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HOW FAST? — High winds in the Artesia area late last week apparently ripped the 55 off this speed limit sign north of Artesia on U.S. 285 to reveal an unfamiliar sight – 70 miles per hour. It’s been about three years since the 70 was replaced by the 55, although some motorists travelling on U.S. 285 over the weekend may have thought New Mexico was reverting to the old speed limit. Hopefully, President Carter didn’t hear about it. (Daily Press 1977 File Photo)

Looking back 40, 30 and 20 years ago, the following are excerpts from the Artesia Daily Press from Dec. 17-23.

40 years ago
Dec. 17-23, 1977

Approximately 122 tractors driven by area farmers paraded up and down Main Street Saturday afternoon in protest of the prices they are getting for their commodities as compared with the expense of raising them. Farmers say they want no guaranteed income but 100 percent parity. The nationwide strike began Wednesday, but some Pecos Valley farmers said they think it will be some time before consumers here feel the effects of the strike, however long it lasts.

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Artesia’s varsity basketball team found itself playing a mirror opponent in Eunice Friday night, as the Cardinals did everything the same way the Bulldogs did except score. That was their only deficiency, as coach Rusty Heskett’s team came stormin’ out to an easy 71-50 win. “They play the exact same type of game we do,” commented Heskett. “They run a press and fast break, and occasionally go into a man-for-man defense, so it was like watching our boys play themselves. At least the right team won.”

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Dear Santa Claus, I am 13 years old but I still love you as much as I did. I have been a jealous girl this year, but I hope I get what I want. I would like a rubber ducky when I take a bath, a teddy bear when I go to bed. And most of all, I would like a Baby Tender Love and Kisses, so I can learn how to kiss. P.S. there will be cookies and milk on the piano. I will love you always. — Jenise

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Ima Cooper ws crowned as Woman of the Year Monday evening by members of Delta Omega. Also during the meeting, Kay Geddes was initiated as a new member, Dorothy Butts received a jewel pin, and Charlene Ryan and Johnnie Wickersham were given life memberships.

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As reported in the Pinon News: The Pinon people feel the pipe line crew are very slow, as they are so anxious to have water, but the crew has had some problems, as much of the line from the Robert Bell ranch to Pinon is rock and requires a wagon drill and blasting. However, they are making progress, as they have much of the line ready to lay the pipe as far south of the Bell ranch as Antelope Flat.

30 years ago
Dec. 17-23, 1987

Though they are being very hush-hush about admitting it, the National High School Coaches Association has named Artesia High School senior Michael McPherson the National High School Football Scholar/Athlete of the Year. McPherson, 17, was picked as the national winner by Gerald Odom, the NHSCA national football chairman, and a group of NHSCA staffers. McPherson was nominated by Roswell High School football coach Jim Bradley, who is past president of the New Mexico High School Coaches Association and current District 8 football chairman for the NHSCA.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Mr. and Mrs. Demry Anderson went to the Prather ranch, southwest of Pinon, Thursday to see Mrs. Odie Prather and their new great-grandson, fordo Prather. They reported Mrs. Prather and baby are doing well, but it is rather hard on grandmothers, as the baby is keeping Mrs. Walker up at night and she was rather tired.

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New officers of the American Association of Retired Persons were sworn in. Serving for the 1988 fiscal year are June Barrett, treasurer; Mabel Cooper, president; Elizabeth Sinn, first vice president; Leota Williams, secretary; and Glenn Howard, chairman of the nominating committee.

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Hi Santa, Please may I have a cornsilk hair cabbage patch, a questron, and some t-shirts. And I would like some stuff to play school with, please. I especially like what you put in my stocking every year. Please may I have a rock polisher for my rock collection? Please bring something for my mom and daddy. We will leave food for you and the reindeer. I love you, love you. — Love, Autumn.

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Dear Santa, I don’t care what I get for Christmas. Just as long as it doesn’t cost to much! By! Sencerly, Dusty….. P.S. I think Mrs. Clause is real pretty. Santa we will be at Grand Ma Betty’s House.

20 years ago
Dec. 17-23, 1997

Artesia MainStreet. Many Artesians have seen the name at various downtown functions or in parades that stream down Main Street. But, what is it? Artesia MainStreet is an organization geared toward the revitalization of downtown Artesia. The organization will focus not only on community activities that draw Artesians to the downtown area but on the reformation of architecture and landscape to enhance downtown’s aesthetic appeal and pedestrian accommodation. “We need to get people to think of downtown as a place to go,” said Peyton Yates, president of Artesia MainStreet.

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The Artesia High School Bulldogs held off the Ruidoso Warriors in the Bulldogs’ first home game of the season, winning 84-82. “I think things went pretty good,” said Coach Bubba Jennings. “Our press was effective.”

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Dear Santa, I wish had a cat and a computer and a horse. Dear Santa, I love Christmas. Do you like Christmas too? Dear Santa, I love you. Dear Santa, I wish I had a gigapet. Dear Santa, do you like Arnold? — Love, Melissa

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The heavy snow that fell overnight has caused road closures, power outages and other incidents around the city. Snowfall measured 6 ½ inches at the New Mexico State University Ag Science Center south of Artesia and 6-8 inches at the Artesia Municipal Airport. Monday’s storm came close on the heels of a storm that left about 4 inches of snow in Artesia Saturday.

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National Guard all-terrain vehicles were being sent to Roswell, where local officials declared a state of emergency today after being overwhelmed by vehicles stuck on area roads hit hard by a nasty winter snowstorm. It was New Mexico’s second winter storm in three days, and it hit the state hard, especially on the east side.

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Dear Santa, I’ve been kind of good. I want a guitar and a computer. I will be at my grandma’s house by my house except a little bit far. I will leave you cookies and milk. — From, Bret.

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