Let’s Talk Clovis: Alma Lemmon’s 80th Birthday Party, 1979

By Peg Bos, Clovis Museum

Alma Lemmon celebrated her 80th birthday party on Oct. 7, 1970. We will share a memo donated to the Museum that listed the Clovis friends that attended her party. On the back of that list is a poem by Nadine Stair, 85, of Louisville, Kentucky which was read during the celebration.

“If I Had My Life To Live Over” by Nadine Stair: “If I had my life to live over, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d rather relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip.

I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.

I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I’m one of those people who live sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve my moments, and if I had it to do over again, I’d have more of them.

In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day.

I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute.

If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have. If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring, and stay that way later in the fall.

I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.”

The Nov. 16, 1899 marriage of William Lumley Dawson and Miss Edna Parkes united two Clovis pioneer families. Alma, their only child, would graduate from Clovis High School in 1918.

We share information of active civic Clovis families that attended Alma’s celebration.

Ralph and Alice Sharer: Ralph’s parents, John and Nellie Sharer, arrived in Clovis in 1894. They purchased land at the Jefferson Colony on the southeast and southwest corners of Shaw and Fowler avenues. They planted the first orchard in that area. Ralph graduated from Clovis High School in 1917.

Julius Galliano (1893-1967): Julius’ (Jube) family, Joseph and Lucy Galliano, arrived in Clovis in 1894. Jube served on the Clovis Union High School Board from 1934-1946. He was very active in fundraising for the 1965 Clovis Hospital. He was noted for his “homemade” beans.

John and Freida Weldon: John was the son of pioneer Luther Weldon. Both would serve as Mayor of Clovis: Luther from 1940-1948 and John from 1956-1958. Freida and John would graduate from Clovis High School in 1926.

Helen (Beall) Wagoner: Helen’s father, Lee S. Beall, served as Justice of Peace from 1902-1906 and 1910-1914. She graduated from Jefferson Grammar School in 1915.

Mrs. William Adkins: Her husband William was the last Clovis Union High School administrator from 1951-1960. The Clovis Unified School District was formed in 1960.

Mr. And Mrs. Glenn Reavis: Glenn taught biology and at Clovis High School from 1926-1939 and was principal of Luther W. Weldon School when he retired in 1962. He served as Mayor from 1966-1968.

Olga Bridges: In 1948, Olga (husband Lloyd) founded the Clovis Merchant’s Association in the kitchen of her home on Nees and Armstrong. Loris Grossi, “Shorty” Sassano and Dennis Hallowell were members of the Board.

Milton Reyburn was the Grandson of Clovis Pioneer Joseph D. Reyburn (1840-1914) who arrived here in 1869. Milton was a 1924 Clovis High graduate. Milton’s father, Leslie Reyburn (1876-1948) was a successful rancher in the Red Banks area (named after the color of the soil).

Alma Dawson Lemmon’s birthday party brought many of our pioneer and civic families together. They remain an important part of our rich heritage.