Friday, May 17, 2013

Roswell, New Mexico

While we were in Southeast New Mexico I thought it would be fun to go to Roswell for a couple of reasons. First was to check out the UFOs and Aliens which probably never existed and the second to look for a WWII German POW camp which definitely did exist.

Roswell was not what I expected at all. I figured it to be kind of a one-horse town with lots of UFO/Alien stuff. It is actually a fairly large town/small city with very little UFO stuff. The one place that I had found online was closed when we first passed by so we went on through town, hit the local Sam's Club for K-Cups and then passing back through town the Alien Zone at the Cosmic Jukebox was open. No military discount here - $3 each to get in. Old, run down, dirty, campy and a little fun - we got to meet some aliens but after so many years they have been given amnesty and are no longer illegal.

I think you can see from this picture that
the Alien Zone could use some
sprucing up.
They are friendly

Lousy Bartender

Someone should be minding
their own "business"

Which one is the Illegal Alien?
Monte has not been quite the same since
we went to Roswell...
By the way - Area 51 is in Nevada - not New Mexico and as far as I can tell - there is no real connection between the two - I don't think Area 51 even existed at the time of the supposed UFO/Alien incident in Roswell in 1947.

Now - for the POW camp.
Within a couple of weeks after he graduated high school in Harrah, OK, Shelley's dad found himself in Roswell guarding German POWs, many of them from Rommel's Afrika Korps. There were about 4,000 prisoners housed at Orchard Park POW Camp (officially Roswell Prisoner of War Internment Camp)13 miles south of Roswell. The prisoners were used for some public works projects but as the farmers of New Mexico were desperate for field hands the POWs were also sent to work at various farms in the area, mostly picking cotton. And that is where Shelley's dad comes in to the picture. A good family friend of his parents was going to be the foreman at one of the farms where POW labor was to be employed and he needed experienced farm workers to supervise the POWs. Dad was young but had picked more than his share of cotton during his life. His main job was weighing the cotton sacks as they were brought in and making the POWs remove the rocks from the sacks that they had put in to up the sack weight.

We did find Orchard Park Rd - or rather Monte found it. But we could find no evidence of the camp. Much Googling indicates that nothing is left of the camp to find - not even a historical marker.

Final review - Roswell is not out of this world. Don't bother.



~Cheryl said...

Dorky Fun - glad you braved it. I think it's still pretty cool that you at least found the POW-ish road. We have a photo of your dad there, right?

Paul Viscovich said...

Commentary, photography and captions entertaining as always! Was that alien helping Monte a doctor or a dentist?

Paul Viscovich said...

Commentary, photography and captions entertaining as always! Was that alien helping Monte a doctor or a dentist?

Paul Viscovich said...

Never say it once if you can say it twice.

Shelley and Monte said...

Paul - a proctologist!!

Shelley and Monte said...

Paul - on the other issue. I think this is the first time I remember you repeating yourself. You always made yourself perfectly clear the first time!