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How Eunice Really Got Its Name
 
It was in the fall of l837 when my wife and I and the two young'uns decided to leave the Santa Fe trail east of Ft Union and head south. You see, we had just bought a new buckboard RV with two-mule hitch, so we figured on doing some exploring in this land called Mexico. Being a woman, she let me know right away this was a risky decision to part from the main trail. "There's no telling what we might find, with the kids and all. This could be dangerous for everybody. There could be indians(native Americans), ferocious animals, desperados, bandits, snakes, ya-da, ya-da, ya-da". Her whining made my testosterone kick in, so I gave the mules a "Yah-ha" and we went into overdrive. Two weeks later we spotted the Rio Pecos at a new outpost called Ft. Sumner. Here we watered everything, took a bath in the cool river waters and made camp near the gift shop and museum. It was delightful. Her whining subsided as we spent a couple of days enjoying our new RV buckboard, shopping for cheap imitation Indian jewelry and just kicking back. It just doesn't get much better that this....(...or does it?)
 
BEVERLY HARVEY 1967:  Oh goodie! Another story. Come on kiddies gather around Glenn's feet for another story time.

ANN BERTRAND 1954: Yee-Haw, It's gonna be a goodie for sure ! I feel it in my bones.
 
Late one afternoon we watched a young man approaching on horse back. He was packing a rifle and a pistol in his belt. "Evening stranger. Looks like you could use some vittles. Come join our camp fire and sit a spell while we prepare to eat." He quickly spotted a couple of Blue Quail (just flown over from Hobbs and the Chevron commercial). As fast as I could say "shoot em" he leveled the rifle and dropped them. "Pretty good shootin I recon."He was a quiet young man named William. Looked like a kid. But, he handled his white napkin and eatin tools like a well-bred Easterner. "You from these parts"? "No, Lincoln County". We all sat in silence around a glowing campfire and a harvest moon. "We're on vacation", I offered. "Got this new RV backboard, so we're just sightseeing our way around this part of the country"."Head southeast", he replied....

LYNDA RAGAN 1960:  Ohhhhh I just love these stories about RVs. Come on Glenn tell us more.
 
We finished our dinner of quail and Big Mouth Billy Bass freshly caught from Rio Pecos. The missus began the after-dinner cleaning up. I could hear her under her breath, "Head Southeast. From these parts. William, huh?Hungry, huh? Vacation, hell! Maybe for you. RV living, (bitch, bitch, bitch)..." The young'ns took a shine to William and called him Billy. He produced a mouth harp from his wescott and played a moanful tune in a tango rhythm. He looked almost like the kids they were.Smokey campfire...embers dying...moon rising...coyotes howling...crickets doing their song--then sleep. The last thing I remember was watching meteorites skid across the wide New Mexico sky in a shower of profusion. (Quiet)

ANN BERTRAND 1954:  William, hmmmmmmmmmm?? This is beginning to shape up into a very interesting story ! I love it !
 
(Dawn) Sunrise broke across the Ft. Sumner sky. A cacophony of crows announced daybreak. Our family yawned, stretched and looked around. No William. He's gone! Only fresh horse tracks revealed his exit. We broke camp beside Rio Pecos, loaded the buckboard RVwagon, and prepared to travel to the southeast. As we left the RV campground a passerby wearing a sheriff's badge inquired if we had seen a "William". It seems he was a wanted man. Two days later we made it to Portales Springs and fresh water, then Milnsand and finally an outpost called Monument. Here we saw native Americans playing LaCrosse and wearing team jerseys saying Monument Indians. They had erected a concrete marker to themselves. Seemed somehow out of character...
 
ANN BERTRAND 1954:  Don't know why but the places in your story sound so familiar !!!!!!
ROTFLOLWTIME
 
LYNDA RAGAN 1960:   Are we talking a famous Indian here?? If so I think I know the hut errr place...
 
ANN BERTRAND 1954:  Lynda, You wouldn't be talking about Geronimo would you???????? LOL

LYNDA RAGAN 1960:  Well now, I guess I'm not the only one that knows where that place is located...ROTFL.....Ohhhhhh the fun we use to have out there!
 
While on our short stay at Monument Springs we came upon a wrinkled old man who called himself Geronimo the Gerontologist. He was a geophysicist of the Monument tribe and loved to study geotechnology. "Got something big to show White Eyes," he said. He produced a handful of black, gooey, slick, oily, greasy, ugly, smelly, awful stuff for our inspection. He put some on his hair and combed it. (Not much of a market, I thought, since he only had a couple of hairs left) "Where did you find this ", I asked. He pointed southeast and said some native American words: ("Many moons come walking.") "Oh, just on that small hill over there? The one with the water tower with no name on it?" "Ugh!", he replied. (Funny to see a single water tower in the desert with no town.)(stay tuned)
 
Geronimo had a tic in his voice. He always finished each statement with "hut". Funny, I thought, seemed awfully early in the century. Aw, well. We took a handful of his mystery product and loaded up the hitch and buckboard to head out toward the silver water tower with no name. Then she started up again: "Had to leave the Santa Fe Trail to go exploring...couldn't let me just have one day in Santa Fe to shop...had to take us southeast to this God forsaken sand dune...dinner with a desperado...ya-da, ya-da, ya-da." I wanted to say "shut-up woman", but my better judgement was interrupted just then by a problem with the wagon. It seems one of the wooden spoked wheels with a steel band was separating--and they were Tirestones! Curses!!! That RV buckboard dealer gave me a 3 year/30,000 mile warranty! We limped along and then another problem. A wheel bearing began to smoke and squeal...sure sign it needed tending. Finally we arrived about 4 miles west of the big silver water tower to a beautiful little Loch. The kids even had a successful fishing effort and came back to camp with a Big Mouth Larry Lobster. He's the new singing sensationthat displaced Big Mouth Bill Bass, and he was delicious.But that didn't stop the missus from her tirade. I hoped it had just been, well, you know, temporary. But NO, she harped and complained incessantly about life on the road in an RV. I was finally getting my head of steam also.
 
