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Hidalgo County Herald
Lordsburg, New Mexico
May 21, 2010     Hidalgo County Herald
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May 21, 2010

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I J 8 HIDALGO COUNTY HERALD FRIDAY, MAY21,2010 Mrs. Tammy Pompeo awards Samantha Romero Peyton Downs recieves an award in FFA from Mr. (BPA) Wayne Moore AHS Organizational Award held May 11 By ELIZABETH RICHINS/ Hidalgo County Herald On Tuesday, May ] 1. stu- dents of Animas High School. along with their parents, attended the AHS Organizational Awards Ceremony that was held in the auditorium. Organizations that were involved were FFA. BPA. Student Council. Panther Pride Club. Mock Trial. and Drama. Students were awarded for all of their hard work and dedication to the extracurricular activities and clubs in which they are iflvolved. The night also included refresh- ments, which were cookies and i~unch. All who attended had a great time. Congratulations to all of the hard working students at Animas High School. Lalo Elias recives a drama award from Mrs, Ms. Jacque Davenport awardsMichaeIBarentine Alysha Wagley in MockTrial WHM A CHILD LEARNS ABOUT VIOLENCE A CHILD LEARNS FOR LIFE. Martina For Magistrate Court Judge * 27 Years of Judicial Court Experience * Your Vote & Support are ~reatly appreciated, ~,~D ~ C~N~E Go on acclna Don caughtup the , . O-SCNO0| rash fo:r your child s health caret Make summer appoin enls Physicals Well-Child Checks HMS school clinics will be open in June and july to provide comprehensive health cure. Re!listered students staff are eii ible alt services. Cobre Hea|th Center [very Thursday l Jm |o for app ntme.|: 575-537- 5069 5i|vef ttith We|ln~ Cenlt~r 'er y Wean esday from 10am q:300 Call for appoirttment: 575-53 -1015 ;% t1V ,,_ L2 .......................................................... I[I~ rl[~[l[l 1 888-528-=t325 Report F By LESLIE LINTHICUMIJournal Staff Writer Taken from the May 3, 2010 edi- tion of the Albuquerque Journal LORDSBURG -- Spring weeds have shot up through cracks in the pavement and a swimming pool sits filled in with concrete, a surrealist's vision of summer fun. The wind persuades some hanging metal to break into a tuneless song while faded paint advertises a menu lost to the pas- sage of time. as well as the grammarian's pen: "Truckers Spe- cial $5 Super Breakfast Anytime." Life along Motel Drive in Lordsburg can be pretty lifeless. Oh. there are things happen- ing alongthe three or four miles of the drive, which stretches from the easternmost offramp of Inter- state 10 to its westernmost on- ramp. Chile is being ladled out to a lunchtime crowd at Ramona's Cafe. Downtown, they're just put- ting this week's issue of the Hidalgo County Herald to bed. And the TVs are on in a few of the rooms of the handful of motels still open for business. Motel Drive has not been entirely forgotten, but it sure can feel that way. In the 1930s, when cross- country car travel was young, Lordsburg jammed into the bottom-left comer of our map was sitting pretty on U.S. 80. The "Broadway of America" linked the East Coast and San Diego and was more traveled than Route 66. By 1964. Lordsburg had 31 service stations. 21 motels and 20 cafes, mostly clustered along U.S. 80, and it was the biggest travel stop between Texas and Arizona. What happened? Two things: An interstate highway replaced Highway 80. spelling a familiar doom. And. maybe because it's harder to find rhymes for U.S. 80 than it is for Route 66. nobody wrote a famous song about the road that passed through Lordsburg, depriving its ghostly remnants of nostalgic cachet. This is not ancient history. The interstate was completed in the 1970s, so the decay of Motel Drive is only about 30 years old. Still,. it qualified recently for the Society for Commercial Archeology's list of the 10 most i endangered roadside places in the U.S. John Murphey, a board mem- ber with the Society for Commer- cial A2rcheology and architectural historian with the National Park Service in Santa Fe. nominated the drive for the designation af- ter taking a lonesome trip down the road. "I was struck -- for lack of better words -- by this modern ghost town of motels," Murphey tells me. "And I've watched them dissipate over the last 10 years." That dissipation has in- cluded some examples of impor- tant architectural st)les, espe- cially "cabin courts." falling down or being torn down. A few motels are open for business, catering mostly to long- term rentals, and a few still stand vacant. But most live on only in photos. Lordsburg has been tied to transportation since its begin- ning. It was founded in 1880 on the route of'the Southern Pacific Railroad and named for a train engineer, Detbert Lord. When U.S. 80 was being replaced by Interstate 10, Lordsburg did not just roll over. Its townspeople knew that traffic flying by at high speeds did not mean good things for the town. One property owner built herself a shack on one of the proposed ramps, moved in and held. up the project for three months. Her sit-in ended when she was arrested and thrown in jail. The town won some conces- sions: The highway was elevated slightly so travelers could look down over Lordsburg, see its amenities and be ehcouraged to stop there. And three exits -- one at each edge of town and one in the center -- were supposed to draw people through town. They didn't. They stopped them at the edges, where chain motels and truck stops now sit. People who study transportation patterns call these "interstate vil- lages" -- places where travelers jump out of their cars for a bath- room break, a fuel-up and some fast food. Debbie Greene bought the old Vendome Hotel building in downtown Lordsburg on Motel Drive and is running her book- keeping I~iness out of it, She would like to renovate and open Town' to interstate travelers, but she sus- . pects that would be futile unless something changes in tourist pat- terns. "You get off (l-lO) and go to the restroom get your stuff and go. And you don't see Lordsburg," she says. What you miss when you stay in that interstate bubble, ac- cording to Murphey, is a good collection of vernacular architec- ture of the 1920s and '30s and 1950s and '60s. The one remain- ing little cabin court with its Mis- sion Revival parapet is a gem, and the big "'spreaders" with their pools and neon come-ons con- jure up images of family trips takenat a more leisurely pace. "It's a fairly good represen- tation of the full spectrum of road- side accommodation in New Mexico." Murphey says. "If these were along Route 66, they would have been nominated to the Na- tional (Historic) Register years ago. But that hasn't happened here." When you roll along Mo- tel Drive, it's not that hard to en- vision the properties rehabbed to their historical glory and tourists making a destination of the old road in their classic cars. Route 66 through Tucumcari easily comes to mind. Will it happen here? Is it too late? The Society for Commercial Archeology distinction comes with nothing but attention It's going to take local action to make anything happen: Edmund Saucedo. a Lordsburg native Who returned home after a 35-year hiatus in San Francisco and was saddened to see the downfall of downtown and the rest of Motel Drive, has tried to ignite interest in preser- vation and revitalization. He has, frankly, been frustrated by the re- sponse. In City Hall. there's a new mayor- Frank Rodriguez who says he loves nostalgia, but knows there is little money avail- able for rehabbing an entire street. He hopes some moneybag is out there with an eye for neon and cabin courts, someone who can see all those potential customers zipping by on I-t0. "If somebody came in with the right ideas and some finan- cial backing, that would be great: That would be great for bur city," Rodriguez says. Love, Your Family Dad, Anna, Grandma Suki, ]ames, Rand)', Adri, Josh, Clarissa & Alex on your graduation! We are very proud of you! Love-Morn (Cruz), Jesus, Javier, Isaac, Eli & Linda We are very proud of you! Love-Grandma (Cruz), Mom (Mimi) Jesus, Javier, Isaac, Eli & Linda ,,q ~ "% .,~,~.~r