New Mexico loves to show off its stars
Published: Wednesday, October 22nd, 2003
There is something about stars — the kind that ride in limousines and fly first class, not the kind that populate our skies — that make people giddy. Val Kilmer’s relationship with our state — is it love, is it hate? — got me to thinking about stars with New Mexico connections. We all know Roswell claims Demi Moore who spent some time there as a high school kid. Whether it was two weeks or four years makes no difference now. A single day is all it takes for bragging rights. Demi went on to a magical movie career that kind of bottomed out with a clunker called Striptease where she revealed just about all of her charms. I may be short changing Demi here. The late 40ish star might be up to some marvelous career stuff, but current publicity concentrates solely on her involvement with a kid who is not that long out of high school himself. For shame. Carlsbad is proud that the late Dan Blocker once taught school there. Dan went on to star in the Bonanza series, a blockbuster television hit, which would bomb today because people did not jump into bed with one another before each commercial. Portales, Carlsbad and Albuquerque can boast of their connections to Kent Jones, currently playing in the pro golf big leagues. He was born in the first, grew up in the second, and graduated college in the third. Kent would be more famous if the television cameras would focus on him once in awhile, but they don’t. Even if the New Mexico golfer is scoring better than Tiger Woods, the cameras zoom in on Tiger. I have often thought Tiger is somewhat overrated as a golfer and maybe the liberal media wants so much for him to succeed. (NO! NO! Don’t write! I was just kidding there. See, I was making fun of Rush.) Lovington basks in the limelight of Brian Urlacher, a magnificently talented football player who went on to star at University of New Mexico and is now the toast of Chicago as a standout with the Bears. Brian took a big leap from sports to the social pages recently when he visited Las Vegas and was smitten with celebrity Paris Hilton who is just like the girl next door in Lovington except the girl next door in Lovington wasn’t born into a mega rich hotel family and, probably, the girl next door in Lovington is about to call it a night just when Paris is getting revved up. Other than that, pretty much the same. You have been reading, of course, about Val Kilmer. He is the movie star — attracted to roles that require a lot of leather and menacing looks — who has a ranch near San Ysidro. Val won the affection of his neighbors by telling Rolling Stone magazine he lives in “the homicide capital of the Southwest” and that 80 percent “of the people in my county are drunk.” Rest easy, New Mexico. Val now says the magazine made up a lot of stuff and took the rest out of context. That’s reassuring. But don’t wager he’ll be elected to his local chamber of commerce. Ned Cantwell is a retired newspaperman living in Ruidoso. He spends his days looking for the house Debra Winger owned there.
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