St. Anthony's Church in Hanover, with mine behind

HANOVER

     Large trucks run up and down the road through Hanover, as rhythmically as a heartbeat, carrying their mineral cargo through the center of this scarred little town. At times, you might imagine they're actually running over the town, not through it.

QUICK STATS

  • COUNTY:  Grant
  • LOCATION:  14 miles east of Silver City
  • NAME ORIGIN:  Named by an early German prospector for Hanover, Germany

    A truck goes by.

    The road through Hanover slices straight through town, leaving battered buildings, railroad tracks and old dead trees in its wake. Seen from above, the road must look like a scar on the chest of an open-heart surgery patient.

    Another truck goes by.

    The Hanover post office is housed in a large pink building that seems to belong more to southern Florida than southwestern New Mexico. It's huge, considering the limited population in Hanover. No bother. Mail is the heart of a small town. They deserve a post office this size.

    Another truck goes by.

    I remember my seventh-grade history teacher telling us about the great plague. Infected people often cried for more milk, as milk was the only thing that soothed their parched throats. But much of the milk was tainted, and drinking it only brought them closer to death. Eventually, their hearts stopped. The very thing they thought was helping them was killing them.

    Another truck goes by.

    Hanover began as a mining town and continues as one today. Evidence of that is everywhere - from the operations behind St. Anthony's Church to the trucks to the railroad cars. Much of the earth around and in Hanover has been torn apart by these operations. Parts of it can break your heart. Hanover looks at times like there ought to be a "g" after the n.

    Another truck goes by.

    Past the post office, past the wooden building with the great false front, past the old stucco buildings covered with weeds, to my left, on a rise, is a trailer. A young man -- dark hair and features, blue jeans -- and a woman -- pink shorts although it's December, long hair -- stand in the front yard and watch me. They remind me briefly of the farmer and daughter in "American Gothic," though they are probably married. Their glare is not welcoming, although I suspect if I were to break down or need some other kind of assistance, they would offer help. Right now, though, I'm an invader, unable to connect with their world. Still, their one-way message is clear:  It doesn't matter what I think. This is their home.

    Another truck goes by, and I'm reminded once again that home is where the heart is.

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS

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