Monday, March 29, 2010

A little more on Columbus, New Mexico

<---- Pancho Villa

Columbus, N.M. is not much more than a wide spot in the road. There are two grocery stores, a couple bars, two (I think) restaurants, one gas station. It sits on the edge of the U.S./Mexican border. The most interesting point is a state park, named for Pancho Villa. P.V. was a bandit back in the early part of the 20th century. In March, 1916, he sent his thugs to attack the town of Columbus and the Army installation, Fort Furlong, in the middle of the night. Villa's intelligence was faulty and his band was roundly beaten but 16 Americans, civilians and soldiers, were killed in the attack. General John "Blackjack" Pershing was assigned the task of chasing after Villa and disbanding or dispersing his gang. Around the area, Villa is still regarded as a hero instead of a terrorist, which I don't understand. In this case, at least, attacking the U.S. and murdering citizens in their sleep gets you a state park named after you. I suppose Bin Laden should petition to have a park named after him.

Villa surrendering to Pershing ------->

Despite the questionable naming of the park, it is a very nice park, with a great museum, hiking trails, and a volcanic mound from which one might gaze down into Mexico at night:

Exterior corner of the museum. Don't cut the cactus, raise the roof.

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