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In tribute: Foxy Drive In founder remembered for wisdom, humor

link Alfred C. “AC” Bryant

Staff writer

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Over the course of his life, Alfred C. “AC” Bryant is said to have never met a stranger. His wisdom and humor touched those who came in contact with him, according to those who knew him.

The founder of Foxy Drive In died Tuesday at age 99.

“He never seemed to be a stranger to anyone he talked to,” said his son, Clovis City Commissioner Chris Bryant. “He looked for the good in everyone and he loved being around the public and visiting with people.”

Born June 21, 1915 in Farwell, AC Bryant moved to Clovis in 1929 and graduated from Clovis High School in 1932.

Bryant met his wife, Eva Ruth Boaz, while working at the Fox Drug Store in 1937.

Bryant was asked by fellow employee Glen Smith to ask her on a date for him, but soon found out she was after something else.

“I said, ‘I’ll go ask for you,’” Alfred Bryant recalled in a 2008 interview. “She told me, ‘Speak for yourself.’ A little more than a year later we got married.”

Bryant worked at Fox Drug, Mac’s Drive In in Artesia and the Silver Grill before starting Foxy Drive In in 1956.

Bryant operated the restaurant, which was a hang out for Buddy Holly while he recorded at Norman Petty studios, until 1988 when he turned the business over to his son.

“He didn’t push me into the restaurant business,” Chris Bryant said. “We were able to work together as father and son. Because of him, I’m able to have the same type of relationship with my son.”

For more than 30 years the elder Bryant was a Chapter “Dad” of Clovis DeMolay, mentoring young men and preparing them to lead successful lives.

“He provided us with guidance and wisdom,” Chris Bryant said.

Chris Bryant said his dad enjoyed being involved in things he believed in and was a member of the Clovis Masonic Lodge for 73 years as well as an Honorary Past Master of Scottish Rite.

In March, Bryant was awarded the Kit Carson Award for lifetime achievement by the Freemasons Grand Lodge of New Mexico.

Bryant was a member of the First Presbyterian Church for 55 years. Bryant was a deacon at the church and was known for his faith and generosity.

Joy Pattison, a member of First Presbyterian Church, said Bryant was an amazing man who kept going and going despite his age.

“He always said just the right thing to make a point, and he generally had an opinion on just about anything.” Pattison said.

Pattison said Bryant’s spontaneous sense of humor was always welcomed during conversations.

“He was a fantastic man,” said friend and Clovis Masonic Lodge Worshipful Master John Frerichs. “He was sharp as a tack and a wonderful source of history.”

He was a man of his word and kept his promises, said Frerichs.

Frerichs said Bryant rarely missed lodge meetings and showed up for coffee at Foxy Drive In every week day.

“He would come and discuss current events and tell stories,” said Frerichs. “He had a positive influence on everyone he met.

“You couldn’t find a nicer guy. He was a jewel and I’m honored to have met him.”