IS THIS HEAVEN?  taken from Lofty Lines - Volume 7, Issue 2

   No, it’s just little old Weed, New Mexico, one of the few corners left on earth where the Lord is welcome to hang his hat and warm his heart. The more I see of Weed the more I hope that it is not unique. There isn’t much of it, we counted about 20 in the downtown area, 30 some if you count from the highway, and all the way up to 120 if you go by the patrons of the local post office. The “Weed Mall” consists of the café, one corner of which houses the post office, and Bear Mountain Realty, sometimes open, sometimes not. Up the road a piece, operated from her home, our realtor, Betty Davison, has Mountain Dove Realty, her red, dove graced signs planted about the yard like a bright poppy patch. Across the street from the “mall”, the former home of the ferocious Weed Bulldogs, the basketball teams that made sure the rest of the state was aware of Weed’s existence. Year after year their girl’s team made the lives of other contenders miserable, year after year they went to the state finals only to be beaten at the very end, not by talent but because, many times, it took every girl in the school to make up the team and each girl had to play the entire game. The boys didn’t do bad either, they played with heart and courage, if not finesse and aplomb. Terry wasn’t best know for the points that he scored but for the slap, plop, of his feet as he chased after the player he was guarding. It is told that the player in question had to slow down and turn around to see “WHAT” was after him. Teammate Gary Stone is still considered a hero for playing wounded when he banged his head and it commenced to bleeding. He tied a kerchief around it and kept on playing, the red stain his “badge of courage.” Those were the days! The school is closed now, children are bused 27 miles to Cloudcroft, but the memories linger on and the Bulldogs are not forgotten! The “new” school building has been quiet these last several years but the “old gym is still used for youth basketball and community events. It’s a hard heart that isn’t saddened at the loss of the community oriented school but there is a word for it, “progress.” By the old gym is the downtown headquarters for our town “constable”, a loping, lop eared personage who knows every inch of Weed township and what’s going on in each inch. Only a scratch behind the ears or a pat on the head can keep the Goss family bloodhound from his appointed rounds. We are across the street from the Goss ranch, the school, and the café. It’s the intersection where Wild meets Weed, right smack dab in the center of town. One of the things that makes Weed so special is that it is anchored by places of worship. The Baptist Church is between the “mall” and Mountain Dove, the Weed House of Prayer is located on the Goss ranch, and, on a lovely hillock at the end of our street is the redwood log building that houses the Church of Christ. In every one of these places people are praying for this community, praying that, as it is “discovered” and as others are moving in, they will be godly men and women who will respect what has been established here.

   What has been established? One of the most caring, community minded, God fearing, little towns on the map. Who lives here? Complicated, intelligent people who face the same triumphs and dilemmas that you do but are unwilling to succumb to the hyper paced rat race, people who eschew city traffic and convenience for love and respect for the land, people who want to breathe free and live independently. Weed, New Mexico, is a place where the deer, elk, and wild turkey roam, where discouraging words are far fewer than open praise to our Lord, where people can lean on their neighbor in times of trouble and will be there to be leaned on when others are troubled.

   So here we are, in the middle of almost nowhere, 50 miles from the nearest supermarket with a café across the street and great neighbors. It doesn’t get any better than that, right. Wrong. One sunny day what should appear, the BOOKMOBILE! Right here on the Wild/Weed corner! The library coming to me!!! Now that’s getting pretty close to heaven. I just had to check out some books, especially since they can be turned in to the post office if we leave before the next scheduled stop. That isn’t all! Saturday nights in Weed are something to be envied. Some of the best talent we’ve ever heard gathers at the Weed Café and the playing and singing begins. Fiddles, guitars, harmonicas, and Pastor Don Brown on the drums, it don’t git no better than this. We have been to big name country shows that charge more and perform no better. The owners of the café wish first and foremost to honor the Lord in whom they believe, alcohol and irreverent behavior aren’t welcome but anyone just wanting to come and enjoy, whether they can afford the dinner or just want to listen to the music, is invited to come on in. The café is owned by the postmaster but our basketball hero, Gary Stone, did this community a great service when he went to Gilbert, Arizona and brought home as his bride the always smiling, with a constant prayer in her heart, Deborah Kay (AKA Debbie), manager of the heart of Wee, the Weed Café. It doesn’t matter who you are, she cares, it doesn’t matter how cloudy the day, she’s smiling, it doesn’t matter if you have the money for a cup of coffee or just need a drink of water, she’s glad you came. I’d mention that she’s as pretty as a daisy in the rain except that ALL of the ladies in Weed are pretty, can cook, clean, sew, nurse sick calves, cut cattle, and mend fence. It would be absolutely, disgustingly, disheartening if they weren’t also totally unpretentious and unaware of just how special they are. Weed is blessed with so many special people. Shirley Akers who runs the post office and works to keep the community God centered, her husband, Noel, an “old cowhand” who’s love of his Lord shows from the top of his black cowboy hat to the pointed toes of his cowboy boots, the Bells who live on the ranch his family has owned since 1899, she taught in Weed and Cloudcroft, he works on the town water system even if it doesn’t include his ranch, Floyd, who can play the harmonica like my Grampa Stafford did, CW up on the highway who keeps his little gas station/store stocked with what a body needs ‘tween town trips but doesn’t like the prices, Bob and Donna, crafters who held decision making positions in the shuttle and stealth bomber development and production, the Methodist Assembly people in nearby Sacramento who opened their gift shop just so that I could finish my Christmas shopping, Pat Scott who loaded her horse trailer in the Texas heat and drove until she felt “cool” thereby ending up in Weed, Jimmy Goss who gave me a gallon of milk straight from the cow that tasted as good as I remembered from my childhood, the Wards, Tom saved Christmas when he saw Terry digging 3 feet of snow from the drive, came over with his tractor, made short work of it, then drove off before he could even be thanked, Cordelia, who, at 98 years old, gets in her Buick and drives to Arizona when the notion strikes. I could go on and on and on but I won’t except to mention our part-timers, Red and Carrie, owners of the OLEO RANCH, “the cheaper spread”, and the friendly rang cows who hang about our side yard at night ensuring that we watch where we step the next morning. I am so taken by this town and its people that it’s hard to find a stopping place but stop I must or you’ll be paying extra postage. I do hope that you’ve enjoyed your visit to our little town and, if you’re ever in the neighborhood, will give us a call and stop by.