Goforth, James 2000-01-12

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ames Goforth talks about his life growing up around Tularosa, New Mexico in the 1920’s. He talks about Tularosa Basin ranching, agriculture, hunting and fishing, the timber industry, Holloman Air Force Base, the Indian reservation and White Sands Missile Range.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: James Goforth

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: January 12, 2000

Location: Alamogordo, New Mexico

Interviewer: David Marshall

Length: 1 hour


Tape 1, Side 1: Goforth James, Born in Fayetteville Arkansas April 10 1918, Father and grandfather were farmers in Fayetteville AR, Father became an auto mechanic, Move to Tularosa New Mexico – 1919, Father (again), Worked as an auto mechanic carpenter and farmer in New Mexico, Work as an auto mechanic included working on farm equipment, Goforth James (again), Grew up working on cars, Maternal Grandfather, Moved to Tularosa New Mexico from Georgetown, Texas, Owned a store and a stage stop hotel, Goforth James (again), Grew up in the town of Tularosa New Mexico, Tularosa Basin, Small agricultural production due to lack of space and water, Mountains on one side, white sands on the other, Water supply, White Sands Area, Very salty water, Tularosa Basin (again), Ranching area, Father (again), Started a ranch in 1898, Ranched in Tularosa to ranch until 1908, Moved to Arkansas, Ranching, Sheep goats and cattle, Largest ranch owned by the Charlie Lee family, Orchards, Pecan and a few small fruit orchards, Staulman (?) Farms, Las Cruses New Mexico area, Largest Pecan orchard, Operating since World War II, Chili pepper production, Grown in Tularosa Basin in the Rio Grande Valley and in the Hatch New Mexico area, Types of peppers, Orchards (again), Locations and sized of local pecan orchards, Holloman Air Force Base, Established in 1940 as the Alamogordo Army Air Base, Used during World War II for training, Stealth fighters came in three or four years ago, What it was like growing up near mountains, A place to go hunting, fishing and on picnics, Timber industry, Local saw mill, Hunting and fishing game, Lincoln National Forest, Hunting and fishing game (again), Bears, Wildlife currently in the area, Coyote bobcats mountain lions, Problems with mountain lions killing livestock, Changes in wildlife, More game now because of support from hunters, Antelope on surrounding plains areas, Coyotes becoming more aggressive, Wildlife in the area (again), Raccoons and their locations, Skunks, jackrabbits, cotton tails, Eagle problems during spring lamb season, Changes in wildlife (again), Last Lobo wolves were killed around the early 1920’s, Ski Resorts, White Mountain was the first ski area, Mescalero Apache tribe bought it and renamed it Ski Apache, Ski resorts started in the 1960’s, Altitudes of the ski resorts, Reactions of the local people to the ski resorts being built, Story about childhood camping in an area before it became a ski resort, Fishing on the reservation, Changes in the Reservation, Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino, Out door recreational sports, Farming, Cattle Growers Association.

Tape 1, Side 2: Changes in the Reservation (again), Horses and trail rides, Transition in the 1930’s, U.S. Government’s plan to “civilize” the Apache, Efforts replace teepees with houses, Impact of military service on Native Americans’ lifestyles, Service in World War II, Working at First National Bank in Lubbock Texas when drafted, Living in Lubbock Texas, Moved to Lubbock Texas to attend Draws (?) business college, Worked at the Walker Hotel while in school, Married in 1941, Lubbock was a good place to find work in the 1940’s, Return to Tularosa New Mexico after World War II, Work experiences, 1946 – 1981 worked in banking full-time, Worked at the bank part-time after retirement in 1981, Service in World War II (again), Inducted into the army at Fort Sill OK then shipped to Miami Beach FL, August 1943 was shipped to England, December 1945 returned home, Point system to determine when soldiers were discharged, Mail was censored, “Scuttle-butt” as a source of information for the enlisted men, Shipped to England on the Queen Elizabeth, No convoy escort, Round about route to England, Returned to the U.S. on the Queen Mary, Atomic bomb testing in New Mexico, No local residents knew what was going on, White Sands Missile Range, First used as a bombing range, Becoming a research and development site, then the missile range, German rocket scientists were working there, Current German population in Alamogordo New Mexico, Training for German fighter pilots at Holloman Air Force Base, German population has become significant in only the last two or three years, Cable TV station with German programming, Building a new German school, German pilots are in the U.S. for 2 years training then they return to Germany, German POW camps in New Mexico during World War II, White Sands Missile Range (again), No serious mishaps, Noise from the missile range, Alameda Park Zoo, Experience as a caddy at a “sand-greens” golf course, Sand storms, Very bad when the air force base was being built, Bad during the 1930’s dust storms, More vegetation now and a spray to control the dust, Alameda Park Zoo (again), Description of the park, Working at the bank (again), Bank was located near the zoo, Lion’s roaring could be heard from the bank, Alameda Park Zoo (again), Mostly local animals now.

Range Dates: 1898-1981

Bulk Dates: 1920-1981

Access Information

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