By Tony Parra
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of stories profiling the nominee’s for this year’s Roosevelt County Pioneer of the Year.
Jack Carr moved to Portales when he was a teen-ager in 1930 and spent a large part of his time helping out farmers and ranchers in Roosevelt County. On Friday he will be one of the Pioneer of the Year nominees.
The Pioneer of the Year Award will be presented as part of the Heritage Days activities this weekend. The award will be given out on Friday at 5 p.m. during the Pioneer Reception in the Memorial Building.
“He’s quite a character,” Sharon Davis, who nominated Carr, said. “He’s a great person to talk to.”
Carr attended Eastern New Mexico Junior College and graduated from Texas Tech in 1938. Carr and three other PHS classmates — Dewey Langston, Harold Knox and Jane Lee — were nominated for the award.
Carr said he still sees Knox at the Community Services Center for senior meals. He said they first became friends during their days at Portales High School and the friendship has stood the test of time, over 70 years.
“We’ve been friends for a long time,” Carr said. “His son and my son became good friends, too.”
Carr returned to Portales after graduating from Texas Tech. He worked at the Kemp Lumber Company before entering the Navy. He was in charge of a gun crew of 40 men.
Carr and his father opened Carr Feed, a feed store in Portales. It was a business that lasted 35 years. Carr said the feed store sponsored activities such as the Roosevelt County Fair, Future Homemakers of America and Future Farmers of America. Carr said he and his father helped out with anything which had to do with farming.
“We participated in anything connected in farming and ranching,” Carr said. “Dryland farming used to be the big thing. It’s diminished since then. It’s too dry for dryland farming.”
Carr started playing the violin when he was 16. Carr plays for events for Sharing Hearts, a group from the First Baptist Church. He’s played the violin for over 73 years.
Carr said he was surprised to hear he had been nominated for the Pioneer of the Year Award.
“I don’t know what to say,” Carr said. “It’s a nice thing. My good friend J.R. Schlenker won the award last year. His daughter and my daughter grew up together at Portales High School. They are real good friends.”
Carr said he repaired string instruments for the Eastern New Mexico University orchestra. Carr also enjoys restoring antique cars and he rides them in parades and shows. Carr and his wife traveled in antique cars.
“The award is given out to the person who has contributed the most to the community,” Anna Foster, Roosevelt Chamber of Commerce events coordinator, said.