Editor’s note: The Clovis News Journal asks readers to respond via e-mail to a series of questions each week. To participate in Project: Reader Reaction, contact Editor David Stevens at:
A recent Project: Reader Reaction question asked for childhood memories.
Here are some responses:
“As a young boy I loved horses. The only books I would read on my own were about horses. When we played, the play always revolved around horses, ranches, or something similar.
“I asked my grandfather for a horse many times. I was told that a horse was a big responsibility and soon after I got one I would lose interest. I was very persistent … and finally one day I got my wish.
“A local furniture store was advertising a special: Buy a living room suit and get a free Shetland Pony. I told my grandmother she could get a new living room suit and I could get a pony if she would tell my grandfather she wanted it.
“You guessed it. She convinced him it would be a good thing for both of us if he purchased it. I remember the entire price being $75.
“When we got home with the pony, my grandfather named him Gold Nugget because it cost him so much money. We shortened the name to Nugget.
“Nugget was young and mean and I became afraid of him. My grandfather made me ride him and would not let me get out of it.
“Soon Nugget and I became the best of friends. We grew up together and learned to love each other greatly. I could not wait to get home to see him, ride him, and talk with him. All the other grandkids got to ride him, but I always knew he was mine and he knew it too.
“I stayed close to him, even after I got too big to ride him. After I was drafted into the Army and sent to Vietnam, my grandparents still kept Nugget and looked after him.
“When I got out of the Army and came home, I agreed with my grandparents we should sell him. We sold him at a farm auction. I never knew who bought him or where he went, but I will always have a special place in my heart for him.
“I often think of him and hope he had a good life.” — Don Reid, Clovis
“As an Explorer Scout, I had the pleasure of an expedition to northern Canada for two weeks on a remote lake about 200 miles south of Hudson Bay. Travel was by car to upper Michigan, and then by seaplane to the lake. The canoeing, fishing and hiking have lived in my memory ever since. … My thanks to the Boy Scouts of America for those lasting memories.” — Bob Baker, Clovis
“Sitting at the dinner table at my mother’s house with all of our family. We shared life experiences, love and laughter. What better feeling than to know you are in the presence of a loving, nurturing family?” — Jim Sitterly, Clovis
“I was in the ninth grade and living in North Carolina. My father was on a remote tour to Southeast Asia. I missed my Pop immensely and I disliked the Tar Heel state a lot. My dad called long distance from Thailand, said he was coming home and that we were moving to Florida — I was ecstatic. So ecstatic in fact, that I ran through the neighborhood announcing the news to everyone who would listen.” — Tom DiFrancesca, Clovis
“It’s hard to pick one specific favorite childhood memory because there were so many. My Dad used to love to drive. In the summers he would take 30 days of leave from the military and we would drive across the United States, making all the coolest sightseeing stops. I’ve probably been through almost every state. … He’s passed on now, but the memories and pictures will always be there.” — Steve Deleon, Clovis
“My father (taught) me to squirrel hunt with my first rifle, a single-shot .22. We would bring them home and Mom would cook them. Are there any squirrels in Clovis? Carry me back to old Virginny!” — Jeff Flint, Clovis
“I have had a number of good childhood memories: Going fishing with my grandparents at Fort Sumner Lake, going out to my great aunt and uncle’s farm, catching wild cats at my third-cousin’s pig farm and watching my sister try to get away from an angry sow when she picked up one of the piglets. That last was probably the funniest because we had been told to leave the piglets alone, but she didn’t listen, as usual. She cleared that five-foot fence like a graceful swan. No one was hurt, but it is still funny — at least to me.” — Ardyth Elms, Clovis