Feb. 11

On this date …

1956: The weekend had seen four arrests in Clovis so far, most for alcohol-related issues.

A Muleshoe woman was being held in the city jail “for being drunk at Rogers Tamale House,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.

1946: Officials were working on a plan to make the highway between Clovis and Texico into four lanes.

Floyd Kennedy of Portales, the state highway commission chairman, said no details had been finalized.

1946: Clovis school officials vowed not to compete again against San Jon in athletic contests because of an alleged altercation after a basketball game.

“Clovis players were reported to have been cursed and threatened and the Clovis bus stoned as it was leaving town,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.

Clovis had won the game, 26-25.

San Jon’s superintendent said he was not aware of any altercation, which allegedly occurred in front of a San Jon cafe. CN-J reported one of the “ring leaders” was a “returned soldier” who had played in the game for the Coyotes.

Feb. 10

On this date …

2006: A fifth consecutive month without significant moisture had area farmers and ranchers concerned.

Dale Miller, who grew wheat and grazed cattle 13 miles north of Portales, said his cattle production stood to decline 50 percent if the rains did not come.

Said Joe Whitehead, district conservationist with the U.S Department of Agriculture: “A lot of wheat is dead. This time of year in the Dora area there is usually a lot of green wheat. Now, there is no green out there.”

2006: Curry County had a new jail administrator.

Leslie Johnson, a former school teacher, would be moving from the Eddy County Detention Center where she’d worked for eight years.

“We want to prevent people from just sitting in the cell. We wanted (an administrator) who would look at programs in the jail for inmates such as education, to prevent people from coming back to jail,” County Manager Dick Smith said.

1976: Clovis school board members heard a presentation from police Officer Gene Dawson about an “Officer Friendly” program.

The program was instituted to “establish rapport between policemen and local elementary school children,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.

Feb. 9

On this date …

1966: The day’s Peanuts cartoon in local newspapers depicted Charlie Brown in a spelling bee.

The word was “maze,” but our hero apparently had baseball on his mind, spelling it like Willie Mays.

“AAUGH!,” read the last strip as Charlie Brown realized his mistake.

1956: The Yowell family, which lived at 2518 W. Seventh St. in Clovis, had created a family of bigger-than-life snow bears in their yard.

The previous week’s snow, estimated at more than a foot across the region, gave them material to build the creatures.

One was 9-feet tall and even had claws.

1941: Lovington calf ropers defeated a Clovis team by 16.7 seconds in a match at the club arena in Lovington.

Clovis’ Bill Bomar turned in the best individual time, completing his task in 16.0 seconds.

Feb. 7

On this date …

2006: A movie filmed primarily in Clovis and Portales, “Believe in Me” debuted at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in California.

The movie, filmed in 2004, was about a 1960s-era Oklahoma high school girls’ basketball team. Its stars included Jeffrey Donovan, Samantha Mathis and Bruce Dern, and it featured dozens of area residents as extras and in crowd shots.

1956: The Clovis News-Journal reported recent snowfall was measured between 13 and 17 inches — the most in Curry County’s history.

“This has been proven by poring through back files of the Clovis News-Journal,” the paper reported.

“The year 1918 is remembered by old-timers as the year of the snow because it lasted so long but it took 21 days for 11 inches of snow to fall.”

One hero from the 1956 storm was a a Continental Trailways bus driver who walked 13 miles through the blizzard to bring aid to the 15 passengers on his bus that stalled near the Texas-New Mexico line north of Clovis.

John Hearon was ultimately hospitalized in Tucumcari for “snow blindness, exhaustion and exposure,” the CN-J reported.

Feb. 6

On this date …

1976: Vicki Gaspard had been crowned basketball homecoming queen at Clovis High School.

She was a senior, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E.J. Gaspard.

1956: Clovis Air Force Base personnel were using military equipment to check on isolated residents and even feed area cattle as the region tried to dig out from a blizzard that brought a foot of snow to some places.

A couple near the Curry-Roosevelt county line had not been heard from since the storm hit three days earlier, but Air Force personnel located them and reported they were safe and had plenty of food.

Base helicopters were used to drop hay to about 2,000 area cattle.

1941: State officials met with Clovis city leaders and painted a “rosy future for Clovis’ participation in the national defense program through aeronautical activities,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.

State air mechanics supervisor Charles J. Boyd said Clovis had a good chance of obtaining a light aircraft assembly plant.

Climate and available rail transportation were cited as city strengths.

Feb. 5

On this date …

2006: Portales school district voters had approved a tax increase with just 472 of 10,158 eligible voters participating.

“I’m so disappointed that so few people turned out to vote,” County Clerk Janet Collins said. “Maybe people didn’t feel like it was an important issue, but it should be important to them because it’s their schools.”

