New Mexico became the 47th state to enter the union.
Santa Fe, the capital, was founded in 1610 and is the oldest capital city in the United States.

Attention all you hot air balloon enthusiasts, find out about the Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to be held in Albuquerque October 7 - October 15, 2000.   This is the World's Most Photographed Ballooning Event!

I was born in Clovis, New Mexico and, except for about two years in California and about 5 years at Lariat, Texas, lived in New Mexico until I joined the United States Marine Corps shortly before my 21st birthday.   My family and I lived in various parts of the state; northern, southern, eastern, and western.   For those who are interested in geography, these are the places in which my family and I lived:

Albuquerque Clovis* Cotton City Deming Gamerco
Las Cruces Lordsburg Mentmore Redrock Rodeo
Silver City
*At what was then the Clovis Army Air Base, now Cannon Air Force Base.
If you are unable to locate any of these places and you would like to know where they are,
send me an email ( and I will send the information.

I graduated from Lordsburg High School in Lordsburg.   Everyone who has seen the movie "Stagecoach" should remember Lordsburg as the destination of the trip.   There were three different "Stagecoach" films made.   The original 1939 movie with John Wayne is the best in my opinion.   The 1966 remake is most noted for the fine paintings of the cast by Norman Rockwell.   I usually don't say anything about the 1986 made-for-TV version.

The 1939 movie was filmed in Arizona's Monument Valley, which is about 300 miles north-northwest of Lordsburg.   Monument Valley has some spectacular scenery, but doesn't look much like Lordsburg.   At least the mountains don't.   The valley floor is desert and generally resembles the area around Lordsburg.

Some interesting people have, at one time or another, called New Mexico their home.

The most notorious was Billy the Kid.   Born William Bonney on November 23, 1859 in New York City, he is said to have killed at least 27 people before he was killed by Sheriff Pat (Patrick) Garrett on July 14, 1881.   Billy supposedly killed his first man in Silver City when he was 12 years old.   Silver City is the home of New Mexico Western University (see below), which I had the pleasure to attend for a while before entering military service.

As a young lad I can remember talking to some of the old timers who, in their youth, had seen or had heard about Billy the Kid.

Lew Wallace, an American Civil War general, was governor of the New Mexico Territory for a time.   While he is most remembered as the author of the famous novel "Ben Hur," Governor Wallace once offered Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett pardons.   Pat Garrett accepted and became a sheriff.   Billy the Kid refused, an act that led to his death.

New Mexico is also the birthplace of Bill Mauldin, the famous cartoonist.   He was born in Mountain Park on October 29, 1921.   He served in the United States Army 1940-1945 and was known for his powerful cartoons about soldiers (especially "Willy and Joe") and war veterans.   Amoung my revered books is a copy of Bill Mauldin's "Up Front."

New Mexico is the birth place, and final resting place, of the original Smokey Bear.   He was rescued by forest rangers after a forest fire in the Lincoln National Forest (Capitan Mountains).   He was a long-time resident of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.   He is buried in the small town of Capitan.   The late Jackson Weaver (a long-time fixture, with Frank Hardin, on radio in the Washington, D.C. area) was the voice of Smokey.

New Mexico has the dubious distinction of being the site of the world's first atomic bomb explosion.   Trinity Site, where the first atomic bomb was exploded on July 16, 1945, is located at the north end of the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range.   The site is normally open to the public twice a year -- on the first Saturday in April and October.   A brief history of the test, including a description of the site, and a bibliography is available in text form.   Details on how to get to the site, a history, and a bibliography are also available in text form. This and other information can be found at the Trinity Atomic Web Site.

Colleges and Universities
Location Institution Team Name
Alamogordo New Mexico State University, Alamogordo Branch
Albuquerque Albuquerque Technical-Vocational Instutute
Albuquerque Southwestern Indian Polytechnical Institute (SIPI)
Albuquerque University of New Mexico Lobos
Carlsbad New Mexico State University, Carlsbad Branch
Clovis Clovis Community College
Espaņola Northern New Mexico Community College
Farmington San Juan College
Gallup University of New Mexico, Gallup Branch
Hobbs College of the Southwest Mustangs
Hobbs New Mexico Junior College
Las Cruces New Mexico State University Aggies
Las Vegas Luna Vocational Technical Institute
Las Vegas New Mexico Highlands University Cowboys
Los Lunas University of New Mexico, Valencia Branch
Los Alamos University of New Mexico, Los Alamos Branch
Portales Eastern New Mexico University Greyhounds
Roswell Eastern New Mexico University, Roswell Branch
Roswell New Mexico Military Institute
Santa Fe College of Santa Fe Knights
Santa Fe Institute of American Indian Arts
Santa Fe Santa Fe Community College
Santa Fe Santa Fe Institute
Santa Fe St. John's College
Silver City Western New Mexico University* Mustangs
Socorro New Mexico Tech
(New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology)
University of the Rio Grande Redmen
* It was New Mexico Western College when I attended classes there.

Some places to visit:
State of New Mexico - Government
New Mexico City Links
New Mexico Visitor Information
(New Mexico Web)
Viva New Mexico
Ice Caves

Apache Point Observatory
Los Alamos National Laboratory
National Radio Astronomy
National Solar Observatory
Sandia National Laboratories

Return to "Semper Fi, Mac!"

-Darry L. Deaton,