Oct. 22

On this date …

1966: Boycotting housewives, unhappy with the rising cost of groceries, spurred local Cashway stores to “initiate a reduction in services in order to hold the line on prices,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.

Cashway executives said they would reduce the number of hours the stores were opened, discontinue a giveaway game and add an “economy line” of meats and produce.

Local Cashway store officials said their new hours would be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day except Sundays, which would 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

1961: More than 5,000 head of cattle were headed to Clovis for the 14th annual Clovis Cattle Festival.

In addition to sales, more than $1,000 worth of prizes were planned for owners of winning show cattle.

A ladies style show was also planned for the Country Club.

1956: A 9-year-old Carlsbad boy who tumbled from the back of a pickup truck onto the pavement of a farm to market road had become the year’s 300th traffic fatality in New Mexico.

John Lawrence Lee died instantly from head and neck injuries suffered in the fall, United Press reported.

New Mexico did not record its 300th traffic fatality in 1955 until Nov. 12.

Oct. 21

On this date …

1976: Ranchvale school students were preparing to host a weekend carnival that included a haunted house in the basement of the gym.

“The house is complete with screaming vampires, ghosts, bats and other spine-tingling supernatural beings,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.

1956: A Clovis television dealer had been the victim of robbery in Amarillo.

Jim Costa had gone to Amarillo to purchase the TVs for local customers. He loaded them into the back of his pickup truck, but soon learned the weather forecast called for rain in the Clovis area.

And so he spent the night in an Amarillo motel to avoid the wet weather. When he awoke the next morning, both TV sets were missing from the back of his pickup.

1941: Nine freight cars derailed in the east end of the Santa Fe rail yards in Clovis and a passenger train struck two of the wayward cars.

“Two cars slithered toward the main line track where they were sideswiped by the passenger engine as it came to a sudden stop,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.

No injuries were reported. Most of the passengers were asleep when the incident happened, but were awakened by the collision and “alighted” from their cars to see the wreckage.

The passenger train was delayed about an hour while crews moved the wrecked cars away from the main-line track.

Oct. 20

On this date …

1976: A flight instructor and student pilot had died in a plane crash south of Texico.

It wasn’t immediately clear when the plane had crashed. Jackie Roberts, a farmer, found it while working on his irrigation system.

The bodies of Ben Smithson, 31, of Clovis, and James Parker, 31, of Farwell, were found inside the plane.

The Clovis News-Journal reported Smithson was the flight instructor. Officials believed Parker had control of the plane and was attempting a turn when it went down, said Medical Investigator Joe Thomas.

1971: Clovis police had acquired a new van it dubbed a “paddy wagon.”

The van was purchased with city funds matching a federal grant.

Police Chief Ken Kingsbury said the wagon gave police “the potential of mass arrests.”

1971: President Nixon declared the day “National Day of Prayer” and asked special emphasis be focused on American prisoners of war in Southeast Asia.

Oct. 19

On this date …

1976: Construction costs for Clovis’ new hospital were going to exceed an architect’s estimate by about 14 percent, the advisory board of Clovis Memorial Hospital had learned.

The board was scrambling to come up with almost $800,000.

The plan was to cut back on some equipment purchases, make limited alterations to the building plans and host a fund-raising drive when groundbreaking was scheduled in mid-November.

The Amarillo-Lubbock firm of Page and Wirtz had submitted the low bid of $6.6 million to construct what would become Plains Regional Medical Center.

1966: A 1964 Muleshoe High School graduate had been killed in Vietnam.

Steven Hatfield, 21, was a Navy hospital corpsman attached to a Marine battalion.

He’d been in the war zone about six months. The Department of Defense said his death was caused by a hand grenade while “in a defensive position” in South Vietnam.

1956: Rock star Elvis Presley had been cleared of disorderly conduct charges after an incident at a service station in Memphis, Tennessee.

The station attendant had claimed Presley gave him a black eye after the attendant was unable to fix Presley’s car.

The attendant said a police officer held him with his arms pinned to his side while Presley hit him. Police said the man hit Presley first and that Presley slugged him in response.

Presley could not immediately be reached by reporters seeking comment after the court appearance.

A United Press reporter who called Presley’s home was told he was “in the back yard feeding the mule,” and could not come to the phone.

Oct. 18

On this date …

1976: Regional corn crops appeared strong, but milo harvests were disappointing, the Clovis News-Journal reported.

A front-page photo showed 48 trucks full of corn lined up outside a grain elevator in Bovina. Officials said harvest was barely half finished.

Milo growers, however, said they were done in by an early freeze and untimely rain.

Farmers Cooperative officials in Clovis said corn storage had already reached capacity, but there was “plenty of room for milo” with 75 percent of the harvest completed.

1956: Clovis Police Chief Ollie Damron had announced his resignation.

Damron had been associated with city police since 1951 and had been chief since May of 1953.

He said he had accepted a position as district sales manager for Western Machinery Co. of Clovis.

Damron would be succeeded by Charlie Witherspoon. He returned to the position for another three-year run in 1959.

