My mother came to New Mexico in 1947 with my sister and brother in tow. She was a young Mom looking to start a new, safe life for herself and her kids. Had a job set up in Las Vegas, Nevada and was making a bold move for the 1940's. My sis had asthma and Tennessee just wasn't the healthiest place for her. So on the train they got heading out west to a new life, in a new place, with high hopes.
The conductor announced Las Vegas late in the afternoon and my Mom got the kids ready to depart the train. Once she had gotten off the train, she realized that she had gotten off way too early and was in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Now you're sitting there thinking how did she mistake one for the other. Well in the 1947, Las Vegas New Mexico was actually larger than Las Vegas, Nevada. And there were no huge gambling places or bright lights but they did share the desert look alright.
There she was in the middle of a place she had not intended to be, with two kids, 9 and 10, and no accommodations. The cab driver said that all the hotels were full because of a convention but he did know a rooming house that had a vacancy and took them there. The young man running the rooming house helped her with her bags and they settled in. My Mom said she just intended to stay long enough to sort out the unused portion of her ticket and then she and the kids would be back on the Super Chief to Nevada. To shorten the story, my sis had the best night's sleep of her life and Mom found a job at JC Penney's and the rooming house proved to be a nice place owned by the family across the street, in a really great neighborhood filled with friendly people.
My Mom was a very pretty lady even if I do say so myself and in no time at all had suitors lining up at the little rooming house. But none was more persistent than the young man who ran the rooming house. He lived downstairs and would call her and play the piano for her. Like she couldn't hear it through the walls, floor etc? (Never got that part of the story really). He sent flowers and had his sister fix food for Mom and the kids. He even had his younger brother and sisters come over to play with my sister and brother. He would not give up.
My Dad was like that. Once he set his mind on something he was like a dog with a bone. He and my Mom were married for 52 years when she passed. As a kid I always loved the music he played for us, had me sing along with and insisted every time he sat down that he had to play the "Tennessee Waltz". My Mom always smiled when he did. So thank goodness for early departures from trains and pianos.