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

Returning to the homestead

 

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks Pioneer Days parade Grand Marshall Roy Ebihara waves to the crowd and members of the grandstand.

link Staff photo: Tony Bullocks

Pioneer Days parade Grand Marshall Roy Ebihara waves to the crowd and members of the grandstand.

Staff writer

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“Welcome Back to the Homestead” was more than just a theme at Saturday morning’s 44th annual Pioneer Days parade.

The Main Street parade featured Dr. Roy Ebihara and the Kimura family, members of a Japanese colony that was forcibly removed from Clovis during World War II, in addition to the 70 registered participants.

Ebihara, along with members of the Kimura family, served as the parade’s honorary grand marshals.

Parade chairman John Montano said he was glad the weather held up for the parade after Friday night’s tornado warning but wasn’t surprised that it did.

“We’ve done many of them (parades) and they always come through. I knew it would turn out all right with a little bit of faith,” Montano said.

Montano was happy the parade was able to welcome Ebihara and the Kimuras back to Clovis.

“It’s a good thing to have them back,” he said.

Ebihara, who was only 8 years old when his family was removed from Clovis, said he was delighted to return to Clovis and be a part of the Pioneer Days festivities.

Ebihara explained, “It’s been wonderful. The people have been more than gracious. It’s almost making me cry, because along the parade route, people had come up and said, ‘I’m so sorry’ and being apologetic, and I said, ‘please don’t be. Just welcome me home and I’m happy.’”

Ebihara continued, “We had never had such hospitality ever. There is no community in this whole United States that has treated people as they (the Clovis community) have after a whole generation is gone.”

While the 80-year-old Ebihara is glad to be back, he has noticed changes in the community since he lived here as a child.

“With the advent (addition) of the Air Force base here, I think it changed the composition of the community. I think there is more diversity,” said Ebihara. “I think people are more tolerant and accepting of who they are.”

After being back and seeing how the city has progressed over the years, Ebihara, who is now a retired optometrist currently residing in Ohio, still calls Clovis home.

“It’s just nostalgic,” Ebihara said of visiting Clovis. “I mean this is still my home; I don’t care what changes may occur. I love Clovis, period.”

Pioneer Days parade winners

Sweepstakes

Southwest Cheese

Marching/walking units

1. Clovis High School Marching Band

2. U.S. Marines

3. Curry County Cats Spirit Squad

Floats: Business/commercial

1. Roller World Skating Center

2. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

3. Smith Chiropractic

Mounted units

1. Curry County Mounted Patrol

2. High Plains Horseman’s Club

3. Miss Rodeo New Mexico Royalty

Motorized/antique vehicles

1. Ray Lee Equipment

2. Bryce Clark-1948 Antique Tractor

3. All Star Graphics by All Star Dents

Floats: Clubs/organizations/churches

1. Red Hat Floozies

2. Shriners

3. Curry County

Other

1. N.M. Japanese Association

2. Duke of the Dutch Oven Chuckwagon

3. KTQM-KCLV Radio

 
 

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