Hillsboro is a hard scrawny town on the way from Truth or Consequences, where I used to live, to Silver City, New Mexico..
In the old days it was a gold and silver mining collage of wood shacks, shovels, dynamite, barbed wire but today it has lost its luster.
When its precious metals played out, there were copper mines left, but they were shut down too and moved overseas when costs and government regulations became too onerous.
Hillsboro used to have apple orchards and a popular annual Apple Festival that peddled apples, arts and crafts, food and live music but that disappeared after management stole money and absconded to Europe.
At one time, main street here had a biker bar that drew Harley Davidson enthusiasts from Albuquerque and Las Cruces but that attraction closed when the bar’s owner sold the liquor license for a ton of money.
A recent couple, trying to bring magic back to the town, have opened a winery on Main Street, the highway you take to Silver City, but this morning they are packing their belongings and have driven a For Sale sign in the front yard.
Today, becoming gold prospectors,my friend John and I use gold detectors instead of picks.
Working our way up hillsides, we wave our battery powered wands over rocky soil. We have tried the detectors around the house with loose change to practice before getting serious. We haven’t found gold yet but we have found barbed wire, nails, bottle caps, and rusty beer cans.
Tomorrow will be yet another gold hunting day. Expectations will be lower, but hope refuses to die.
Those yesteryear miners were tough S.O.B.’s and more stubborn than their donkey’s.
For every gold nugget, there is a trail of blood, sweat, and tears,
For every dream, there is heartache.