My turn: Century brought many changes to state

At 1:35 p.m. on Friday, our fair state officially becomes 100 years old.

Although Pat Thatcher swears I did not pay attention during her seventh-grade New Mexico history class at Dora School, I vividly remember noting that our statehood centennial would happen in my lifetime, even if dates that started with the words “two thousand” seemed positively science fictional.

Now that it is here and I am 50, a century seems much smaller. Set against a landscape where our early ancestors hunted mammoths 12,000 years ago, and where our state capital city was founded 400 years ago, it shrinks exponentially.

Yet, look at the changes in our county alone since President Taft put pen to paper and signed us into statehood.

According to Roosevelt County History and Heritage, in 1912 we had 39 post offices, around 100 school districts, and scores of unsuspecting people who would die in the influenza epidemic of 1918 because antibiotics were not yet discovered. Motor cars were rare, electricity was a privilege, telephones almost non-existent.

It is hard to fathom that any other 100-year period can bring as many changes as this one has. That alone is worthy of cake and candles.

Happy birthday, Land of Enchantment.