When my Press came yesterday, I found that, again my story was too slow in reaching its destination. I am hoping that I may tack on some more information this week. For I have told you nothing of Las Cruces - except the beautiful Organ Mountains, which rise, like a fluted wall, to guard the city on the east. There is another wall in Las Cruces - an invisible wall - that divides the city against itself. That is the wall of racial prejudice. If my memory serves me right, the population of over 8000 is divided fairly evenly between Mexicans and "Anglos," as the pure whites are called. Most of the Anglos have come there for their health, at some time or other. Many of them are a superior type, intellectually. And they know it. Their snobbishness toward the Mexicans is a thorn in the flesh of my friend, Stella. An infuriating thorn, that goads her to a real crusade against such discrimination. When Stella's boys started to school, they were met with the dictum from the Anglo boys and girls, "You must choose between the Mexicans and us." Joe, fifteen, a handsome could-be heart-breaker, inherits his mother's flaming sense of justice and independent spirit. He quite magnificently chose the Mexicans, because he saw that they were good, that they loved God, that they were, in short, just as good as the anglos. And, besides, they, in the true humility, need a champion. I can see that Joe is loved and respected by both Anglos and Mexicans. So is Jackie.
We know how the great leader, Joshua, led his army around Jericho for seven days - once each day - except the last, when they marched around seven times. Then they gave a mighty shout, and the walls fell. I have faith that Stella and her converts (for she is a born leader) will some day shout down the wall of Prejudice in Las Cruces. The people of New Mexico are sold on their state. They call it the "land of Enchantment." A little folder, extolling the virtues of Las Cruces says, "Over 80% sunshine. The finest climate in the world." And the inhabitants seem to agree with that statement. Whoever planned that city has great faith in its future. The postoffice, for instance, built 15 years ago, is still large enough to accommodate two or three, or maybe five thousand more than the present population. The County Court House (Dona Ann County) is beautiful - and is typical of Spanish architecture - reinforced concrete, finished in white cement. and their buildings stay white. Las Cruces has the most charming "motels," or motor hotels that I saw anywhere. The West abounds in these little motels, which accommodate both the family and their motor car. In Las Cruces a whole colony of these little stucco cabins (garage built-in),
snow-white, with red trim, beautifully landscaped, form a semi-circle - or at least curve enough to make the whole layout most inviting. "Go west, young man!" - if you can stop for rest at a motel like that. Good-bye until next week,
Florence B. Taylor
Next - 6/8/44 - "Liberty Heights." Virgil Jr's Graduation
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