Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

I prefer slow pace of New Mexico


September 5, 2018

I visited my old home state of California, more specifically the Los Angeles area, last week. Here are some of the things I learned:

• The Los Angeles area is enjoying a pleasant late summer. It’s cooler and drier than eastern New Mexico.

• The crowded freeways can choke to a halt any time of the day. People drive big cars and SUVs on the freeways and they go way too fast.

• There were two terrible accidents on the freeways. One involved an illegal street race. Three persons died in that crash. Another, which killed two people, involved a semi-trailer truck colliding with a car under circumstances eerily similar to those surrounding the semi and Greyhound bus crash near Thoreau on Interstate 40.

• Tucumcari’s 8.6 percent gross receipts tax is surpassed by the 9-plus percent sales taxes that apply all over the Los Angeles area.

• I learned that more and more Californians are retiring to New Mexico to enjoy our low cost of living and slower pace.

• A former Los Angeles deputy mayor, Linda Griego, was born and raised in Tucumcari.

• We found a kitten on a bush and learned that animal welfare volunteers, even in very urbanized areas, are great folks to work with.

• I went to a hastily organized reunion of people I used to work with. Many of us hadn’t seen each other for 10 to 15 years. We mainly learned that we had all gotten older. Most of us, including me, had survived corporate layoffs and found that life outside the corporate sphere can be fun and interesting, and can lead to satisfaction in places like Tucumcari.

• Gas is about a dollar more expensive in California than it is in eastern New Mexico.

• Life in general is much more expensive in California than it is in eastern New Mexico.

• California doesn’t have green chili roasters on street corners in the height of green chile season. They don’t know what they’re missing.

• Phoenix interstate highways are a terrible place to spend three hours. An accident and rush hour in Phoenix kept us at a near standstill for three hours.

• California seems to run non-stop. I prefer eastern New Mexico’s pattern of daytime activity that slows way down after dark.

Steve Hansen writes about our life and times from his perspective of a retired Tucumcari journalist. Contact him at:

[email protected]


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