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

Pages past - Feb. 20


February 20, 2018

On this date ...

1983: By day, Lt. Lee Wheeler was a medic at Cannon Air Force Base. But in his spare time, he transformed into "Wheelie the Clown," a local performer who also headed up a class for kids from ages 9-17 who were also interested in clowning around for a purpose.

Wheeler and his students made regular appearances at area events like Texico/Farwell's Border Town Days, Melrose Old Timers' Day, and the Curry County Fair.

Terri Streeter, 17, of Clovis was one of the 20 students in Wheeler's group. She and the rest of the clowns were brushing up on their routines prior to making a group road trip in March to perform at the Santa Fe School for the Deaf and the New Mexico Indian School.

1978: Flags were flying at half-staff across New Mexico in honor of the death of the Rev. John Carnine, a long-time resident of the Retirement Ranch in Clovis and, at the time, the oldest living United States veteran.

Carnine died Feb. 3 at the Retirement Ranch, only 19 days ahead of his 104th birthday. He had served as a private in the United States Army during the Spanish-American War, before going on to a life in the ministry.

Clovis and Cannon Air Force Base's Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3280 was named for him when it was started in October of 1978. Later, the name of one of the original members of the post was added, so today it is known as John Carnine-James Wiseman VFW Post 3280.

Carnine and Wiseman are both buried in the Santa Fe National Cemetery.

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