Attending local events makes difference in others’ lives

Clyde Davis

Reader be warned: This is another column about what’s right with the Clovis/Portales area. If you wish to complain, whine, gripe, or cry in your beverage, this is not the column to read today.

It was important to me that my freshman English classes attend the drama department’s Diversity Festival at ENMU. It affects their integration into campus life, it causes them to encounter ideas and mental/emotional challenges that they may not have considered yet, it brings them together as a unit, and, not least importantly, it opens the possibility of an appreciation for drama.

I wanted to gather both classes ahead of time for pizza and soda, related to goal # 3 above.

I went to a Portales pizza franchise, which unfortunately I cannot name [but the options are limited, so you can guess.] I was hoping for a break on prices, at best. Instead, I received the best thing that happened on my Tuesday.

The manager donated not one, but five — yep, five — pizzas.
Local businesses seem to fit into two broad categories. There are the skinflints who never donate to anything, even hurricane relief, then there are those — exemplified by this manager — who respond as a part of the community, giving back to it.

Thank you, sir.

Back to the Diversity Festival: Why is this important?

This is an event that ties in with the occasional feeling when one hears that we have to go to Albuquerque, Santa Fe, or at least Lubbock to see anything worthwhile in the way of sports, music, or drama. Certainly those destinations hold much in the way of growth opportunities. However…..
Let’s put it this way: According to Felipe Macias, ENMU Professor of Theater, “The Diversity Festival is a grouping of several short, original pieces, mostly written by ENMU students, on any number of diversity issues. Some of the issues touched on this year include religion, race, and gender.”

So I have to ask myself: Would I rather stay home and watch reality TV? Do I really care about Brittany Spears’ childbirth process? Who wins “Survivor: Africa”? What Jessica Simpson’s latest whine is? Or, worst of all, “Fear Factor”?

No.

I can take advantage of any of the number of local opportunities to participate in or watch live drama, college sports, music on stage — just look around, listen to the radio, hear and see what is being advertised for our entertainment, growth, emotional or mental gymnastics.

This was, of course, part of what I wanted to convey to my students by getting them out and about to the drama department’s offering.

Let’s put it this way, as an example. The Colorado Rockies don’t really care if you go to their games. Somebody else will pay their exorbitant ticket prices. Your presence at a Lubbock concert doesn’t really matter to Motley Crue. Somebody else will pay to see these middle-aged guys pretend they’re 19 again.

However, if you go to a local theater production, attend a college or high school athletic event, support local music — hey, you just might make a difference.

Who knows — you might even benefit yourself.

Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and an instructor at Eastern New Mexico University. He can be contacted at:
clyde_davis@yahoo.com