School Superintendent Randy Fowler said the district would see $635,000 as a result of the election, money it planned to use for building improvements.

1976: Temperatures dipped into the teens across the region and the Texico-Farwell area saw four-tenths of an inch of precipitation, slowing traffic.

Clovis saw a low of 17 degrees and Swan Lake at Hillcrest Park was frozen.

1956: Lts. Anton Michsch and Connell Bule, both pilots at Clovis’ air base, spent their afternoon constructing a 6-foot igloo in the 500 block of Gidding Street in Clovis.

Michsch said he learned to build the igloo in the Air Force Survival School.

The pilots joked they wanted to sell it for $25 and claimed the structure would be warm if the front entrance were covered.

Inside were places to sit, magazines to read and a “pin-up girl” on a wall.

Feb. 4

On this date …

1976: Heavy fog hung over Clovis and Portales, limiting visibility to zero at times.
One automobile accident on West Brady in Clovis was blamed on the weather.

“The fog was too thick. I couldn’t see anything,” said Bernard Baca, who lived at 808 Pierson.

Baca was hospitalized in good condition, but the other driver, Forrest Howard of Clovis, was not seriously injured.

1956: More than a foot of snow buried eastern New Mexico in what some called the worst storm in at least 50 years.

High winds contributed to problems, which included road closures and the loss of livestock.

Clovis Air Force Base personnel helped one stranded motorist who was on her way to the hospital to give birth.

Iris Young, traveling with her husband from their home in the Quay County community of McAlister, had to be rescued from a snow drift. The baby was born, without complications, at the base hospital.

Military personnel reported they helped rescue occupants from 50 or 60 cars that became stalled in 10-foot snowdrifts.

1946: Clovis’ Hillcrest Park Zoo had two more future kings of the jungle.

Queen, a 6-year-old African lioness, had given birth to a pair of male cubs. The father was a 12-year-old black-maned lion whose name was not reported by the Clovis News-Journal.

Queen was born in the Clovis zoo. The black-maned lion had been obtained in a trade with a circus.

Feb. 3

On this date …

1976: An Albuquerque couple was reunited with their kidnapped infant at the hospital in Muleshoe.
John Paul Norris, 10 days old, was taken at gunpoint from his Albuquerque home at gunpoint five days earlier.

A Muleshoe woman, Eileen Lowe, was convicted of taking the child. She gained access to the Norris’ home by pretending to deliver flowers. She then locked the child’s mother and grandmother in a bathroom before taking the baby.

Court records show she flew from Albuquerque to Lubbock with the child, then drove to her home in Muleshoe.

Area residents became suspicious of the sudden appearance of the child and notified police.
Lowe, 30, said she had an intense desire to have a baby of her own, and hoped a child might save her marriage.

The child was uninjured.

Feb. 2

On this date …

2006: Eastern New Mexico University football coach Mark Ribaudo had signed 13 players to letters of intent.

Ribaudo said his second recruiting class as head coach “blows last year out of the water.”
Signees included Clovis safety Devin Sweet.

1966: Actor/comedian Buster Keaton died of lung cancer at his home in Woodland Hills, California.

He was 70.

1946: A convicted killer admitted his crime to a Clovis News-Journal reporter in a jailhouse interview.

John Romero Jr., 18, who had been convicted a week earlier in the Sept. 2, 1945, slaying of Crawford Trees, 59, said he was sorry for the killing and said he’d prayed to be forgiven.

Romero, sentenced to life in prison, blamed his actions on alcohol. He said he’d committed multiple foolish acts in his life while drinking.

“When I shot my finger, and those two times I cut myself to get my wife’s sympathy, I had been drinking,” he told reporter Kathryn Bomar. “If I ever get out of the pen, I’ll never take another drink.”

Romero said he’d killed Trees, an acquaintance he considered “a good man,” with a hatchet, then set Trees’ bed on fire to conceal evidence.

He denied stealing Trees’ money, which authorities had suspected was a motive for the slaying.

Jan. 31

On this date …

2006: Portales’ Lady Rams clobbered Lovington, 64-20, to run their high school basketball winning streak to four games.

Ashleah Richards scored 18 points to lead all scorers as Portales improved to 16-6 for the season, 3-0 in District 4-3A play.

1976: The Clovis High School drill team took first place in state competition.

The girls also won 11 individual awards, plus the spirit trophy for the second consecutive year.

1956: Clovis’ Citizenship Education Seminar was declared successful by Davenport Beasley, director of instruction at Clovis schools.

Beasley said 43 administrators and teachers from around the region attended the gathering.

“The seminar was organized for the purpose of acquiring teachers with the latest methods available in the teaching of citizenship education,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.