As I drove around the town, I got the
feeling that Winston was truly a friendly oasis in the Black Range mountains.
They want you to know it right away too: when you drive into town, you're
greeted by a big Welcome to Winston sign. One house proudly displayed the
flags of the U.S. and New Mexico. A man waved at me and smiled even after
I ran over his garden hose (oops). I left Winston regretting that
I didn't have more time to spend there.
It wasn't until later that evening, when I
sat down to read the history of the town, that I realized what was going
on. Frank H. Winston, originally from Wisconsin, settled in what was then
called Fairview in 1886. He established the store shortly thereafter. Mr.
Winston became a state legislator and also raised cattle and did some mining.
His prosperity enabled him to be generous with the credit he gave at his
store, even when the possibility of being repaid was slight. After his
death in 1929, the town changed its name from Fairview to Winston to honor
Is it possible the goodwill exhibited in a
place could "stick" to that place, like a cosmic yellow-sticky?
We hear about cold and clammy feelings surrounding places where something
terrible has happened. What about the reverse? Could Mr. Winston's benevolent
arms still be wrapped protectively around the town, even from the great
Mr. Winston, if you're out there, thanks for
everything. And sorry about the garden hose.