Water Tower at Roy


"The least movement is of importance. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble."
- Blaise Pascal

     My first car was a Pinto, and say what you will, it was a pretty decent little car. When it ran, that is. Often it didn't run, but I realize now that my little Pinto kept breaking down because it was trying to teach me a lesson - one I wouldn't really understand until fifteen years later, while eating lunch at a diner in Roy, New Mexico.


  • COUNTY:  Harding
  • LOCATION:  At the intersections of NM 39 and 120
  • POST OFFICE:  1901-present
  • NAME ORIGIN:  Named for Frank Roy, who established the post office
  • GNIS Info & Map

     To ensure that the seeds of this new knowledge were adequately sown, my Pinto broke down every chance it got. That gave me plenty of opportunities to visit with the mechanic. He explained that most of my car's problems had to do with the flywheel. A few of the teeth around the edge kept breaking off, so nothing could "catch" (don't expect a lesson in automotive engineering here) and the car wouldn't start. It didn't matter how much gas was in the tank, or oil in the engine, or air in the tires. At that moment, the flywheel was the most important piece of equipment, and if its sprockets were broken, the car wouldn't go.

     Fifteen years later, over a sloppy joe and Cherry Coke at Roy's Sundries in Roy, my Pinto came to mind again. As I tried to keep the "sloppy" part of the Joe from falling on my shirt, I began to think that maybe life doesn't so much have a purpose as it does a pattern. Every person is an integral part of that pattern, their relationship to the whole small but mission-critical. We're all teeth on the flywheel that spins the world.

     If people are the teeth, then towns are the gears. That means even little Roy, stuck off to the side of the state, is essential - even vital - to the rest of the engine. Roy is a gear. Without Roy, the other gears won't turn. No gears, no ignition. No ignition... well, you get the picture. Roy, then, is the glue holding everything together. If Roy was to disappear somehow, the entire universe would go kaput.

     I hope this is good news for Roy, because it looked like it could use some. Roy had "Dust Bowl" written all over it. There's hope. The store sells I LOVE ROY T-Shirts (I do, though I didn't buy one - but only so I'd have an excuse to go back).  The diner where I ate proudly displayed the Roy Little League's recent successes on a poster on the wall. But, overall, I didn't get that "We're doing fine over here, thank you" feeling I expected.

     Hang in there, Roy - you have a lot going for you. Remember, you hold the world together. You can afford to have a little attitude. 


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

photo by Art Pike

Lunch time in Roy.