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    Realizing Success in a Dying Town – Out With the Old

    Realizing Success in a Dying Town – Out With the Old

    During a recent visit to the once thriving southwestern town of Tucumcari, New Mexico, located in Quay County on “Historic Route 66,” I wondered how businesses เล่นสล็อต were surviving there during this floundering economy, especially since the town had been sputtering towards failure for more than a decade. The universe answered my mindful inquiry by presenting this example of how one businesswoman was making it, while an elder businessman was not.

    Once named “Six Shooter Siding,” Tucumcari was founded in 1901 as a railroad construction camp. The 2000 census was 11 people short of reporting a population of 6000, but the count has since declined. The town occupies 7.5 square miles. Businesses in Tucumcari that exude a level of success are rare; they are few whose windows aren’t barred or boarded up. The prominent ones are banks like Wells Fargo and Everyone’s Federal Credit Union. (Yes, that is the credit union’s actual name). Set apart, with its clean, almost modern architecture, Mesalands Community College seems as though extraterrestrials had plopped it down one late evening unbeknownst to the local inhabitants. [But I could only logically equate such an event with Roswell, New Mexico, far to the south.]

    On Main Street of Tucumcari’s “downtown,” the only business front that said, “successful” was Pajarito Interiors, owned and operated by Ruth Nelson, an interior decorator who (according to local news articles) earned her degree from the University of Hawaii and moved to New Mexico from Oregon several years ago. Pajarito Interiors’ Santa Fe adobe-style facade was clean, its paint fresh and stucco walls free of cracks. It had obviously been recently redesigned and updated compared to the buildings, up, down and across the street that sat in sad shape, windows boarded from vandal attacks, and having been long abandoned. An emaciated, feathery carcass of some now unidentifiable medium-sized bird-of-prey lay, splayed out in a display window where the raptor had accidentally flown in and failed in its escape. There it remained, in memoriam to its long suffering; for how long was anyone’s guess. The building adjacent to Pajarito Interiors, connected by a shared wall was Sands-Dosey Drugstore. It had burned a year ago. Its partially scorched-black walls remained half standing, reminiscent of a bombed-out structure from a recent war no one had heard about. Its long history destroyed in what must have been a matter of hours.

    Ruth Nelson’s store is stocked with high-end home furnishing and decorator items. The interior walls hold a neutral hue that complements every other color found on unique, seemingly one-of-a-kind tables, sofas, chairs, and objects de arte . The ceiling lights softly light partitions that showcase special furnishings like a fashionably high table with a pair of plush-upholstered, matching chairs. In Tucumcari, with an estimated 80% of its population living on public assistance, it was an immediate mystery as to who among the locals could afford such exquisite items.

    In an interview, Ruth Nelson said she moved to Tucumcari when she found a man with whom she thought she could spend the rest of her life; that being Donald Schutte, an attorney and now former state district judge. (Having been originally appointed by the governor, Schutte had lost last November’s election with his opponent winning nearly 2 votes to 1.) In local news articles, Nelson and Schutte have expressed plans to greatly improve downtown Tucumcari as they have filled key roles in the “Main Street” initiative with its mission to “bring back Tucumcari.” Nelson said her business was doing okay, but there was a time when she was realizing $7,000 to $10,000 in sales per week. That number sounded suspiciously exaggerated so I investigated further to find out the secret of how a businesswoman could be so successful in what appears to be a dying town. The answer came as a surprise.

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