This weekend brought a chance for me to spend time with my folks in Roosevelt County. I got to catch up with the relatives and I even learned a thing or two about my points of origin.
I headed to Dora Friday evening, chagrined to find the Clovis overpass on Prince Street has closed for remodeling. After a nice lady at Allsup’s told me where to go, I waited to cross the railroad tracks east of the bridge as a train inched by. It was then I realized that, despite their bad reputation, I was thankful for graffiti artists who gave me something to look at as the train cars passed. It beats blank spaces for my dollar.
Anyway, we ate fried chicken at my grandparents Jo and Papa’s house Saturday and then my brother, step dad, mother and myself headed to my grandparents Fred and Laveta’s house that afternoon.
The six of us loaded up in Fred’s Chevy and we followed the county roads to a plot of land south of Portales that Fred and Laveta plan to cultivate for their cattle to graze. My 16-year-old brother George turned on the four-wheel drive and we rumbled down the rough terrain to a downed windmill.
We hopped out to examine the windmill. It was there that George directed my attention northwest to a mesa in the distance. On the other side of that mesa, he said, Jo’s grandfather, Emory Walker, set his homestead in 1902, 10 years before New Mexico become a state. This makes me a fourth-generation native New Mexican. I had no idea. The mesa is located near Fort Sumner. From there we proceeded to Juanito’s for dinner.
My parents headed home and George and I stuck around. Fred left to answer phones for the KENW pledge drive and George, Laveta and I went to feed cows, dogs, cats and horses (I guess the guinea hens were already fed). George got to crawl through the barbed wire fence to feed the behemoth bull himself. He comes in handy for stuff like that.
On Sunday, Jo, Papa, George and I went to Clovis to visit my great aunt Pat, who celebrated her birthday Tuesday. Jo and Pat glanced through some genealogy papers and they told me that Emory’s father, E.G. Walker, died after being kicked in the head by a mule. Dang.
After a stop at Dairy Queen, the party disbanded. George went back to Texas, Jo and Papa went back to Dora and I drove back to scenic Quay County for more fun. There’s nothing like a weekend with the folks to recharge the batteries.