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

By Kevin Wilson
Managing editor 

Google Master stumped on Marshall Howard


January 7, 2018

Thursday found me driving an unfamiliar car and going to an unfamiliar place. Fortunately, I had a familiar friend with me and we found a familiar donut shop on the way.

My friend and I headed to Slaton, Texas, the hometown of a mutual friend’s spouse. Unfortunately, our stop was at a funeral home. We never knew him, and we said goodbye to him at the same time we said hello and found out why the world is worse off without him.

Slaton’s a long trip and my friend isn’t a huge fan of music, so we chatted about any random subject.

“I saw something online the other day where you add a comment describing something that was perfectly normal for you growing up but would make zero sense to an average 21-year-old.”

We came up with having a television remote with only five buttons (channel up/down, volume up/down, power), having a television with a dial, having no way to contact people when they weren’t home and having to go days without knowing a fact because it wasn’t in the encyclopedia set and the library was closed.

After we had finished that discussion, I noticed the GPS said we were on Marshall Howard Boulevard in Littlefield. I’d always known it as 60/84, but I guessed having your grocery store on 200 Marshall Howard Boulevard sounds better.

Another random conversation began: “Who’s Howard Marshall?”

We weren’t sure. A Google search was inconclusive, because every result that came up was a business’ address on Marshall Howard. Also, he never showed up in whatever pages we could find on the history of Littlefield.

I thought it odd that we’d see a Marshall Howard Boulevard but not a Waylon Jennings Boulevard — upon further research, there is a Jennings Boulevard in town — and wondered how we could find out.

“Google ‘Littlefield Chamber of Commerce 806,’” I said, knowing including the area code would result in the number ... Kevin Wilson, Google Master.

We found the number. As the phone rang, I declared the person who answered wouldn’t know a thing.

We called, and a gentleman answered with some long-winded title about economic development. We said we were driving through and wondered who this Marshall Howard was. “He was a businessman of some type, and I believe served some time as mayor. But he is well before my time, and I’ve been in Littlefield for a while.”

We hung up, with the Google Master underestimating a guy’s knowledge. A few days later, I still haven’t found much more on Howard. I know he’s a former chamber president in Littlefield, but I haven’t found what businesses or political offices he held.

That’s one of the drawbacks of having all of the information at your fingertips. Your hands sometimes get full of the stuff you don’t want if you aren’t just looking for basic information.

So who is Marshall Howard? Maybe someday he’ll be just as familiar as the donut shop, so long as the right person reads this and tells me. Google Masters aren’t too proud to beg.

Kevin Wilson is managing editor of The Eastern New Mexico News. Contact him at:


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