Grant McGee: Friend showed ropes of living in New Mexico

I got an e-mail a few days ago from my good friend Kent, the Bard of the Pecos, now a part-time judge, duly elected by the folks of Elida.

Kent was going in for hip surgery and, you know, there’s no absolute guarantee that you’ll emerge on the other side hale, hearty and alive.

Kent wanted me to know how much I meant to him, just in case. I told him the same.

I was working at a Roswell radio station when I met Kent. He knew eastern New Mexico.

He told tales of growing up in Elida, visiting “nightclubs” on Clovis’ south side, accidentally shooting himself, serving with the Navy in the Vietnam War, getting a degree from ENMU and other many other down-to-earth adventures.

I liked Kent’s common sense, his head-on approach to life. I was a newcomer to The West yet he made me feel like I grew up here.

I give credit for a lot of my schooling about eastern New Mexico ways to mybuddy Kent. I regularly use some of his many sayings: “If not now, when?” or “Is a 10-pound robin fat?”

Kent brought those eastern New Mexico sensibilities when he visited me in the “art town” of Bisbee, Ariz. This is where he saw his first art-car: a compact station wagon with all kinds of dolls glued all over it.

“What the hell was that!?!” he yelled.

I tried to explain to him the philosophy of using one’s vehicle as a canvas of expression, a work of art.

But he just said, “Waste of a perfectly good car.”

Well, the news is in from Elida, Kent is back home recuperating well. I’m glad. That guy means a helluva lot to me.

Maybe you have a great friend like mine; more brother or sister than great pal.

Have you told them lately how much they mean to you?