Pioneer Days offers fun

By Clyde Davis

Age is mostly a matter of perspective, whether it’s attached to buildings, persons or objects. I cringe when I go into an antique store and see the prices sometimes attached to familiar objects — even toys — from my childhood.
Did you ever have the feeling you should not have cleaned out your old closet? Those days that really weren’t so long hold a lot of value, placed in a different perspective.
So we’re coming to the annual celebration of Pioneer Days, with its attendant parade, rodeo and this year, a few new events. One of the things that always impress me, as someone coming from the East is remembering that there are still folks in town who were born before New Mexico was a state.
In other words, some of the original settlers are still around to celebrate. To a guy from western Pennsylvanian (or Santa Fe, I suppose) that’s a thought to be reckoned with.
Celebrating our heritage is an important part of planning for our future, since without a sense of roots, its very hard to remember who we are. It creates kind of an identity crisis. Personally, I think that’s one of the major problems in lots of large cities-there are too many people there who neither know nor care about the heritage of the place.
Through much of the Midwest, there’s a custom which churches celebrate — oh, usually every year — called a homecoming, and it celebrates the heritage and the founders of the church. More than that, it helps the members of the church to understand their story, as a community; the story which they have adopted in becoming part of that congregation.
There’s lots of fun to be had at Pioneer Days, with the parade, the food tasting, the rodeo, the balloon event and all of the things which go along with those happenings. It’s also an important way to remember who we are, a town with a proud and honorable past and every reason to believe in a proud and honorable future.
Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and an instructor at Eastern New Mexico University.