Heritage Days wrap up despite dark skies

By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers

Everything worked out perfectly for Heritage Days’ organizers and vendors as Portales residents participated in the events without it being rained out.

The recently built Portales Junior High Gymnasium was dedicated to Kenneth Livingston, who was a longtime PJH principal before his death in 1987.

“It’s amazing,” Bill Livingston, Kenneth’s son, said. “It means a lot to me. He went through adverse conditions and the depression. He helped build the gym through the work program from the WPA (Works Projects Administration). He had a lot of talent working with people.”

Bill said his family used to live in a farm outside of Portales, where the radio station is located.

“Kenneth Livingston was instrumental in building the Memorial Building and the city pool,” David Stone, Portales National Bank president, said. “Everywhere you go around town, you walk in his footprints. He, more than anyone else, helped build Portales.”

Sammy Montoya won the Rough Rider Challenge and with it $500. He said he didn’t even plan on being in the event when he showed up to the city park.

“I came to watch my father-in-law ride his motorcycle,” Montoya said. “My friends talked me into doing it and it was only $20. Shooting the targets was the hardest part.”

Organizers used the baseball park for the event. Each contest had to run around the bases. However, contestants had to hurdle wooden posts in the first leg of the race, while carrying bags of peanuts.

Contestants then went to centerfield to fire paintballs at targets. Contestants ran from centerfield to third base to pick up a pint of milk and raced to homeplate. At homeplate, contestants had to finish the pint of milk and a peanut-butter sandwich.

People from the crowd and Mayor Orlando Ortega were able to convince three female participants from the crowd to race the obstacle. Shannon Willis ran in the obstacle race and finished with a time of 3:06:14.

“It was much harder than it looked,” Willis said. “The sandwich took a lot longer than I thought.”

Vendors were glad to see the shade provided by the overcast skies, but were even happier that the skies weren’t threatening.

“We left Lubbock to bring the hot rods to Portales, yesterday,” Ron Knowles, Portales resident, who works for Hills Hot Rods of Lubbok, Texas. “We drove most of the hot rods down. We got to Littlefield when people told us that the incoming storm had hail in it. We turned around and went back to Lubbock.”

Knowles said many of the hot rods on display have appeared in Truckin’, Street Trucks and Sport Truck magazines.