Published: 2:30 pm, Thu. Dec. 27th, 2018Updated: 2:27 pm
Looking back 40, 30 and 20 years ago, the following are excerpts from the Artesia Daily Press from Dec. 24-29.
40 years ago
Dec. 24-29, 1978
In a sort of Christmas-like spirit of togetherness, many Artesians assisted each other Friday night (Dec. 22) when most of the city was blacked out for anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours.
“What made me feel good is that we had so much help,” police Lt. John Colwell said. “Everybody was handy. Maybe the next time it won’t be that way.”
Colwell said all four police units hit the streets, as did the three deputy sheriffs in the area, a New Mexico Mounted Patrol vehicle, special police, and even some policemen’s wives.
At Navajo refinery, which sustained extensive damage during the blackout, the normal shift of 20 men was aided by about 80 other Navajo employees.
Christmas-festive Artesia was certainly surprised, as shoppers found themselves in dark stores and residents began groping for candles and flashlights. Store owners were advised to move customers out and lock their doors.
Kentucky Fried Chicken advertised its Santa Claus Special: Have your children eat supper with Santa Claus between 6 and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. A two-piece chicken lunch was $1.69; three-piece chicken dinner was $2.19, served with your choice of corn on the cob or a large Coke.
“Our Christmas Wish: Remember what fun it was to ‘help’ Dad cut down the tree? When you got home, you’d pop corn and string it while logs blazed and crackled on the hearth. Mother would be baking gingerbread cookies and throughout the house the sound of happy, eager voices would tell each visitor the holiday season was here. Times have changed but the special joy that youngsters know at Christmas is still the same. We wish that joy to you! – LaNette & Betty at the Calico Cat.”
Mecca Davis was selected as Girl of the Month by the American Association of University Women. She is a member of the Office Education Association and plays volleyball, basketball and softball at AHS.
It was like something from a Marx Brothers’ film. A truck turns a corner, the wheel flies off and rolls straight between a lamp post and a fire hydrant, jumping the curb and striking three vehicles. But, unfortunately for Guy Chevrolet, the scene was not from a movie but something that happened about 9:40 a.m. today (Dec. 28).
Lt. John Colwell of the Artesia Police Department said a truck owned by Britt Trucking Co. of Lamesa, Texas, was turning onto South First Street from West Main Street when the axle on the trailer apparently broke, sending the two rear wheels flying from the 18-wheeler.
Somehow, the wheels managed to roll between a lamp post and fire hydrant on the corner of First and Main and were catapulted over a curb. The wheels struck a pickup, bounced to the hood of a car, struck another car parked close by, and were sent flying back to the first car, breaking the windshield.
The actual date for the beginning of construction on the new Kmart store for Artesia has not been specified as yet, but steps are currently being taken in preparation for that date. Blueprints for the new store, along with a general plan for the shopping center of which Kmart will be a part, are now in the office of city supervisor Joe Howell. The plans, however, are limited to Kmart and do not include any details as to the other businesses which will ultimately be located in the shopping center, which will be constructed on a plot of land west of 20th Street on U.S. 82.
30 years ago
Dec. 24-29, 1988
Wayne Thomas, chaplain at Artesia Good Samaritan Center, and his wife, Pat, began an odyssey into the Yuletide carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” Dec. 13 when their telephone rang and a disguised voice sang, “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… Go look on your front porch.” There, they found a 16-inch, hand-quilted Christmas tree, adorned with 12 tiny bows. Each subsequent night, the couple found envelopes containing additions for the tree – 11 colored balls, 10 bells, nine snowflakes, and so on – in their mailbox. “We’ll keep this tree forever and get it out every year,” Pat said.
Artesia General Hospital expressed its appreciation for the “Pink Ladies” of the AGH Hospital Auxiliary. They included Moreen Harwell, Faye Acosta, Ramona Robinson, Liz Jones, Daisy Drake, Mary Castleberry, Patsy Brock, Virginia Burch, Wanda Maupin and Lynette Wood, among others. “This group of ladies give tirelessly of their time and effort, helping us out in so many ways it would be impossible to thank them enough for all they do,” said AGH board chairman Joel Carson.
Old West Burgers and the Catered Affair wished customers a Merry Christmas, while The Purple Iris and Anne’s Hallmark advertised post-holiday sales of up to half-off.
The New Mexico Army National Guard Battalion, 200-ADA Charlie Battery, hosted a Christmas party for needy children at the National Guard Armory, culminating their 1988 Oscar Reyes Memorial Toy Drive. Approximately 1,000 toys were collected during the drive, making Christmas brighter for some 121 local families, said Sgt. Charles Day, who helped spearhead the drive.
From the Dec. 28, 1988, Public Forum:
Thank you for my Rock Tumbler, and my markers! Everyone likes the Nintendo and the Simon!
CJ’s Restaurant, 900 W. Main St., advertised an 88-cent close-out sale for the weekend, featuring 88-cent hamburgers and large fries. The Pecos Inn Restaurant invited diners to a $4.99 all-you-can-eat seafood buffet, complete with stuffed crab and fresh oysters.
Though it won’t see its first group of trainees for another six months, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia already is providing a paycheck to 13 Artesia-area residents and putting dollars in the cash registers at local building supply stores. Activity on the former Artesia Christian College campus has picked up in recent weeks, and a summer opening of the center is projected.
20 years ago
Dec. 24-29, 1998
Shepherds Randy Harris, Russ Panzer, Grant Taylor, Chris Worley, Caleb Sallee, Charlie Ebarb, Nathan Worley, Brandon Worley and Rev. Palmer Clark took part in First United Methodist Church’s annual live Nativity. Portraying Mary, Joseph and Jesus were Carolyn, John David and Collin Cass, while angels included Brock Bowman, Lindsay Dungan, Tara Ebarb, Rachel Cirio, Elizabeth Clark and Kay Younggren.
Four Artesia High School students experienced American Christmas traditions and customs for the first time as part of the school’s exchange program. Nathalie Houde of Quebec, Canada, Julia Rostock of Germany, Isabelle Roth of Switzerland, and Lovro Tomasic of Germany were quick to point out differences in celebrations, such as types of food, artificial trees instead of real trees, or lights on said trees rather than candles, but said many of the family gathering aspects of Christmas were similar to those they enjoyed back home.
Tumbleweed Lounge advertised a New Year’s Eve Party with live music from The Valley Fire Band, and Los Padrinos invited Artesians to a New Year’s Eve dance with a free buffet.
Charles Maupin, Jose Martinez, J.P. Barta, Marc West and Clinton Greathouse were named to the Class 3A All-State First Team for football, while Erich Hardt, Mark Joseph, Greathouse, Sean Walker and Aaron Kennemur received Second-Team honors and Jeremy Guthrie, Michael Sifuentez and Michael Araujo Honorable Mention.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Looking Back was compiled by Daily Press Editor Brienne Green.)