San Jon resident honored at Conchas Dam Anniversary

By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

Even with the applause of 50 people and presentation of gifts Friday was just another day for Earl Flint.

“A great deal of people have come out to celebrate this project,” Flint said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers held a celebration for the 75th Anniversary of Conchas Dam and the Albuquerque District Office.

At the celebration Flint was recognized as part of the original construction crew that built the dam in 1939.

“Earl Flint poured his blood and sweat in to this dam,” said USACE Albuquerque District Commander, Lt. Col. Kimberly Colloton.

Flint’s modest nature showed as he spoke about the dam’s importance and rarely spoke of his involvement in it’s construction.

“It is wonderful to see so many people interested in a project which impacted so many lives in New Mexico’s History,” Flint said.

From the moment of Flint’s arrival he was surrounded by guests and officials much like a movie star at a weekend premier.

Flint sat quietly as people introduced themselves and expressed their excitement of the day’s significance and his presence.

Flint’s children, Richard Flint, Violet Heiers and Clyde Flint, accompanied him to the anniversary.

As people lined up to talk to their father, the children soon found themselves in conversations with guests interested in their experiences.

“We grew up here while dad worked on the dam,” said Richard Flint.

Clyde Flint was born at Conchas Dam. He joked with others saying “I am proof daddy was not working all the time.”

After the ceremony Flint walked around the Corps of Engineers office looking at the pictures on display.

The pictures offer people a glimpse into the past. For Earl Flint they were snap shots of memories.

“I’ve been here before,” Earl Flint said. “It has changed over the years but much of it is still the same. I wonder how it will all look many years from now.”

Colloton said the importance of the ceremony was the dam was built to last and is still in operation. She said the hard work from Flint and the work of the present staff to maintain the dam made the day possible.

“We are proud to say we have been building for 75 years and this day brings that together for us,” Colloton said.

A time capsule will be placed near the dam. The contents to fill the capsule were donated by different offices of the Corps of Engineers and included a DVD, shirts and uniforms, blueprints and books.

The capsule will be opened during Conchas Dam’s 100th Anniversary in 2035.