1946: A 28-year-old Clovis man had been killed in an accident at the Santa Fe railroad shops.

Herman Ray Shope, who lived at 1816 Ross in Clovis, was helping load a box car onto a flat car.

As the box car was being lowered by a crane, a cable broke and dropped the box car on top of Shope.

He was survived by a wife and 5-year-old son.

Oct. 16

On this date …

1966: Burger Chef, at 501 W. Seventh in Clovis, offered five cheeseburgers for 89 cents each Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Regular hamburgers were always 15 cents each.

1956: Clovis had recently organized a Civil Air Patrol.

Officers include Cmdr. Joe Blair, Supply Officer Jim Garrison, Communications Officer Jack Wiggins and Adjutant Ray Brock.

1946: A 21-year-old father of two was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.

Sadoth Chavez said he killed Felix Bass of Littlefield in self-defense during a game of dice near Melrose.

District Judge J. C. Compton declined to accept Chavez’ plea when he said he killed in self-defense, and so his attorney told the court Chavez “realized that he went farther than self-defense in slashing Bass’ throat with a broken neck of a whiskey bottle,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.

Chavez was sentenced to 15 to 20 years in the state prison.

Chavez’ wife and one of his children were in the courtroom when sentence was passed.

Oct. 15

On this date …

1976: Clovis and Curry County officials were debating whether to pass ordinances aimed at curbing the sale of pornographic material.

A new bookstore established outside the city limits had sparked the discussions.

Assistant District Attorney Bill Bonem said he had determined that all material in that bookstore was harmful to minors and had instructed the proprietor not to sell to minors.

Bonem said he’d also been checking Clovis bookstores and found one store had 56 publications that were harmful to minors, the Clovis News-Journal reported.

But City Commissioner Frank Murray said he felt it was not the business of government to tell an adult what to read or not read.

County Commissioner Calvin Stout said: “When you start making laws to prohibit reading something you are infringing on my right. Our freedom is dwindling anyway.”

1961: Area high school football scores from the weekend:
Bovina 41, Hart 6
Ruidoso 39, Fort Sumner 14
Olton 12, Muleshoe 8
Kress 26, Farwell 6

1961: A newspaper ad for an unspecified business stated, “I am looking for a particular type of man.”

Qualifications included “He must be married, 30 to 50, bondable, church affiliated, sales experienced … aggressive, willing to relocate and prepared to start immediately.”

Pay was $1,755 per month.

“This job deals in some of the most unusual material in the world,” the ad read.

Oct. 14

On this date …

1971: Clovis’ American Legion Post was planning a Veterans Day parade.

“Anything people would like to enter that’s in keeping with the Veterans Day theme of the parade would be welcome,” said parade chairman Robert Sisneros.

“Advance registration is not necessary. Just show up in time for the parade.”

Participants were asked to meet on North Main Street, next to Marshall Junior High. The parade would go south on Main to Grand Avenue.

1956: Eastern New Mexico University had celebrated homecoming in conjunction with the dedication of the $271,000 technology building.

The building was the first of five to be completed under the university’s $2 million improvement program.

The homecoming parade was themed “I’ll Meet You in Dreamland.”

“Candy Landers, a pretty redhead from Levelland,” was homecoming queen and rode on the float called “Girl of My Dreams,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.

1946: The Grady Invitational Softball Tournament had been postponed for a second time because of wet grounds.

The tourney was originally set for Oct. 5, then Oct. 12 and now was slated for Oct. 18.

It was expected to host teams throughout Curry County.

Oct. 13

On this date …

1961: Funeral services were pending for 14-month-old Wathena Gail Boyd, who had drowned in a fish pond at her grandparents’ home near the Roosevelt County community of Bethel.

Officials said the child fell in the small pond while her mother and grandparents were harvesting potatoes in a nearby field.

1941: New Mexico’s state game commission had announced the 1941 quail season had been canceled.

The decision was made “reluctantly,” wire services reported, because quail populations had suffered from heavy rains and flooding during the nesting season in the spring and again in September.

Game Warden Elliott Barker said the birds had been recovering nicely until the September storms “virtually wiped them out.”

Oct. 12

On this date …

1976: Ronnie Brothers and James Patterson posed with a 5-foot rattlesnake for a front-page photo in the Clovis News-Journal.

Brothers and James spotted the rattler near the edge of Ute Lake. Patterson pulled it from the rocks with a stick and Brothers killed it with a rock.

There were nine rattles on the snake’s tail.

1956: A 12-year-old Clovis boy had been released from Memorial Hospital after losing a finger in an explosion.

Joel Young, who lived at 1804 Wallace St., was putting air in a scooter tire when the tire exploded, mangling his left hand.

The little finger on his hand was surgically removed and multiple broken bones in his hand had to be set.

1941: Eastern New Mexico College had hosted its homecoming with “hordes of ex-students coming from far and near,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.

Virginia Lee Meyer, president of the college’s musical organization, acted as toastmistress.

Seven ex-presidents were among those gathered, including Mrs. Virgil Caughran of Grady and Inez Ward of Portales.