Thursday, March 8, 2018

1940's CLOVIS.....AND FAST FORWARD TO 2017-2018

By Robert Stebbins, CHS, '51

                                     TRANSCONTINENTAL AIR TRANSPORT
From my early childhood, I have been fascinated with airplanes.  My 1939 Ford TriMotor 15-minute airplane ride that took off from a cow pasture just south of Clovis underpass set the tone. That was followed by X-Acto knives, balsa wood, tissue paper, and Testor's Airplane Cement and Testor's Dope. And, later by visits to Clovis Air Base Open House where we were allowed to climb on and around B-24's and B-29's to our heart's content.

The photo of me below is not that of an aviator on a mission.  The "pilot helmet" was useful to keep ears warm on a cold winter's day, and the indispensable attached goggles were especially useful just about anytime to keep sand out of your eyes during those regularly occurring springtime Eastern New Mexico sandstorms.

And now, fast forward to today. Since about 1995, I have been attending a weekly current affairs discussion group that meets at our local community center. A group of 15-20 of us hash over world problems, arrive at no solutions to any of them, and then return the next week to repeat the process.  It moves the grey matter around.  One of the ladies and I have become friends over the past year, and in the course of our discussions she discovered that I have a deep interest in anything that flies.  Well, Shazam!  It turns out that her daughter has her own airplane (Bombardier Global 6000) and her daughter invited me to visit and tour it just prior to her departure on a 3-week worldwide trip....nonstop from San Diego to Dublin, then to Switzerland, the Middle East, India, Bhutan, and other intermediate stops.

I arrived at the airport about an hour prior to her arrival, and the plane captain greeted me in the terminal and invited me aboard. He showed me all around, introduced me to the co-pilot and flight attendant, and all I can say is "Wow".  Then, the owner who I had never before met, arrived about 45 minutes later, graciously greeted me, and gave me a hug like we had known each other since the 1940's in Clovis. I am seriously thinking about hiring her mother as my publicity agent because she must have given me a tremendous build up with her daughter for which I am enormously grateful


After her return, my friend's daughter invited my wife, Olga, and me for dinner just before Christmas.  She does business worldwide in international risk analysis.  I asked her to not forget that my background includes prior experience as a Department of State Diplomatic Courier, escorting highly classified diplomatic shipments safely around the world.  I suggested to her that if ever she is unavailable and needs someone to fly on her plane to pick up or deliver something domestically or internationally, I am her guy to do so discretely and safely.

    Robert Stebbins,  March 8, 2017

Monday, March 5, 2018


by Wylie Dougherty
CHS '53

Since I met you, I’ve felt some changes 
In my mind and the way I think.
I had grown beyond the pure romantic
And quit listening to the sounds of living, Words of songs 
and beauty of a simple flower.
I’ve learned to love and live again a little better,
I see the clouds, sunsets and beauty in life.

I know I’m worth more than I was,
Not sure that I’m more worthy, 
To those who love, trust, need and wait for me.

As I grow old and wiser, I know 
I have to share and take and love-that’s the price of life.
My life can never be the same—no more grays and drabs
I have to live and give and love.

You never know what’s round the bend, a waterfall or rocky road
Or green, green grassy pastures waiting for our bare feet.
The wisdom of the age is still-live for the moment, love your friends
Take time to smell the flowers-treat nature with respect.

Take the extra moment to be sure you’ve cured the hurts you caused
Never be afraid to cry.  You see you have to open up your heart
To let a little hurt come in to see if you’re alive.

If you’re alive your owe a debt to each of those who give and shape and care
About the way you are.  
You pay the debt by reaching out to a friend who has a need—
Or stick your neck out, help someone who isn’t yet your friend.

The pleasure and pain of life were never meant to be unshared
Don’t carry the load alone—the burden’s only half as heavy if you share it with a friend.

The time you take to help another is paid back many times.
Looking back we hope to see the way shaped some souls
And heaped a little happiness on lives grown stale and cold.

Never be too busy to care and hold and shape and mold another who has needs.
Another time they’ll be the one to lift you back to life.

Wylie Dougherty 

BY MIL,  5 MARCH, 2018

Sunday, March 4, 2018




                       Photo by B.E.

               "READY TO WRITE"


                  JEREMIAH II

                      "WAGON WHEEL AT RED RIVER"
                                       by Kindell Brinay

               "BREAKFAST AT MIL'S"
                            by Mil, 2017                    

                    "JEREMIAH, THE PREACHER"
                                   Photo by R.L.S.



                               Photo by Mil, 2017

             KINDELL BRINAY
                      Selfie, 2016

                "SPRING AT WILD PEACH"
                     Photo by W.L.M. 2016

                        "MY TOMATOES", 2016
                                   Photo by Mil

                          "HAMBURGER TIME"
                                  Photo by Mil, 2016

Thursday, February 22, 2018


In these cold, austere, sort of unfriendly-
     feeling days of waning winter...
         with early spring, yet to come
I am not alone...
     there is a friend---
         a "big" one

here outside my writing place, on the 
     bird grain, five feet to 
my left---he comes (every morning) 
     a seemingly big gray first glance---

Wait!! I think it is a white-winged
          dove!    Yes! it is!

