Clovis police cars escort the beginning of the Pioneer Days Parade. (Staff photo: Andy DeLisle)
Michael Harrell: Freedom Newspapers
ProRodeo Hall-of-Famer Glen Franklin waved to the crowds from a white Chevy Suburban Saturday morning as grand marshal of the Pioneer Days Parade on Main Street in Clovis. The 70-year-old was disappointed he couldn’t lead the parade on horseback because of a hip replacement and bad back, according to his friends.
As a lifetime resident of House, Franklin found rodeo at an early age. Dogs, chickens and humans were his first target, according to his Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association profile. He was an all-around athlete excelling in basketball, but rodeo won over as the sport that would be his lifelong endeavor.
“Rodeo just runs in his blood,” said his wife of 36 years, Jimmie Gayle Franklin, who accompanied him with their newlywed son, Shawn, and his wife, Shae.
Franklin turned pro in 1955, soon after graduating from House High School.
Success of his pro career peaked in the late 1960s when he won back-to-back World Championship titles in 1967 and 1968 for tie-down roping. His first world-title win came in 1965. Shortly after receiving his last title, he retired to the life of a rancher. The constant travel required by professional competition never satisfied him enough, according to the PRCA Web site.
He was inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1979 for tie-down roping.
His wife described him as a man of few words. But whenever he’d say something, he’d mean it, she added.
“He is a fine Christian man,” stated his friend Gary Mitchell. Boots and jeans fill his normal wardrobe, he said.
Franklin’s children also achieved success as rodeo champions. Son Shawn became a pro rodeo calf roper, while daughter Shelly was named Miss Rodeo New Mexico in 1991 and became the second runner-up for Miss Rodeo America in the horsemanship competition in 1992.
Franklin and his wife now live quietly on their ranch in House, where they own and operate a feeder cattle ranch.
The 36th annual Pioneer Days Rodeo wrapped up Saturday with Little Britches Rodeo, queen’s coronation and a dance in addition to the main rodeo performance.
2006 Pioneer Days Parade Winners
• Sweepstakes — Red Hot Floozies
• First — Clovis High School Band
• Second — AFJROTC Color Guard
• Third — Totally Tan
Floats — Business/Commercial
• First — Clovis-Carver Public Library
• Second — Elect Doug Bowman for Sheriff
• Third — Bender Chevrolet
• First — Miss Rodeo New Mexico
• Second — Curry County Mounted Patrol
• Third — Cattle Capitol Cowbelles Mounted Patrol
Motorized and Antique Vehicles
• First — City of Clovis Public Works
• Second — Ned Houk Motor Sports Complex
• Third — Joe’s Boot Shop
Floats — Clubs/Organizations/Churches
• First — Shriners
• Second — 16th and Pile Church of Christ
• Third — CHS FCA SCAT
• First — Cannon Air Force Base Fire Department
• Second — Western Bank of Clovis
• Third — Snap Dragon Red Hat Society