Thursday, August 6, 2009

Gallup, the melting pot of the West...

Or at least that's what Tom, the lovely man at the Rex Museum told me. This is the same man who also told me that he had met a few nice "Orientals" just like me last week.

So before I drove to Santa Fe, I decided to drive down 66 through downtown Gallup, just to check it out. I went into this museum because I needed to pee. I'm not gonna lie, I really had no intention of sticking around too long - at the most I'd take a quick look and maybe buy a postcard or two.

I think I must have spent over an hour in there, with Tom as my personal tour guide. And even though it was not at all my intention to look at anything in depth, I'm glad Tom decided he wanted to explain every single object in the museum to me, because I learned a few things:

1. Gallup was a coal-mining town. Lots of artifacts had to do with coal-mining, from the drills they used to use, right down to the aluminum lunchboxes they had to use (the only thing that won' set off sparks when opened, possibly igniting methane gas and killing everybody.)
2. Gallup's history involves Japanese people. Apparently they came over to work in the mines.
3. During WWII, when all the Japanese-Americans were being rounded up into internment camps, the fine folks of Gallup protested and wouldn't let them take anybody.
4. Gallup has one of the largest deposits of uranium beneath its water table.

The museum has cameras, batteries, pictures, clothes, shoes, an old washing machine, a potbelly stove, a bicycle, an old military autoclave, and a bunch of other stuff, all acquired or donated from Gallup citizens of yesteryear.

Besides all the fun facts about Gallup (which I have not confirmed, so don't get all upset if something is completely wrong, I'm just the messenger here), Tom passed along advice he had given to his daughters:

1. Stay in school.
2. Stay off of drugs.
3. Don't get in the family way.

So I learned a lot today.

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