I'll just be sitting here musing...
     or writing...and then
oft a slight thump against the
      pane will announce:
"Your friend has arrived...again."

He must've got his seasons mixed
    and left Patagonia early 
for he is here by himself, tho' he 
    seems to have had some good
stops along the way...for eating
     He sure is FAT!

But as all of God creatures are prone---
     He is cold, oh so cold, (for it
is snowing right now), and lonely
    and wanting warmth, physical
and mental

He sits on the grain, and spies me 
       thru the glass...he is having a 
few bites...all the while his nervous
neck is moving and checking me
he sees me, I think, as
     another fellow creature
with a peaceful heart, tuned in to 
     the small things of life...

stretches, spread his feathers out
    as if airing himself...then
draws his neck into his body,
    as if trying to become a 

trusting me to have his back, he
   dozes for along time,
still as can be...absorbing warmth
   from somewhere---the window,
the grain, the stucco...

He has found a haven, and comfort,
     and peace...and a feeling of 
safety...just like all God's creatures

as the Creator hovers over 
it all, everywhere at once, Whence
    we all have our being...and 
"It is good."

Later, and the dove and I have both
   dozed (I think)---then
my winter friend,  takes a peck or two
    for the road,
stretches a bit...peeks at me a coupla
    times,  and signals me
     with those beautiful white-trimmed 
          wings...saying ...

"Have a good day, see ya tomorrow."

    ....and he's gone.

21 FEBRUARY 2018

Sunday, February 18, 2018


.....Alfonso, from "The Treasure..." 

For folks with sensitive palates, born and raised
down in the cotton country of West Texas, most 
spices have  one basic use---they  make good 
names for girls, especially when they run out
of suitable states and state capitols....for names.

O how oft in this world when cooks have  a 
good soup working, and they happen to glance
up in the cabinet where the spices (some five 
years old) rest, and say: "Wonder what that 
one does? I reckon I'll break new ground  and 
just try it out."

Well, please don't try it out on me. O skip the
bay leaf and the curry! Please!

Some people just don't get it. Every dish in the
mundo does NOT need a spice, generally

Warning: Don't hum " parsley, sage, rosemary ,
and thyme," when you cook. Maybe hum "Big
Bad John," with a 32 ounce steak on the grill!

I mean I have tasted soup that was so over-spiced
I couldn't handle it.  And spices I read about, I
don't ever know how they taste, (by their names).

Now then, I asked BE about spices and I even
googled 'em.  Goodness knows, there may be
several hundred spices out there---i.e. saffron,
cominos, oregano, sage, fenugreek, cardamom,
cayenne, fennel, cilantro, tarragon, cori-
ander, bay leaf, cicely,  curry, myrtle,
verbena, mace, and mint--to name a few.

And I thought a tarragon was a little turtle
crossing the road---avoid running over him.

As for girls' names, we already have our
Myrtles, Cicelys, Rosemarys, Sages, Maces,
and (Nut) Megs. 

I'd need to check with BE to see if she would 
like these names, which I am kinda partial to---
if we should have a daughter: Verbena, Corian-
der, Marjoram, Ginger, or Saffron.  Cardamom
might not be a bad plan but she would wind up
being called "Cardi."

Anyway, I have been accused at times of writing
like Andy Rooney (a compliment) and so I will
tell you that this piece is 90% true---but maybe  
a bit tongue-in-cheek for humor's sake...

The French saying is that "The English have a 
thousand religions but only one sauce."
Mil confesses: he has ONE favored sauce,
which will improve almost any and every dish in
the world. Of course, snob cooks will frown---

This sauce is LIPTON'S Onion Soup Mix. As
stated —it will make any recipe better, almost, 
except maybe lemon pie.
Also Mil, a Chez in his own right
in his younger days, does like
garlic, red and green chile 
powder, cominos, oregano in 
pinches, dill, ginger (bread), sage
in limited quantities, and guess 
what? Black pepper showing on
top of fried eggs at breakfast, and
of course showing on mashed 
potatoes and cream gravy, and
stuff like that.

In closing---back to old West 
Texas and my roots---folks
weren't much on spices, but
they loved their butter. And it
appeared on and in everything
in copious almost
all recipes. We're talking real,
fresh, home churned  butter!

Ah, but there was a villain in
those parts, in those days.
Yes, it was my granddad POP.
He loved sage more than 
anyone, and particularly loved
it in the family's beloved corn 
bread dressing at Thanksgiving 
and Christmas.

When the women were mixing
this recipe with corn bread, 
crumbled biscuits, onions,
celery and rich turkey broth,
he would lurk in the shadows 
of the kitchen, ostensibly just
enjoying the repartee, but
waiting to dart in, and dump
a cup of sage into the recipe...

....when no one was looking.
February 18, 2018