By Emily Crowe
CNJ STAFF WRITER
Clovis resident A.C. Bryant has finally had his day.
A well-known local businessman, church deacon and freemason, Bryant, 98, was honored Tuesday by the Freemasons Grand Lodge of New Mexico with the Kit Carson Award for lifetime achievement.
Bryant came to Clovis in 1929, and has been a member of First Presbyterian Church since 1949. He opened the Foxy Drive-In — a hangout for Buddy Holly when he was recording in Clovis — in 1956.
According to Clovis Masonic Lodge Worshipful Master John Frerichs, only one Kit Carson Award is given statewide each year, and Bryant is the 23rd recipient since the award’s inception.
Frerichs said Bryant received the award thanks to his commitment to the lodge, his participation in the DeMolay program and his involvement in his church and community.
As a DeMolay dad, Bryant mentored young men between the ages of 12 and 21 to help them lead successful, happy and productive lives.
“I’ve known A.C. for 25 years,” said Frerichs. “He’s well respected by everybody. I don’t think there’s hardly anyone in town who doesn’t know him.”
Frerichs and Clovis Masonic Lodge Secretary Gerhard Pulz said they still have coffee with Bryant most mornings at Foxy Drive-In.
“He is still full of a lot of humor,” Pulz said.
To top it off, the city of Clovis declared Tuesday A.C. Bryant Day. He was further recognized for his many contributions and service to the local community.
Bryant’s son and Clovis City Commissioner Chris Bryant said his father also served as president for the New Mexico Restaurant Association and was active in the organization during this tenure.
“My dad’s always been involved in the community and community organizations,” Chris Bryant said. “I think his main love is the Masonic Lodge and DeMolay, and working with the young men.”