No place gets old when you can keep discovering things about it. They don’t have to be NEW things, just new to you.
Here Are Just 3 of the Things I Learned This Spring about the beautiful Southwest.
1. The Owl Cafe & Bar in San Antonio Does Serve the Best Green Chile Cheeseburger in New Mexico
At least, the tastiest green chile cheeseburger I’ve tasted so far.
The server sets in on the table in front of you without ceremony. But this burger doesn’t need any. It’s a great plump thing with layers of lettuce, onion, tomato, cheese, chile, and grilled burger peeking out at you calling, Come and get it!
I considered ~ just for a moment ~ using a knife and fork. This could get messy.
But then I thought, messy, shmessy. With some sandwiches, you’ve got to get your hands around them and go for it. The Owl Cafe green chile cheeseburger is one of those.
Here’s a shot of this taste of New Mexico, one of the state’s best since 1948.
2. Texas Frontiersman Britton “Britt” Johnson Was an Even Bigger Hero Than I Thought
I first learned about this frontiersman’s role in history as a courageous family man and freight hauling professional when I visited Frontier Texas in Abilene. There we learned a band of Kiowa had killed him in 1871.
The bloodiness of that death, they say, was payback for what Britt had done a couple of years before.
And just what unforgivable thing had Johnson done?
Well, after hundreds of Comanche and Kiowa raided the settlers at Elm Creek, Texas in 1864, and captured six people, including Britt Johnson’s wife and two daughters,
Johnson had the audacity to try to get them back.
And get them back is exactly what he did. Not only his own family members but all but one of the other people captured in that raid as well.
Now, fast forward to 1956 Hollywood, where movie makers had learned about an earlier joint Comanche-Kiowa raid: the Fort Parker Massacre of 1836 in which five women and children were taken.
Interesting plot material, they thought.
And so they filmed “The Searchers,” casting John Wayne in the lead, as the head of a group searching for his captured niece (played by Natalie Wood.)
The movie earned big bucks and great critical acclaim, including recognition as “the greatest Western film” ever.
But consider this: The Searchers’ hero went with a GROUP of men in pursuit of a SINGLE captive ~
~ while Britt Johnson, a party of ONE with mad tracking and negotiating skills, rescued MULTIPLE captives. And he did it as a Black man in Confederate Texas while the Civil War was still raging on.
As if the man didn’t already have enough to think about.
The point is a movie about his exploits could have a real shot in today’s Hollywood.
They could call it, “The Searcher.”
And maybe Idris Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor, or even Will Smith could play Johnson, who was about 48 when he died. So . . . what do you think?
3. A Good Name Dies Hard
At the Three Rivers Petroglyphs Site, we saw all kinds of petroglyphs but no rivers. Not even a creek.
So I asked, Why do they call it Three Rivers Petroglyphs Site?
Once upon a time, the recreational host told us, there were three decent sized rivers but they have long since dried up.
Yet one thing still going strong on Three Rivers Road is the Union Pacific railroad line.
The nation’s largest railroad, founded over 100 years ago in 1862, still hauls freight through New Mexico, exiting the state through the Texas Panhandle at one end and El Paso at the other.