Residents share memories of random acts of kindness

Monica Delk has made more than 90 lapghans for residents at Laurel Ridge Healthcare facility (CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth)

Ryan Lengerich: CNJ staff writer

Editor’s note: The Clovis News Journal solicited stories from area residents detailing random acts of kindness they have seen others perform. Here are some of their stories.

Monica Delk has been crocheting since 1974. The Yucca Junior High teacher said the hobby is a stress reliever — a tough day with kids means a long night with the yarn.
About a year ago, she decided her angst should benefit someone.

Delk began crocheting lapghans — blankets that stretch from the feet to the waist — for donation to the elderly at Laurel Ridge Healthcare facility. She had her husband Bill deliver the lapghans because she wanted no attention for the gesture.

Now, more than 90 lapghans later, each tenant has their own.

“In the wintertime we really need them because the residents go out to doctors and we put them over their laps to keep them warm,” said Mary Brooks, activities director at Laurel Ridge.

Delk, 51, said she can usually finish about one lapghan per week.

“If it is a really stressful week I can do about three,” she said, laughing.

Delk seeks no recognition or money.

“I am going to be old and alone someday too, and I hope it comes back to me,” she said

Delk said she will continue to crochet until her “fingers wear out.” She feels sometimes the elderly in the community are neglected.

“There are all these programs for children — as there should be — and animals, but you rarely hear about something for the elderly,” Delk said.

Never too old to help

Sam Covington sat quietly on his front porch Wednesday shelling pecans. He took them from the tree in the alleyway near his house. One by one he separates the nut from the shell.

But he doesn’t throw the shells on the ground — the woman around the corner decorates her flower bed with them. Sam said he’s probably taken her 20 gallons of shells.

Covington, 89, wore a gray winter hat embroidered with “Alaska,” a heavy flannel shirt and size 15 classic Converse All Stars. They’re the most comfortable shoes he owns, he said.

Covington moved to New Mexico from Arkansas during the Depression when he was 15. He can hear only slightly in his right ear.

“I am not sure why I am still alive. I guess the Lord has his reasons,” he said.

Covington’s yard is finely trimmed, grass is cut and walkway free of debris. The surrounding houses on Axtel are equally well groomed.

Covington does his own yard work — and then some. He trims bushes and cuts grass for his neighbors also.
“I have a bum right ankle, but the lawnmower works kind of as a crutch,” he said.

He cuts grass for his relative. He said she pays him with his favorite meal — cornbread and buttermilk.
A man who lives on the corner suffered a stroke recently, Covington said. Each morning he walked to his house and read him the highlights from the Clovis and Amarillo newspapers.

Clovis resident Duane Jacklin’s granddaughter lives across the street from Covington. Jacklin said Covington trims his granddaughter’s bushes.

“Sam’s just a good old boy,” Jacklin said. “How many people would you find at that age doing something like that?”

Finding friends in a snowstorm

Curtis and Billie Tabor were returning to Clovis from a funeral in Missouri as they cut through Texas. It was election night and a snow storm blanketed the Panhandle.

Snow drifts piled on the roads and the Tabors found themselves spinning tires on a snow mound 10 miles east of Tulia, Texas. A pair of 6-month-old puppies sat in the backseat.

Along came Ben Howard, high on a tractor rigged to tow cars.

“He wanted us to go to the house and get warm,” said Curtis, who is 79.

Howard pulled their car to his home, fixed the Tabors’ dinner and the two families watched the election coverage.

The Tabors were snowed in at the Howards, who provided a guest room for sleep and an early breakfast.

The Tabors left the Howards’ house about 10 a.m. the next day with a full stomach and new friends.

“You can meet wonderful people everywhere you go, but this was just an exceptional situation,” Curtis said.

Neighbors like dropping by

Clovis’ Dale and Kathy Barstad have lived on Sumner Court for more than 20 years.

Their neighbors, Mike and Rose Martinez, moved into the area about 2 1/2 years ago. This Thanksgiving, the Martinez’ stopped by with a full turkey dinner in hand, Dale said.

Complete with dressing and stuffing, the Barstads did not request the favor — they didn’t have to.

“They just do things like that all the time,” Dale said.

Sweet home Clovis

Here are excerpts from a letter submitted by Pam Goodman of Littleton, Colo.:

My 30th reunion for Clovis High School was in July. As always, it was enjoyable seeing so many friends from near and far. Sadly, many of the folds who graduated in 1973 and still live in Clovis did not attend. They missed out.

We had an opportunity to speak to the masses and I have no idea why I failed to talk, but I simply have to speak up now and let my feelings be known.

Born and raised in Clovis, I didn’t fully realize how blessed and fortunate I was until my adult years. I love Clovis and I loved growing up (in Clovis). You just can’t beat the people.

You people are gems. You are kind, funny, warm, caring and generous. Although I live in Colorado now and have been away from Clovis all my adult life, I love coming home and experiencing the comforts of my hometown.

When my dad died in January, several of my out-of-state friends came to town. They were shocked and amazed at how polite and friendly Clovisites are. They renamed you “Clovidians,” by the way, saying Clovisites sounded like an illness.

While we were proceeding to the cemetery, drivers actually pulled over and waited. Gentlemen removed their caps and cowboy hats. Some got out of their cars and bowed with their hands on their hearts. People pay respects although they may not know the deceased or family. That touched my friends and I felt a sense of pride by being a Clovidian.

Employees are happy

Here’s a note from Tuni Theonnes, a registered nurse in Clovis:

“Just recently, I received a phone call from a local employer. He told me he had had the IMT test done (a test for thickness in the arteries) and he was impressed with the information provided to him.

“He was sad this technology was not available years ago for his friend. Dallan Sanders died having his carotid arteries cleaned out. This was a big loss to the community and Sanders’ friends.

“The fellow on the phone identified himself as Douglas Stone (a local banker). He said he wanted all his employees to have an IMT test and the bank would pay the $35 per test.

“What a wonderful gesture for this employer. I was impressed with his caring. It was wonderful to listen to the employees as they came through the office.

“Mr. Stone, you really do have happy employees. You must be great to work for and I want to publicly thank you.
“It is people like you that will get America to understand it is time to be proactive about their health instead of reactive.”

Appliance delivered for free

Brittany Defoor and her husband own several rental properties in the area. In need of new appliances for two properties, she visited a local hardware store and found the appliances, but needed someone to deliver them to the houses.

“A complete stranger to me, but a former employee of the store, kindly told me that if I bought the appliances right then, he would deliver them for free to my properties,”
Defoor wrote.

The man did deliver the appliances but Defoor never got his name.

“It is people like him that make me proud to live in such a great community. Thank you stranger, you make my life so much easier for one day,” Defoor wrote.

Simple things

Dennis and Barbara Lessard said election workers were surprised last month when Laura Leal showed up with an enchilada dinner with all the trimmings — enough to feed the poll workers in precincts 18 and 19.

“All of us at these two precincts would like to thank Laura and her staff for her consideration and thoughtfulness on such a cold and miserable day,” the Lessards’ note read.

• Anna Baucon wrote this note about a friend:

“Darlene Ray helped me through a most trying time with understanding and comforted me with her compassion when I lost my companion of 10 years. I will be forever grateful for her.”

• Harold Burris had this to say about a man who found Burris’ gasoline credit card and returned it:

“How many citizens would go to the inconvenience that Ray Autrey did to be so thoughtful?”

• Carol A. Durepos said she and Patrick Maes were walking in a department store parking lot when they spotted a purse. Durepos said Maes immediately picked it up and took it to customer service.

“He helps people every chance he gets, including volunteering for activities at his church,” Durepos wrote.