Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
In 1950, the town of Hot Springs renamed itself in honor of the Truth or Consequences radio program when host Ralph Edwards announced he’d broadcast the program from the first town that did so. My mother mentioned this as an amusing bit of trivia once when the show was on television, and this seemed so unlikely I had to go check the almanac to see if this was true. I still wonder who heard this on the radio and managed to talk everyone else into doing this.
Growing up in the era of TV Westerns, I was familiar with a place called Tombstone, but thought of it as someplace fictional or legendary, like Camelot or Shangri-La. I was around 12 when I realized it was a real place. The name just seemed too awful to be real.
I had heard people sing Mexicali Rose on television and I knew it was supposed to be Mexican because the people singing it were always wearing sombreros. But it was just a song, and the name didn’t catch my attention. But then I heard a contestant on a quiz show say that she was from Calexico, California, right across from Mexicali, Mexico, which delighted me. A pair of border towns with matching, mixed up names! How did such cool thing ever happened — who coordinated that?