Writer remembers high school experience fondly

By Don McAlvy: Columnist

1950 was a perfect year in Clovis for some 144 students who graduated in May of that year and the weather was just right. Everything was just right!

The Clovis High School campus at Seventh and Main streets was right downtown, across from the courthouse. The Silver Grill Drive-In was right across Seventh Street where we could get a hamburger and a Coke. We walked right to school or rode a bicycle. Several had motor scooters. And 14th Street was right about the north end of town.

If I remember correctly our class took a trip at the end of May to celebrate our freedom. Or was that when we graduated from junior high? A long trip it was. We actually went all the way to Frio Draw, about 20 miles north of town. The draw was dry but the sand was fun to play in and we had ropes to swing us from a cottonwood tree to fall in the soft sand. Whoopee!

One of the historical events at CHS in 1950 occurred when our class became owners of “Bobby” the Wildcat, which became the high school mascot from then on. Price Crume, father of Elwyn Crume, was a trapper at Kenna and one of his biggest “Wildcats” was mounted and given to our class. In a ceremony Cecil Davis, Carroll Faris, Scotty Watkins, Pete Hurst, and Wayne Petty accepted the Wildcat. That was 57 years ago.

In 20 basketball games in the class of 1950, Clovis won 13 of the games, even beating the big towns, Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Carlsbad.

The women’s Pep Club officers were Sandy Pawol and Gerry Swearingen, and the cheerleaders were Marilyn Harrell and Letha Norton, who was the head cheerleader. The football queen was Barbara Woody. There are too many pretty girls in CHS to list them all. I was kinda sweet on Ellen Wells in her baton-twirler outfit.

Rock Staubus had already retired from being coach, but became our principal with R. E. Marshall our superintendent. Bill Stockton was coach in 1950.

We had some real smart classmates, although none of them ran for U.S. president, but Cameron Mactavish was the president of the Boys Debating Club, with Jim Marsh, vice president. Dee Hill, Bo Midkiff and James Dixon were sharp and sometimes funny.

The high school newspaper was the La Sesalpha with students Bob Bosworth, Charles May, Darrel Rumsey, Gerry Edwards and Tommy Pendergrass doing the news gathering and editing. Jan Wilson, Le Nelda Snyder, Sue Taylor and Margaret Hayes pitched in as correspondents. Mr. Tipps was the sponsor.

About 25 years later Harold Kilmer and I finally got to do some publishing when we did the two massive volumes of Clovis and Curry County history. Heck, back in high school we could have become rich if we’d been smart enough to learn about writing and publishing.
Saturday, July 14, and again on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2007, some of us CHS 1950 classmates will meet at Holiday Inn Coffee Shop to honor and pay tribute to the third of the classmates who have passed on.