An intersection in Duran


     Not long ago, a special aired on TV that exposed as hoaxes some of the more popular irrational fears of our time. Bigfoot turned out to be a guy in a suit, Nessie was some dude with scuba gear, crop circles were made with string and boards. But hey - we have to displace our irrational fear somewhere. Why not leave these things alone and let us fret about them if we want to? If this continues, all we'll have left to be irrationally afraid of is falling down an empty elevator shaft or being attacked by killer clowns.


  • COUNTY:  Torrance
  • LOCATION:  15 miles south of Vaughn, at the intersection of NM 3 and US 54
  • POST OFFICE: 1902-present 
  • NAME ORIGIN:  Named for a Blas and Espiridon Duran, who owned a well in the area

       None of this has anything to do with Duran.  I just wanted to mention it.

       So there I was, traveling from Carrizozo to Vaughn, not expecting anything to happen, and suddenly Duran appears. It's not often a town sneaks up on you. If it had been a snake...yadda, yadda. I guess I wasn't looking closely at the map, or my anticipation of reaching Vaughn was so great I wasn't paying attention. But I did reach Duran, and I drove around, and enjoyed it. And I couldn't help thinking, for some reason, of remainders.

       I'm not very good at math, because numbers seem impersonal and even rude. I'm sure when nobody is looking the big numbers pick on the little numbers, and everyone picks on the fractions. Adding is fun, but nobody likes to subtract. Multiplying is Big Man on Campus. And dividing leaves you wanting more. Unless the division isn't equal. Then you have a remainder.

       I always felt sorry for that remainder. There it was, hanging off to the side of the division bracket-thing, unloved, keeping the equation from working out evenly. Sort-of the step child of mathematics. What to do? You can't ignore it. Three won't suddenly guzzinta ten evenly. Too bad you can't wrap remainders up like spare change and make a whole number out of them. Oh, wait a minute -- I guess you can. Like I said, I'm not very good at math.

       So divide Vaughn by Carrizozo and you've got Corona, remainder Duran. Carrizozo got the railroad, Vaughn got the beef. Corona, some say, got the UFO crash. Duran got shafted. Most of the town came and went with the El Paso and Southwestern railroad, leaving behind a cemetery, some abandoned buildings and a really cool intersection (shown above). People still live there, and it's an agreeable place. What a shame this beautiful town has been overlooked.

       Maybe someday all the places that have been ignored will get together and upset the equation. Remainders unite!


(click on the thumbnail image to see a larger picture)

Duran still welcomes the
occasional tourist.