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

Ranchvale Trojan finds way home

The 60-plus-year-old school logo was painted on gym floor.

 

April 22, 2018

Jamie Cushman

This Trojan logo of the now-closed Ranchvale school was cut out of the gym floor when it was replaced in 1980.

RANCHVALE — The oldest surviving artifact from the original Ranchvale school — a 60-plus-year-old Trojan logo from the school's gymnasium — is back home.

Ken Davis is the grandson of J. Emmet and Ellen Davis who in the 1930s donated the land where the Ranchvale school is located. Ken Davis, 74, said he believes the school logo was painted on the center of the gym floor in the early 1950s, following a summer of students rollerblading in the gym.

When the old gym was torn down and replaced with a new gym around 1980, the center court logo was cut out of the floor and hung on the wall of the new gym, which still stands as part of the school.

After Clovis Municipal Schools closed Ranchvale Elementary School in 2016, the artifact was on display at the CMS Administration Building. Last month, Davis went before the Clovis school board to request it be returned to Ranchvale.

"I kind of expected nothing from it but evidently to them it was the right thing to do because after a couple weeks, (CMS Superintendent) Jody (Balch) called me and said that they were going to let me have it back."

Currently sitting in an office at the school, Davis said his plan is to put the logo back on the wall in the same place where it hung for so many years.

Davis said the Trojan logo has a sentimental value to him and his family.

"I played basketball on this floor (with the logo painted on it); my dad did, my sister, all my aunts and uncles, my grandad himself may well have walked on this floor," Davis said. "I couldn't tell you, but I do know it's the oldest existing artifact from the old school. Everything else is gone. This is it — all there is left."

Davis said he doesn't remember much from his time at the school but he does have one particularly strong memory from the final game of a junior high basketball tournament — one of the final times Ranchvale Independent School would have competed as such before its consolidation with CMS.

"I'll never forget that I had the ball and I dribbled right straight across this (Trojan logo). I remember seeing it, that told me where I was, and the quarter was nearly over so as soon as I crossed him I took this desperation shot because we were running out of time," Davis said.

"Well I didn't make it; it wasn't even close, and it wasn't going to be a game changer or make any difference whatsoever if I had made it. But that memory is so vivid as if it happened yesterday."

The artifact is so important to Davis that he and his former classmate Doug Reid attempted to take the piece of floor off the wall because they did not know what Clovis schools had planned to do with it.

So after an assembly in 2016 when former students returned to say goodbye to Ranchvale, Davis and Reid made their move, screwdriver in hand.

"A couple of good old country boys with good intentions in a moment of indiscretion decided they'd steal it to prevent it from being crushed," Davis said. "It was just a matter of protection, that's what we were doing."

But Reid and Davis said their attempt was foiled by someone from the school who caught them and prevented them from taking the artifact.

Now, Reid is also happy to see the Trojan logo returned to what he believes is its rightful home.

"It's just part of the school, part of the heritage of Ranchvale," Reid said.

Reid said he and others in the community still have fond memories of basketball games held in that original gym and the rivalries Ranchvale had with other schools, including Texico and Pleasant Hill.

"Lots of older folks can talk about ball games that happened in the '30s and '40s," Reid said. "It's just a nostalgia, memory thing, (a reminder of) what went on that school."

The building is now used to host events, including weddings, baby showers and quinceañeras, along with rooms dedicated to Halloween and Christmas celebrations, decked out with homemade decorations, though Davis said he hopes one day the building will be used as a school once again.

He said only someone who lived in the Ranchvale community could appreciate the importance of the Trojan artifact.

"It's hard to put in words," Davis said. "You'd have to live here your entire life, with this being the center of it all, to understand what it could mean, I think. But it means everything."

 

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