True Gene-ius
Gene Booth, the original "Silver Dollar Cowboy"

Dinosaurs in the Desert
Looking for the real Jurassic Park? Start in New Mexico

Making Mariachi
Deming's innovative school mariachi program

The Magic of Old Mesilla
Discover a getaway right in our own backyard

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Editor's Note
Desert Diary
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Our Readers Write

Movies, politics, Santa and more.


Movie Memories

Enjoyed reading the Jeff Berg article on movies and TV shows referencing or being filmed in New Mexico ("Local Characters," January). A lot of new information many of us may not have been aware of. Thanks.

One of the major omissions, however, was Silverado, the blockbuster Hollywood movie of 1985, filmed at the Eaves Movie Ranch just south of Santa Fe. It starred Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Danny Glover, Kevin Costner, John Cleese and the late Brian Dennehy. I remember the movie vividly, because I had a part as an extra. Extras were paid $50 for a 12-hour day. My son and I worked six days on that movie during the coldest part of that particular winter. I understand I am in the flick for a full one-quarter of a second. Interestingly, even New Mexico Magazine forgot Silverado in a recent issue highlighting the state's film industry.

The other show was a short-lived TV program called "Please Stand By." This 30-minute sitcom ran just 24 episodes, ending in 1979. It told the story of a family from California who quit the hubbub of the big city to move to the fictional town of DeQueen, New Mexico ("population 5,000, if you count the city's prison population"), where they ran America's smallest television station out of their garage. I was particularly fascinated because we lived in Farmington at the time, and Farmington then had America's second-smallest TV station. I could relate to their problems.

John Catsis

Silver City


I enjoyed Jeff Berg's story about movies made or not made here. Made me think of The Tall Texan, filmed on location at City of Rocks State Park. It stared Lloyd Bridges and Lee J. Cobb. Made in 1953 shortly after the park became official. Locals hired on as workers and held a BBQ for stars and staff. I saw the film a few years ago. Not the best work, but fun to watch because of the location. My wife and I are volunteers in our fourth winter at the park. Often as I walk among the rocks I envision the actors having a shoot-out. Thanks for a great paper.

Tim Davis

via email


Editor's note: Thanks for the movie and TV memories. Jeff's story wasn't meant to be comprehensive, but rather to focus on some of the fictional characters from New Mexico. These additions help flesh out that fictional roster!


Much obliged to Jeff Berg's fine piece on New Mexico film and TV. I disagreed with my good friend Jeff when he said none of these western characters was real. Gary Cooper's character in High Noon and John Wayne's character Hondo along with the Lone Ranger, Zorro and the Cisco Kid were flesh-and-blood pals and pards to me — a little buckaroo born in 1952. These hombres were straight-shootin', rootin-tootin' icons who rode the Cowboy Way, tall in the saddle, from sun-up to sundown. To me and countless other Baby Boomers, these good guys in white hats represented truth, justice and the American way. Anyone who'd say these characters weren't real in the 1950s would be un-American.

It was these heroes who brought me out West in the mid-60s; at the time, I thought the good guys and bad guys were still trading bullets at high noon and that there were still cowboys and Indians here! Fifty years later, I'm still a cowboy in New Mexico, but I reckon I don't shoot as straight or mosey as fast. Happy trails!

Paul Hoylen, Jr.





Sinking Bipartisanship

I don't think the GOP will ever meet the Democrats halfway no matter how close the Democrats move towards meeting the GOP ("Beyond Politics," Editor's Notebook, December). The GOP is more afraid of the Tea Party and NRA than the Democrats. If the GOP would just vote for what would be in the best interest of our country and find common ground with the Democrats, we could move forward in a meaningful way. It's time for the GOP to break from their bondage and think for themselves.

Jackie Blurton

Silver City




Holiday Revelations

I still believe in the presence of Santa, so I enjoyed your piece ("The Most Real Things in the World," Continental Divide, December). It's a timeless letter and should be required reading for all fathers.

Now as far as Larry Lightner's piece (Rambling Outdoors, December) — he has just discovered that Silver City has a gas problem? My goodness, he needs to get out more.

Mike Moutoux

Pinos Altos


Editor's note: Actually, we know from hearing him gripe about Silver City's high gas prices many times that Larry is well aware of the problem. It's just that he was finally moved to write about it.



Great Pick

I just want to thank you for publishing such a beautiful and detailed article about our 5967 Traders ("New Mexican Pickers," December). Author Karen Ray performed an awesome job on the article and I hope you publish more from her. She's definitely dedicated to true journalism. Having her spend countless hours and days with us in our shop was a great pleasure. Karen's company on our recent picking trip was an exciting adventure and I truly doubt I would have invited just anyone to witness "certain" transactions, but felt 100% comfortable with her presence and she is always welcome to tag along. I am honored to have been chosen for such a great article.

Gary Warren

5967 Traders, LLC.





Let us hear from you! Write Desert Exposure Letters, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, or email letters@desertexposure.com. Letters are subject to editing for style and length (maximum 500 words, please), and must be in response to content that has appeared in our pages. Deadline for the next issue is the 18th of the month.



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