Old-timer said it best 54 years ago

By Don McAlavy: CNJ Columnist

In 1955 at the ground-breaking ceremonies for the new Clovis High School Mr. Cash Ramey was called on to make a few remarks: “Ladies and Gentlemen. Way back yonder, 48 years ago this month, I came to Clovis. Clovis was a town about 100 people.

“As I look over this audience here today and see my old friend, Dr. Clyn Smith, my old friend, Mr. A.W. Skarda, Mr. Witherspoon, and several other who did their best to do all they could to make Clovis what it is today.

“Way back yonder when this was first created, this town of Clovis, this was Roosevelt County. We had to go to Portales, that was our county seat. Great story, if you can get the true story. I haven’t got time to tell you about it today but it cost money and effort. I participated in that. I participated, I think I bought the first wheat that was ever shipped out of Clovis.

“A firm that I was interested in shipped hogs out of here for years and years. I helped Mr. John Young create the sale barn down here. I think some of my firm and some of the other people had something to do with the first cattle that were every fed in this country. This is a wonderful country. This is a great town. My good old friend, James Bickley, he came here when he was first married. We took him over there and gave him kind of a shivaree. He was eternally and everlasting after me to help to do something about the schools. I never voted against a school bond in my life and never expect to.

“Down here he wanted a school house and he got it. One time he called me up and he said, ‘Cash, I’ll tell you something. There’s so few voters going out to this election. I don’t believe we are going to get enough bonds legal even if they do vote for it,’ I said. ‘Alright, I’ll go out this afternoon and help you get a few votes.’ We did, I never failed Jim (James Bickley) and I don’t intend to fail this bunch.

“Now friends, of all the achievements I’ve helped to do, be what part I played, little or big, I was to say one thing. My son is a graduate of Clovis High School. I’m sorry today that he can’t be here and witness this ground breaking. I am proud as I was able to let the school board have this land. I think more of this achievement than any other thing that I have ever done. I think it’s a wonderful place for a school house. A lot of people condemn that because I say school house. You know I was educated up in Kansas in a little ole school house about 26 feet wide and 50 feet long and that teacher in there taught from ABC’s to higher arithmetic.

“These schoolhouses today are quite big. Clovis is still going to make a larger city, a bigger city. You just as well get ready to buy more ground to build more school houses. I thank you.”

Cash Ramey’s son had died, and Cash thought of me (Don) as I was like his own son.

Cash Ramey was a great man!

Don McAlavy is Curry County’s historian. He can be contacted at:

dmcalavy@telescopelab.com