The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Kent McManigal

Mourning the women who touched our lives


September 3, 2017

How do you tell your daughter, on her 10th birthday, that her friend has been murdered?

There isn’t a good way, but I was forced to give it my best shot last week. I know I wasn’t the only one; a lot of grieving parents around here shared the same experience with their children.

My daughter grew up with Miss Krissie Carter at the library. The love she showed all the kids who came to share her world of books and crafts made her a favorite. I sat through many a preschool storyhour, even after my daughter got too old to really be interested in the juvenile books that were read each week. She loved Miss Krissie and wanted to be there anyway, just to see her. Just to hug her and talk with her.

Life gets busy, children grow, routines change, and new activities replace old favorites. It has been a while since we sat on the rug in the craft room, facing the magical, colorful chair that served as Miss Krissie’s throne while she read to the kids. But, still, every time we went to the library, Miss Krissie was the one my daughter wanted to see.

We didn’t know Wanda Walters as well, but it seemed she was always there. She was always interested in anything my daughter had to say when we went to the counter. She asked questions and acted like whatever my daughter told her was the most important thing she’d heard all day. That kind of interest makes an impact on kids who may suspect most adults are only humoring them.

I grieve for the two caring women who lost their lives, and I hope the four others who were injured recover as quickly as possible.

Acts such as this one, which robbed the children of Clovis of a wonderful friend, are often characterized as “senseless.” But they are worse than that. Hurricanes and earthquakes and accidents are senseless. Murders are malevolent. There is simply no excuse that justifies it.

I might disagree with how libraries are commonly funded, but I have always valued them. And the people who work in them. This crime hurt.

I try to not be angry. Anger doesn’t solve anything. Sadness probably doesn’t help much, either, but I won’t feel guilty for it. I’m just going to be sad with my daughter and help her through it the best I can. I believe it’s what Miss Krissie would want.

Farwell’s Kent McManigal champions liberty. Contact him at:


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