Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Pages past, Feb. 7: Bus driver was hero in record snowstorm

On this date ...

1956: A Continental Trailways bus driver was recuperating in a Tucumcari hospital after walking 13 miles through a blizzard to bring aid to 15 passengers of his stalled vehicle.

John D. Hearon collapsed just as he reached the community of Glenrio and reported the bus was stuck in drifts.

Hearon was being treated for “snow blindness, exhaustion and exposure,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.

1956: Recent snowfall, which measured 13 to 17 inches, was believed to be a record for Curry County.

“This was proven by poring through back files of the Clovis News-Journal,” the newspaper reported.

Newspaper records showed 11 inches had fallen in 1918, and that had occurred over 21 days.

Clovis Air Force Base was involved in “Operation Haylift,” using helicopters to deliver feed to cattle stranded on the snow-bound Plains.

1962: Piggly Wiggly offered double green stamps on Wednesdays.

Specials included 2 pounds of Rancho Pure Pork Sausage for 39 cents, Shurfine tuna for 27 cents per can and center-cut lean pork chops for 69 cents per pound.

1963: Coach Lew Ringer’s Eastern New Mexico University mermen were 1-0 on the season, but expected to see heavy competition in the upcoming week from the swim team at the University of Texas. The ENMU squad was preparing to host the Longhorns at the Natatorium in Portales.

1965: Mrs. Avis Colborn of Clovis had been awarded a lifetime membership in the New Mexico Chapter of the International Graphoanalysis Society. Graphoanalysis is the study of handwriting, sometimes used to determine psychological traits.

1968: The Board of Trustees for Clovis’ Memorial Hospital voted to increase patient room rates to help offset expenses after the national minimum wage was raised to $1.60 an hour.

New rates at Memorial, set to go into effect in March, were raised $2 per day.

With the rates, the cheapest semi-private room went from $17 to $19 a day, and the most expensive private room went from $25 to $27 per day.

Hospital administrator Monroe Owens said that even with the rate increases, Memorial Hospital was still “25 to 40 percent cheaper than any other hospital in the state.”

1971: Stansell’s Highland Super Market, located at Main and Manana streets in Clovis, was the place to shop for “lower food prices,” according to its newspaper advertisement.

Stansell’s offered Palmolive liquid for 49 cents, three jumbo rolls of Bounty paper towels for $1 and Maryland Club coffee for 89 cents per pound.

1973: Carlos Paiz and Curtis Breshears won the two available seats in a Portales school board election that drew 1,135 voters, a number that Portales School Superintendent L.C. Cozzens described as average.

Paiz, an incumbent who had been appointed to fill out a vacancy created by the resignation of Bob Wood, was easily elected to another four-year term with 796 votes, more than four times the total of either of his opponents.

Breshears won a six-year term, taking the seat previously held by Herman Wallace, who opted to not run for re-election. Breshears had 397 votes, enough to defeat seven opponents in a lively race. His closest opponents were Georgia Blackaby with 198, and Gloria Ortega with 188.

1974: Cub Scout Pack 127 had held its monthly meeting in the basement of the Prince Street Baptist Church in Clovis. The highlight of the evening was the Pinewood Derby Races, won by Blaine Williams. Robert Chavez finished second.

1981: A Clovis weight-loss center had an idea for a Valentine’s Day present: a Diet Center gift certificate.

The Diet Center, located at 1708 N. Prince, suggested: “Start someone you love on the road to a happier, healthier, thinner life! (It’s either that or another box of chocolates.)”

1981: The Clovis Kiwanis Club was celebrating its 60th year in the city.

The service club’s fraternity members had included U.S. Sens. Sam Bratton and Carl Hatch, New Mexico Gov. A.W. Hockenhull and Charlie Scheurich, who is credited with parlaying his friendship with Gov. George Curry into the establishment of Curry County.

Clovis’ Kiwanis Club held its first meeting on Jan. 5, 1921, club records show.

1982: The first trainload of coal had been unloaded at Southwestern Public Service Company’s new electrical generating station near Muleshoe.

Plant Manager Ben Green said about 11,000 tons of coal had been delivered to Tolk Station by train.

The station was expected to be online by July. It was the second coal-fired power plant for SPS.

1987: Clovis’ Lyceum Theatre was undergoing “a painstakingly slow restoration process,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.

Restoration started in 1982, but fundraising had been slow and officials said city and state building codes were stringent.

The plan was to provide a site for cultural events, such as fashion shows, and a meeting place for conventions, seminars and other gatherings.

2006: A movie filmed primarily in Clovis and Portales, “Believe in Me” debuted at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in California.

The movie, filmed in 2004, was about a 1960s-era Oklahoma high school girls’ basketball team. Its stars included Jeffrey Donovan, Samantha Mathis and Bruce Dern, and it featured dozens of area residents as extras and in crowd shots.

Pages Past is compiled by David Stevens and Betty Williamson. Contact:

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