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BONFIRE KICKS OFF HOMECOMING - A huge assembly of cardboard boxes gathered by enthusiastic Artesia High School students went up in a blaze of fire and smoke as AHS opened its 1976 football Homecoming ceremonies. Other Homecoming activities included the parade down Main Street, the traditional Snake Walk, and a student dance in the AHS Commons Area. (Daily Press 1976 File Photo)

BONFIRE KICKS OFF HOMECOMING – A huge assembly of cardboard boxes gathered by enthusiastic Artesia High School students went up in a blaze of fire and smoke as AHS opened its 1976 football Homecoming ceremonies. Other Homecoming activities included the parade down Main Street, the traditional Snake Walk, and a student dance in the AHS Commons Area. (Daily Press 1976 File Photo)

Looking back 40, 30 and 20 years ago, the following are excerpts from the Artesia Daily Press from Oct. 9-15.

40 years ago
Oct 9‐15, 1976

Dorcus O. “Charlie” Bailey, originally of Artesia, is one of the first two women to graduate as a New Mexico State Police Officer from the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy. A 1968 graduate of Artesia High School, Officer Bailey is now assigned to the district state police headquarters in Clovis.

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Jackie Herron and his grandfather, Jim Vancuren, both of Artesia, didn’t know what to expect when they traveled to Ruidoso over the weekend to participate in the annual Mule-O-Rama races, but their first time to enter the event proved to be a charm. “Festus” placed first in Friday’s 50-yard race and Saturday placed seventh out of nine entries in the world championship 800-yard race. “April” placed third in the 50-yard event Friday.

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Two Air Force pilots ejected to safety Sunday afternoon shortly before their $11 million F111-D jet fighter crashed into U.S. Highway 82 about 15 miles west of here. The two pilots ejected from the plane about 2:30 p.m. and parachuted to the ground. Authorities said the pilots were picked up by a passing motorist in a four-wheel drive vehicle who saw their parachutes. They were later transported to Holloman Air Force Base at Alamogordo for precautionary medical treatment.

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Christi Swink, a senior at Artesia High School, was announced as 1976 football Homecoming queen in a pep assembly at AHS. Christi’s court included senior princesses Louisa Herrera, Audrey Aguilar and Vicki Troublefield, junior attendant Linda Durham, and sophomore attendant Randa Matthews. Christi will be crowned during halftime ceremonies tonight at the Homecoming football clash between the Artesia Bulldogs and the Alpine, Texas, Bucks.

30 years ago
Oct. 9‐15, 1986

Contrary to what some people may believe, Artesia’s 1-5 record doesn’t mean diddlysquat. The important stuff starts Friday when the Bulldogs open District 4-AAA play in Tucumcari. The six pre-district games the Bulldogs have played are nothing more than tuneups for the wars in 4-AAA. The only opponents who really matter at this point in the season are Tucumcari, Lovington, Goddard and Portales. Still, the Bulldogs are frustrated with the 1-5 mark and likely could take some of that frustration out on the winless Rattlers.

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Artesia played one of those well-it-was-nice-to-win games in whipping the Tucumcari Rattlers 40-6 Friday in Tucumcari. Oh, sure. The Bulldogs snapped a three-game losing streak and won their district opener, but the romp came against a team which had lost 16 games in a row. Artesia Coach T.W. Harvey himself said his team didn’t play very well.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Mr. and Mrs. Frank Scott spent two days the past week pouring concrete, building a wall underpinning their home near Sacramento. Saturday Jimmy and Spike Goss hauled the Gage family’s lambs to market to Mr. Hibbard in Roswell. Demry and David Anderson have been busy the past several days working on a house in Cloudcroft.

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Upward of 700 Artesians turned out Tuesday night for a citywide pep rally to stir things up for Friday’s Artesia-Lovington varsity football game. Those attending heard former coach Mike Allen speak on past “Big Games,” saw the varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders weave in a snake dance, saw senior Clay Faulkenberry display the team’s lucky silver dollar, and made lots of pep-rally-type noise.

20 years ago
Oct. 9‐15, 1996

This is the week that Artesia usually pounds the dickens out of somebody in its final pre-district tuneup. The Bulldogs will have a two-week break after playing a 1 p.m. game Saturday in Bayard against the Cobre Indians, as Artesia’s open date pops up next week. The schools have met just once previously, the Bulldogs taking a 20-13 win at Cobre in the third game of the 1978 season. The schools have signed a two-year contract, so Cobre comes to Artesia next year.

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A wedding dress worn in the 1890s has been donated to the Artesia Historical Museum and Art Center and is currently displayed. Lowell Irby donated the dress belonging to his mother, the late Nell Irby. The dress had been worn by her mother in the 1890s and was “remodeled” in the 1920s for Nell to wear when she married Bayless Irby.

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An investigation of Eddy County Sheriff Jack Childress failed to turn up any evidence of wrongdoing, according to a letter from the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. “This office has completed its inquiry and review of the materials you submitted concerning Sheriff Childress,” said a letter from Deputy Attorney General Manuel Tijeriana to District Attorney Tom Rutledge. “We have not discovered any reliable evidence that Sheriff Childress has acted improperly; therefore, we are closing this file.”

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Spectators gave their team a hand after a Bulldog touchdown last weekend at Bulldog Bowl. Alumni of the school were honored at halftime, with Dr. Glenn Stone being recognized as the oldest alumnus: He graduated in 1932. The senior float was judged the best among class floats.

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Heather Harrison and Amy White are new teachers at Zia Intermediate School for sixth-and seventh-grade students. Harrison is a 1992 graduate of Artesia High and teaches physical education and social studies. She also is a freshman volleyball, basketball and softball assistant. White is the intermediate band director and assists with the junior high and high school bands.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Looking Back is compiled each week by Daily Press Community Living Editor Teresa Lemon.)