BEVERLY HARVEY 1967:  And then?

LYNDA RAGAN 1960:  Ditto !!
 
and then the kids kicked in. "Are we there yet, daddy?""How long will it be?" Here we are in Sand Dune City, with tread separation, squeaking wheel, squealing rug rats, and Sally Struther's sister, and all hell's broken loose!It was hot, I was Hot, everybody was HOT! That water tower was lookin good.Finally we make it to the hill with the water tower with no name, an oasis at last. It stood alone in the streets with no houses, only surrounded by palm trees filled with a few red birds. Water! Water! Everybody drink.I started to tend to the squawking wheel axle and decided to put some of Geronimo's elixir on the shaft. After all this is where he found the magic fountain of it. Maybe it would do the trick....
 
Everybody stayed on the RV buckboard while I jacked it up and removed the squeaking wheel to inspect the axle. Then it occured to me to try some of Geronimo's black paste on the bearing. As it applied the goop she started up the whining again. That did it! I stood up and yelled at her to the top of my voice: "For God's sake Eunice!!!!"We hooked up the RV wagon at the local hook up facility. The next morning I climbed to the top of the water tower with no name and used the rest of the black goo to spell out E-U-N-I-C-E. She smiled at last and seemed pleased. (Any resemblence to persons living or dead, detrimental references to any ethnic group/s, derogatory inferences to anyone, aspersions cast on outlaw renegades, city governments, political action groups, residents of named cities, or anyone else on earth, are purely coincidental)
 
ANN BERTRAND 1954: Glenn, The last statement in your story neatly covered all bases I beleive ! LOL
 
A FOOTNOTE RE THE GERONIMO HUT Saturday nights was big at Monuments Geronimo Hut when it was in its heyday. That's the first place I ever played in a band for dancers. My salary was whatever was in the "kitty" at the end of the night. Often 50 cents.I gathered some real musical experience there and saw some sights. I was the only kid (about l7) and sat next to a blind saxaphone player from Hobbs who had a braille wristwatch. He was very good. When we weren't playing he asked me to tell him what the women looked like. Even at that young age I thought it necessary to tell some Tall Ones, so I always embellished the descriptions so they all looked like glamour girls from Hollywood. He was impressed! I figured no harm done. The truth is many of them were as tough looking as could be, had tatoos on each arm,and danced with each other. That was a common practice if they were short of men.The piano player was the leader and played in the keys of C, G, A, Eb,--mostly string pickers keys. I learned how to play in those keys which helped me tremendously.During the break we went into the parking lot to watch the fights, which never failed. I always said the GH had the Olympic Knife Fight Finals every Saturday night.
  
ANN BERTRAND 1954:  I think I can honestly say the Geronimo Hut was an exciting place to go on Sat night....I tripped 'the light fantastic' a few times myself out there. But there were some rough looking people sometimes and the fights were fun to watch ! LOL
 
LYNDA RAGAN 1960:  I don't know how I missed all the fights as I was at Geromino Hut on several occasions. Just lucky I guess!! AND Glenn I have NO tattoos! LOL
 
LOL! The "chicks" with the tats were those delicate little two-ton Tessies with fat arms where they could show off their butterfly designs. One night I had a brand new horn, purchased over time and a lot of work, and cherished it greatly. A couple came up and reqested we play a tune and turned to walk away. Half way across the dance floor I heard the woman say; "You should have tipped them." He took a 50 cent piece and hurled it across the floor and hit my new Olds trumpet right on the bell! I almost cried. It left a mark alwaysreminding me of the incident. Classy people! Now you know why many bands played behind chicken wire.
 
LYNDA RAGAN 1960:   Glenn, There are just some people with absolutely NO CLASS!! Since he made the ding in the horn I think I would have finished the job and crowned him with it!!! I sure hope his request was not played but if it was a waltz one could have changed the tempo and had him doing a fox trot..There are many ways to handle a JERK !! Vindictive? ME? NOOOOOO ROTFLLLL
 
That was an early incident in a life time of playing and dealing with people like him. I've seen some of the funniest things happen at dances, mostly due to over-imbibing guests. Among them: A fight between little league coaches and parents at the end of the season; a lady who wanted to strip on the bandstand; a newly wed bride with diarrhea and honeymooning in Mexico. And guests don't realize how much fun musicians have watching them.
 
LYNDA RAGAN 1960:  My husband is also a musician so I too have seen what kind of strange things that people can do when they've had a bit too much of the grape..I have to admit I do enjoy sitting back and watching. There are sights that one would not see anywhere else..But when the fist start flying I'm the first one out the door or under the table...LOL
 
I'm sorry I didn't have a chance to visit with your husband in Eunice. We could have compared notes on funny gigs. I could have told him about the New Year's Eve when somebody launched a handful of buckshot on the dance floor and it suddenly became a skating rink! lol.
 
 LYNDA RAGAN 1960:  Glenn, You and Deanie ( my husband) could keep the rest of us in stitches telling us tales. I think one of the funniest incidents that happened at a dance we were at was a woman on the dance floor doing a fast jitter-bug. When her partner twirled her around her hair came flying off ( a wig of course)and what natural hair she had was totally plastered to her head. I don't think she missed a beat plopping it back on although it certainly was not straight. The rest of us were rolling in the floor with laughter. She came off the dance floor with her head, wig and all,held high and a big smile on her face. The Lady had class!

Now that's funny!