Country Towns of New Mexico by Kathryn Gabriel

By Kathryn Gabriel

Stopover at New Mexico's captivating combination of local American, Mexican and Western tradition.

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Today, the people are known collectively as the Anasazi (Ah-nah-saw'zee), a Navajo word for ancient enemy or the ancient ones, depending how it is pronounced. , the Anasazi began turning their modest pueblos into monumental sandstone complexes. The massive walls consisted of dressed sandstone exteriors sandwiching a core of unshaped stones and mud mortar. These so-called great houses incorporated large, circular, underground chambers called great kivas where the people probably met to dance and perform their religious duties.

They like to have their history out where they can see it, walk through it, and touch it. Merle Pinkerton, a retired oil-field worker, came up with the idea of displaying the museum's stockpiles of antiques in their natural surroundings. Besides the bank replica and the caboose, the Pioneer Village Page 8 includes Aztec's original jail as well as a doctor's office, sheriff's office, magistrate office, general store, post office, blacksmith and harness shop, and school, all reconstructed from original buildings in the area.

Except in two or three of the larger towns, New Mexicans don't honk their horns to unclog a parade of "low-rider" cars or to speed up a tractor. Furthermore, poco tiempo or slow time does not connote backwardnesseveryone here has the same access to network television, cable, and the Internet as anywhere else. Though country folks do have busy schedules, no one is too busy to spare a few moments with a stranger. They'll even impart a good scandal, especially one that has already sustained decades of speculation.

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