Curry County: Twice as nice

By Ryn Gargulinski: Guest Columist

Not unlike a fat, fattening Oreo cookie, life always comes full circle.
I’m back in Curry County.

OK, I’ll have to admit this particular Curry County is some 1,400 miles away in Oregon, while the other one is home in the Land of Enchantment, but I’ve found they have a lot of things in common despite the distance.

For one, they are both named after a delicious Middle Eastern spice. Which, I may add, is not nearly as fattening as an Oreo.

Actually, both were named for governors of each respective state — who both happened to be named George.

George Law Curry was territorial governor of Oregon for a chunk of time in the 1850s while George Curry presided over New Mexico from 1907 to 1910.

Please note the lack of “Law” in the second guy’s name, which heavily follows suit with the Wild West’s stereotypical reputation of supreme lawlessness.

Another similarity between the two counties is their location. Sure, they are hundreds of miles apart, one on the state’s western border, the other on its eastern, but both are located adjacent to something big and mighty.

New Mexico’s Curry County is finely nestled next to the state of Texas, while Oregon’s version abuts the goliath Pacific Ocean.

Perhaps their nearness to such large things plays a role in their population. According to the most recent census data, the one next to Texas peaks at 45,000 while Oregon’s Curry holds steady with 21,000.

Obviously people spill over from Texas to increase the population in the New Mexico version while the population is diminished in Oregon from people spilling over into the Pacific Ocean.
Speaking of the ocean, perhaps the biggest difference between the two counties is water. For starters, not many folks in Oregon’s Curry call it “agua.”

They do call it many obscenities, however, when the winter months hit, because of its penchant for amassing an average annual rainfall of a whopping 77 inches. That is, if rain can be whopping, as it usually simply splatters.

New Mexico’s Curry rakes in about half an inch of rain. Again, that is if rain can be raked, as it usually simply splatters.

And I don’t recall many bodies of water in New Mexico’s Curry, unless one includes that lake-like thing on 14th Street with a goose nasty enough to have once bitten through my thumb bone.

Geese come to Oregon’s Curry, too, often in astounding numbers. It is also home to starfish, sea lions, sharks, snakes and salamanders, none of which has bitten through my thumb bone.

But I’ve yet to see a roadrunner or an armadillo, unless they were fashioned as water floats during rainy season.

It could surely be possible — and it may even save a life, stop someone from spilling into the Pacific.