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

A look at a handful of local legends


Last updated 3/10/2020 at 4:17pm

Langdon Skarda was an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army during World War II.

He was also an attorney, farmer, rancher and banker with wide-ranging hobby interests.

Skarda lived most of his life in Clovis, having been born in the city on Feb. 8, 1914.

He became a champion quarter-horse breeder after the war, and learned to judge show dogs. He remains a legend among Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show fans.

In 1979, a Siberian Husky named Cinnar was having a difficult time catching judges’ eyes because a kennel mate had bitten off the tip of his left ear. But after judge Skarda chose to look past that imperfection at a show in Norfolk, Virginia, Cinnar went on a run of 18 straight Best in Show awards.

In 1980, Cinnar’s show career reached its pinnacle when he won Best in Show at Westminster.

Skarda died March 8, 1994. He was 80.

Here are some brief profiles of other local legends who died in the month of March:

n Peter James Bailey, for whom Bailey County is named, died March 6, 1836, at the Alamo.

There’s a lot we don’t know about Bailey, including the specific reason he was selected as Bailey County’s namesake when the county was created in 1876.

What we do know is that 66 Texas counties are named after men who fought against Mexico in the Texas revolution.

That includes 11 counties named after men who died at the Alamo — Bailey, Bowie, Cochran, Cottle, Crockett, Dickens, Floyd, King, Lynn, Taylor and Travis counties.

n William Hanna, one half of the Hanna-Barbera animation team, died March 22, 2001, at his home in Los Angeles.

He was 90.

The son of a construction worker, Hanna was born July 14, 1910, in Melrose, though he only lived in the village three years.

Hanna and Joseph Barbera were co-creators of animated legends Fred Flintstone, Yogi Bear, George Jetson and countless others.

The New York Times reported Hanna-Barbera won the first Emmy Award for an animated series with “Huckleberry Hound and Friends.”

n Actor Paul Brinegar, perhaps best known for his role as the trail-drive cook Wishbone in the TV series “Rawhide,” died March 27, 1995, in Los Angeles.

He was 77.

Brinegar was born in Tucumcari in 1917, though the family moved to Alamogordo when he was a boy.

In 1959, “Rawhide” filmed five episodes at ranches around Tucumcari and Brinegar was a fan favorite in his hometown.

Joe Thomas, Clovis’ former city manager who grew up in Tucumcari, was 8 when “Rawhide” came to town.

“(T)he old guy with the mustache and beard and funny hat (Brinegar), he would get out and talk to people. He came by and spoke to my folks,” Thomas recalled in a 2015 interview.

Brinegar appeared in more than 100 television shows and movies, mostly as a cowboy in westerns.

David Stevens writes about regional history for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

[email protected]

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