Last updated on Friday, February 21, 2003
What vision comes to mind when you hear the name Pancho Villa? Bandit, hero, valiant leader, ruthless tyrant? All of those names have been associated with him. He was not an easy man to define; it would depend on when you met him during his career. Here in Columbus, New Mexico, the same holds true. Some of our citizens have been told by their older relatives that he was a defender of the people. Others say he killed many of his countrymen in their villages.
From the Ringo Kid's girlfriend Claire in Stagecoach, through Miss Kitty in television's Gunsmoke, to the waif-like Diane Lane in Lonesome Dove the prostitute has been among the more enduring images of the literary and cinematic West. She was called "soiled dove", "shady lady", "fallen woman,” "lost sister", "saloon belle", and a host of other appellations. She was quite simply the ubiquitous whore, and her portrait has been painted on many different canvases and in a generous and imaginative assortment of colors.
With a fascinating history, a 24-hour border crossing, a varied and unique geology, a New Mexico State Park, a museum, and a mild winter climate, Columbus is a New Mexican village which attracts visitors from the U.S., Asia, and Europe year after year.
Columbus has had an unusual and colorful history. The village was first established in 1891, just across the border from Palomas, Chih., Mexico. In 1902, when the El Paso/Santa Fe Railroad Line, connecting El Paso to the West, opened its Columbus station, the residents moved themselves and their village three miles north to the present location.
It's no secret why we call New Mexico the Land of Enchantment. Our state
possesses some of the nation's most beautiful natural wonders, including
Carlsbad Caverns, Taos' Moreno Valley and
White Sands National Monument.
Having grown up in Silver City at the doorstep of the
Gila National Forest, I have always felt very lucky to have
come from such a special place. During my time as a Senator, I've worked to help
promote New Mexico and its splendor as a tourist destination - because it's
important to our people, our economy and also our sense of pride in our home
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