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

Our people: Keeping a connection to history


October 7, 2018

Courtesy photo

Here I am in character for a movie done by a class at Eastern New Mexico University.

My name is Lonnie Berry. My great grandfather on my mother's side settled in south Roosevelt county in the Lingo area in the late 1800s. My mother was born near Lingo in a small shack on her grandfather's farm. My father was from a small town called Crews, Texas, which no longer exists. I am currently a graduate student at Eastern New Mexico University and I am a retired police officer.

Tell us about your pets:

I can't remember a time when I did not have a dog. When I was growing up we had a Chihuahua named Peppy. I have had everything from a cocker spaniel to a Belgian Malinois. I currently have a miniature dachshund named Daisy, who is 15-years-old.

What is your most prized possession?

I have many things that I consider to be prized possessions, but one of them is a treasure from my family history. When my great grandmother died in 1963, my family began to divide up her belongings. To make sure that everyone got a chance at the things, they put numbers on all of the photos, paintings and the items to be distributed. Since I was one of the younger children, I was given a chance to pull out a number for one of the items. The number I got was for a painting of my great grandfather. The painting was done in the early 1900s and is in a really nice frame with curved glass. At the time, I had no idea how important that painting was going to be to me. I now have it hanging in my home and it is a constant reminder of my roots.

How did you meet your spouse?

I met my wife when we both worked at the same place. We became good friends before we started dating. In our early dating months, we spent a lot of time at the softball park, where I played and she kept the scorebook. We dated for several years and married in 2000. We have a blended family with four boys, and now have seven grandchildren and one on the way. We also have one great-grandson.

What do you collect?

I think there is a thin line between collecting something and being a hoarder. I have never specifically collected anything, but you can bet if I hang on to something, I hang on up until a week before I need it and then get rid of it. I do have a unique collection, but it is one that my mother-in-law did. She collected postcards. She had a very extensive collection of cards both that she received and many that she just collected. There are many from World War II, as well as from some historic sites. The artwork that are on some of them is really amazing and I can understand why she collected them.

What's your idea of a perfect day?

My idea of a perfect day would not start very early. I am not much of a morning person, but I do like to stay up late. I really like the fall time of the year, when we can drive out in the country and get a good view of the beautiful moon that is so much a part of this time of year. To make the day the best possible day, it would also include all of our kids, grandkids and great-grandkids.

What is your favorite quote?

I remember the first time I heard my favorite quote very well. I was playing little league baseball on the Blue Jays and my dad was the coach. We were having a really good season and if we stayed on track, we would win the league championship. In one game, close to the end of the season, we were all having a bad game. We could not hit, catch or run. It looked like we were going to get beat. My dad called us all together and told us, "there are three types of people in the world: the people who make things happen, the people who watch things happen and the people who say, 'what the heck just happened.'" I am not sure I completely understood that then, but it worked. We went out and played a great last inning and won the game.

What's an accomplishment you're proud of?

One thing I am proud of will take place this December. I started college at ENMU in 1976. I was in and out of classes for a few years and then I just stopped. I thought I would probably never finish my degree. In 2015 I enrolled in classes at ENMU and completed my bachelor's degree in 2017. In December of this year I will get my master's degree in communication. I have been challenged by the classes I have taken, the professors who have pushed me and the students who have become my friends and colleagues.

What's the best gift you've ever received?

One of the best gifts I have ever been given came from a close friend of mine some years back. Every time I was in Clovis, I visited a Main Street store. My only reason for the visit was to look at and play the many guitars that they kept in stock. While doing so, a particular guitar caught my eye. I played it every time I was there and I guess I must have talked about it some. I had some equipment being repaired there and I got a phone call that I needed to come pick it up. I did not think it was ready, but I scrambled to get there before they closed. When I walked in the door, one of the guys who worked there handed me the guitar and asked if that was the one I had been looking at. I told him it was and he told me "Happy Birthday from Dan." That guitar is special to me for several reasons, but mostly because my friend gave it to me.

- Compiled by Staff Writer Jamie Cushman


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