Letters to the Editor: Academy’s name should honor Gattis

Clovis’ new freshman academy will be called the Clovis High School Freshman Campus.

The educator for whom this school was named in 1957 — W.D. “Doc Gattis” — has been somewhat slighted.

Perhaps I feel this way because my sister and I attended Gattis during the late 1960s. I had a paper route and the Gattis family was among my customers on Mitchell Street.

Doc Gattis was the principal at La Casita Elementary when it was located at Seventh and Thornton, where the Bruce King state office complex is now. Gattis was the elementary principal for my father and his four siblings during the 1920s and ’30s.

The Curry County history book, published in 1978, tell us Gattis was born in Tennessee in 1890 and arrived in Curry County in 1919 to accept a teaching job at Grady. Not long after that, he accepted the principal’s position at La Casita, where he served until his retirement in 1959. He was manager and coach of local baseball and basketball teams and assisted with sports at La Casita.

After his retirement, he served as justice of the peace and a probate judge. He was on the local school board for six years. He was 85 when he died in 1976.

Perhaps none of the school officials involved in the name change attended the Gattis school or were acquainted with the man. And so possibly the name means little to them.

I understand the name choice is designed to show the campus will be part of the high school. My son will attend Yucca Junior High next year and I’m looking forward to him attending my old school in about two years.

It’s too bad the Gattis name will be gone.

Carl Simpson

Dairy roads not only ones needing work
Would it be possible for Curry County commissioners to step back and take a minute before spending $1.45 million on yet another road to further line the pockets of the dairy industry? (“Clovis, Portales hoping for major road funding from state,” Saturday’s CNJ)

Could they think about the rest of us in rural Curry County who live and go to work every day on roads that need work a whole lot more than County Road 4?

I would invite them to try to traverse CR H after a half-inch of rain or maneuver through the unpaved (non-dairy) sections of CR E or any of the rest of the county roads that aren’t fortunate enough to be near a dairy.

Without a four-wheel-drive vehicle and an extra hour to get to work, you can’t drive on these roads after a rain because they are quagmires.

Ask county Road Superintendent Danny Davis how long it takes to get these roads graded after any measurable rain or snowfall.

I know the dairy industry brings in a lot of money to the area, but we who live and work at other jobs and happen to choose to live in the country would like to believe that we also have a right to decent roads.

Since we don’t have a big lobby in Santa Fe and can’t make those contributions the politicos seem to cherish I guess we will have to just wait till another election cycle. Then we can be thrown another bone by the latest politician who is working for us.

I won’t hold my breath.

Keith Forbes