Longtime Clovis resident Marian Ruth Martin remembers walking home for Eugene Field Elementary School in wind gusts that could knock her down. The 81-year-old said she remembers wondering what that wind’s purpose was.
“In God’s universe, everything is created for a reason, but I couldn’t see a reason for it,” she said.
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Later in her life, she rode her fascination with the wind to her involvement with wind energy. She began researching and realized Curry County had great potential for wind energy. Martin began contacting developers to see what could be done on the wide open plains of the county. In August 2007, she organized the first meeting of the land owners in the Grady area who were interest in getting a wind farm in the area. Over 80 land owners attended and the Frio Ridge Energy Development Association was born. The group now spends time working with a developer of wind turbines and looking forward to the Tres Amigas plant which will remove the biggest roadblock to the project by providing transmission grid lines to transport Curry County’s wind-generated energy to the rest of the country.
“I’ve always been interested in wind,” Martin said. “And the idea kept growing.”
After she retired from teaching, she wanted to continue helping Clovis.
“This is something that would be beneficial to everybody,” Martin said.
Martin decided to be a music teacher when she was seven years old and began teaching private piano and organ lessons at age 13. She worked at Marshall Middle School as the choral director for 19 years.
My friends and family call me … By both names, Marian-Ruth.
What was your most embarrassing moment? I’ve never been a morning person and have always struggled to get going. One day at Marshall during second period some of the students started snickering then it started spreading. Finally one of the students asked me to look at my shoes. I had on one black shoe that was low-heeled and one brown shoe that had about a one and a half-inch heel on it. Of course, when I saw that I had to laugh with them, then the more they laughed the more I laughed and vice versa until tears were rolling down my cheeks. Finally one student asked what I’d do if Mr. Purvis, the principal, walked in and as fate would have it he was walking down the hall at that exact moment and opened the door to see what was so funny. Of course the students got stone quiet and all I could do was point to my shoes and finally was able to say I dressed in a hurry this morning. In order to stay dignified he just smiled, shook his head and closed the door, but before it fully closed he started roaring with laughter and needless to say it took a while to get the class back to the lesson.
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Tell us about your greatest individual accomplishment. The ability to play the piano and organ. My dear aunt said I was the only child she had ever seen who Mother had to make her stop practicing. When I was at the conservatory, I was required to practice eight hours a day, but most days I would hit closer to 10 hours. I always had one more spot that needed to get perfect before I stopped.
Tell us about a time you cried. I cried tears of joy when our first grandchild, Jarin Lynn Martin was born.
What do you envision your life being like in 10 years? Hummmm at 91?? If the Good Lord is willing, I want to find something I can do to help someone else and remain as active as possible. Above everything else, I hope and pray my mind is still as alert as it is at 81.
What is your greatest fear? Better stated my biggest concern is the direction our great nation and world is taking. There is so much good in people, but it seems only the bad is coming out and the good is being pushed aside. It’s time for the good to come forth again and get back to our Constitution and God-given freedoms. Our nation desperately needs the patriotism everyone had during World War II.
Tell us about a time you were afraid. My father was a conductor on the railroad. One night coming back from a run to Vaughn he was sitting up in the cubby hole on the caboose and saw this huge explosion. He talked about how unusual it was for weeks and described it many times and just couldn’t seem to get it off his mind. It lit up the entire sky to near daylight and ascended like a mushroom. It had been explained as a munitions explosion at Alamogordo Air Base. When the atomic bomb was dropped in Japan he had his answer to what he had seen in the wee hours of that night.
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Tell us a story about your mom or dad. Love at first sight? I love to tell this one on my parents. Most people don’t believe in love at first sight but they came as close as possible. Daddy had just been transferred to Belen on the railroad and the first Sunday he was able he went to church. Mother was sitting with her friends on the other side of the auditorium and told them that that guy was going to be her new boyfriend. They did not meet that day, but Daddy laid off work and made over an 800 mile round trip and broke his engagement to “the girl back home” and told her he had found the girl he wanted to marry. They met the next time he was able to attend church and the rest is history. I never heard them have an argument.
Tell us how you met your spouse. We met at church on the Sunday before New Year’s Day. Lynn asked me for a date for New Year’s Eve. After the date my mother asked me what I thought of him and I said I thought he was a drip. Lynn’s brother Howard and his wife Gertrude asked him what he thought of me and he said “oh she is just a kid!!” But for some reason he asked for a second date and he was nice enough so I couldn’t say no, and that one wasn’t too bad, then one Jan. 23 he gave me an engagement ring. Time changes things but hasn’t changed our love for each other. We’ve been blessed beyond all expectations.
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If I could do anything, I would… Want to do exactly what I’m doing now. Trying to help people have better lives. My wish would be that everyone could have the joy of being a Christian. My life has been blessed from start to finish with wonderful parents, a wonderful brother, Donnie, whose life was cut too short, a wonderful husband, wonderful children and grandchildren, a wonderful Martin family, the greatest students any teacher could have and wonderful friends and extended family. Who could ever want or need more?