Saturday, July 16, 2016

Happy Days

Portales is home to Eastern New Mexico University, a 4 year state university, established in the latter 1920's, opening in 1934. Currently it boasts an enrollment of around 5,000 students, give or take a thousand according to who one asks. My Dad earned his first Masters degree from there in the 1960's, I attended and worked as professional staff in broadcasting for a few years, and 5 family members all received Bachelor Degrees.


When I was in high school in nearby Clovis I remember an episode of the TV show "Happy Days" where Ron Howard and his friends were discussing colleges. One girl remarked, somewhat dryly and sarcastically, "...or you could go to Eastern New Mexico University!" Hey, that's near me! Years later I learned that particular actress attended ENMU for a short time, I believe majoring in theater. Not sure of her name as I can't find any references but I remember that line. My high school physics teacher admonished those of us in advanced science classes to not attend ENMU. It was the choice for those who, as one student put it, "I'm from New Jersey and wanted to quit working in a screw factory and ENMU was the only college to accept me."

ENMU and the town of Portales have this rift. Years ago it was common knowledge old-timers resented the university. There was definite animosity.  I don't know if that's changed much. A couple of years ago an investor bought the old, abandoned, downtown Portales Inn Hotel. He told me he had no idea a university was there until after he moved in to begin renovations. Sad, since the university is only a few blocks from downtown and the town of Portales is small, about 12,000 residents.

Enough bad. The town of Portales is a great place for families or those wishing for a small-town existence. Shopping is limited (of course there's a Walmart), and nearby Clovis offers a small mall. For true shoppers one must travel to the cities of Lubbock, Texas or Amarillo, Texas-both about a two-hour drive. I've always preferred Lubbock over Amarillo. If one wishes to open or move a business to Portales I would  offer high encouragement. The town is very business-friendly, especially if one can cater to that sought-after 15 year-old to late 20 year-old demographic.

More coming soon!

Friday, July 1, 2016


Portales! Stay tuned for more photos, stories and info from this great little New Mexico community!