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Politics, Spaceships, and Delightful Ditties  by Isabella Rowe and Caitlin Cummings

In the quiet town of Truth or Consequences we ventured out in search of local gossip, little did we know that we would discover uniqueness in a forgotten town. We first stumbled upon a beauty salon and went inside; a customer getting her hair done told us that the real gossip we would find would be from a man called John Mulcahy, a local politician running his campaign for town supervisor, and was down the street meeting and chatting with people. As we approached, we noticed that the people Mr. Mulcahy was chatting to were both very few and very lively.

Mr. Mulcahy had a wide, vacant grin and a surprisingly limp handshake. After an immensely artificial chat where Mulcahy bragged; or as he put it, “gossiped”; about Truth or Consequences’ superior hot springs, the stiff politician proudly mentioned the small town’s up-and-coming commercial space industry. He seemed shocked and taken aback that New Yorkers such as our selves had never heard of the program that he was convinced would create an economic boom within the small town. In his steadfast opinion, with NASA out of the way, privately owned spaceships are going to become the “next big thing” and increase the revenue for a town that has felt the consequences of a rough economy.

We then moved on to a young couple eating donuts and drinking coffee provided by Mr. Mulcahy, and they explained that they came solely for the provisions. Jamie, a weaver, and Kyle, a painter, had walked approximately 389 miles from the bustling town of Phoenix Arizona to the rather smaller “town” of Truth or Consequences New Mexico. They were frequent walkers and had trekked many places all over India and within the United States. They were overt hippies, dreadlocks, baggy clothes, and all; however, they spoke intelligently about themselves and their humble life in Truth or Consequences. They walked miles to a town with hardly any people; they explained that the serenity of the simple town inspired them and enhanced their artistic ability.

There were a couple of other characters we only talked to briefly; one man, whose suffering in war estranged from society was very eager for us to take his picture. He was brimming with spirit, energetic, and talking excitedly to everybody, and at one point sang touchingly.

Everyone there was memorable in their eagerness to engage with the strangers, their warm-heartedness, and their physical appearance. People’s laid-back, relaxed postures, and humble clothing styles were very distinct. Even as we walked back to the hotel we caught the eye and received the greetings of passers by. It was clear that the people of Truth or Consequences were not accustomed to teenagers walking around with cameras and various types of equipment. By discovering these people we were also surprised, because we had not realized how special life could be in the small and strange town of Truth or Consequences.