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(Daily Press 1977 File Photo)

Looking back 40, 30 and 20 years ago, the following are excerpts from the Artesia Daily Press from Feb. 12-18.

40 years ago
Feb. 12‐18, 1977

As reported in the Pinon News: Mrs. Ray Leedy writes that water is short in the Roseville, California , area and her children had no idea how to conserved water. It had been so many years since she had to save water that she had nearly forgotten herself. As a child she lived in the Weed area and had to carry a lot of the water they used for household uses in a bucket. She learned then how to save. Joy Lewis in Valdez, Alaska, reports she enjoys reading the Pinon News, and that there was an error in one issue, as her husband, Tom, is the son of Orvil and Faye Lewis instead of Mr. and Mrs. Rex Lewis. Rex is his grandfather. Mrs. Lewis is the daughter of Bennie James and reared on a ranch southwest of Pinon.

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A single-engine airplane loaded with more than 1,000 pounds of Mexican marijuana landed on U.S. 82 near Loco Hills, struck a pickup, and taxied approximately four miles on State Road 31, where an attempt was made to conceal it in a sandy oilfield. Authorities from the New Mexico State Police, Artesia Police and Eddy and Lea County Sheriff’s departments were searching for two occupants of the Mexican-registered aircraft who fled on foot and were believed to have been picked up as hitchhikers. Two other men suspected of having been waiting for the airplane were arrested at mid-morning near the scene.

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A promising future as a college football player and a student awaits Artesia’s Randy Hill next fall, as the former Bulldog offensive guard accepted a full scholarship to play with the University of New Mexico Lobos. Hill, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Cecil C. Hill, makes the move to Albuquerque with some impressive credentials. As an Artesia Bulldog, he helped his team to three consecutive state championships in 1974, 1975 and 1976 as a member of the varsity squad. Last season, the senior right guard was also named to the first string All-District, All-State and South All-Star football teams.

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Free throws made the difference for the Artesia Bulldogs as the girls from Big Orange Country dumped the St. Pius Sartans, 64-45, in the first round of the Class 3A girls’ state prep basketball tournament. Cheryl Heathington ripped the nets for 19 points and Jacklyn Cole pumped in 13 as the Bulldogs cashed in on 34 of 60 shots from the charity stripe. Although the Sartans managed to outscore the Bulldogs from the field, a total of 46 fouls charged against St. Pius enabled the Artesia girls to put the game out of reach by the second half.

30 years ago
Feb. 12‐18, 1987

Like Mark Twain, the reports of Artesia’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Coach Jim Wilburn’s varsity Bulldog boys’ basketball team, in the midst of a slump that was prodding players and fans into the depths of despair, arrested that downward momentum with a 38-37
victory over the Portales Rams Friday at the high school boys’ gym.

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Wildy Zumwalt of Artesia will travel to New York City with the West Texas State University Symphonic Band. The band will perform at Carnegie Hall March 16. They first performed at the hall in 1983. New York Times critic John Rockwell pronounced the symphony’s show “a refreshing change from our own provincial concert fare” and called them “remarkably accomplished.”

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Dwight W. Menefee will be the New Mexico Jaycees’ representative at the U.S. Jaycees’ 31st National Outstanding Young Farmer Awards Congress Feb. 26 through March 1 in Moline, Ill. Menefee is among nominees from 41 states who will be vying for the honor of being named one of four National Outstanding Young Farmers for 1987.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Mr. and Mrs. Basil Holcomb were feeding cattle Monday of last week and found a stray heifer in their pasture. They were talking to Mrs. Duane Stewart and learned their cattle’s ear marks so they knew it belonged to them and put it in the corral and called Mrs. Stewart so they could get it. The hair is so long on the cattle at this time of year that it is very hard to read most of the brands. The week before, Basil found a bull in the pasture and made inquiries but did not find an owner. Later in the week, the Holcombs saw the bull in the Mesa Verde ranch pastures, and looking for brands they finally found the Mesa Verde Ranch brand so they knew the bull went through the fence and then went back home.

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Thirteen-year-old Sudden LongChase of Lake Arthur eats, sleeps, walks and talks sports, particularly basketball. Thursday, he gets to demonstrate his prowess at the latter when he takes part in the regional level of the NBA/Pepsi Hotshot competition in Phoenix. He’s scored just under 150 points at least twice in practice sessions. LongChase began his quest last November when he won the local level Hotshot competition in Roswell, tallying 110 points. Next up was a fourth-place finish in district competition in Phoenix in December. He tallied 95 points there, with the top four competitors qualifying for the next round.

20 years ago
Feb. 12‐18, 1997

After serving as Artesia’s acting fire chief for seven months, Roy Logsdon was made permanent chief during a city council meeting Tuesday evening. “It’s no big secret that there is a serious split in the fire department,” Councilor Carl Barnes said. “My concern (for hiring a chief from within the department) from the outset has hinged over that issue.” Logsdon said he did not believe that there was that big a split within the department. “I hope your evaluation is better than mine,” Barnes said. “I’ve had calls from within the department.”

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Artesia’s Naira Mendoza sank 16 of 25 free throws to take first place in the 8-9-year-old girls’ division at last Saturday’s District Hoop Shoot in Roswell, earning a trip to this Sunday’s State Hoop Shoot in Grants. Five other local youngsters also competed at district, the highest finish a second place by Michael Mondragon in the 12-13-year-old boys’ division.

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Artesia’s Tastee-Freez has come a long way in the past 30 years, but one thing has stayed the same: its ownership. Alton and Ruth Bratcher bought the business 30 years ago, opening their doors on Feb. 15, 1967. The business had just two stools and two walk-up windows in those days. Carhops served food to people in their cars — there was no drive-up window. The Bratchers bought the restaurant from John Trainor. It had been in business here for about two years when they bought it. Alton had worked for the restaurant, liked the business, and decided to buy it. The Bratchers are the longest continuous owners of a restaurant in Artesia. Tastee-Freez was the last business on West Main Street in 1967. The business had self-serve gasoline pumps and sold 50 varieties of milkshakes.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Charles Devine from Truth or Consequences, was in the Avis area Wednesday of last week and stopped to show his son the house where he spent many days of his childhood, the old Munson homestead where he lived with his aunt and uncle, True and Leonard Munson. Charles’ mother died when he and the other children were quite young. It seems that nearly all the children that have lived in the old Munson home like to come back, especially to the old house.

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