Retirement doesn’t slow down Blair

Born in October 1925 in Roosevelt County to F.M. and Zona Blair, Joe Blair, 78, has called Portales home most of his life.
Blair’s father homesteaded land in Curry County in 1906. He and his mother moved to Portales in 1920.
Blair attended school in Portales. When World War II broke out, he enlisted in the Navy serving as a gunner’s mate. His four-year stint earned him 13 battle stars.
After his discharge, he returned to Clovis, where he met his future wife, Dorothy Stanfield.
The couple married in 1946.
In 1956, he opened B&B Radio and TV. Blair saw the development of 8-track tape players, VCRs and microwaves. In 1963, he sold his first color television.
“Everyone had a TV,” Blair said. “There were so many antennas on house roofs, Portales looked like a porcupine.”
Blair’s wife died in 1988. In 1992, he sold the store.
Retirement has not slowed down Blair.
He stays busy with a number of organizations including Masons, Shriners, Scottish Rites, American Legions, Golden Eagles, Flying Club and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
He also pursues his three greatest passions: flying, hunting and history.
“My dad taught me (how to hunt) and I taught my grandkids,” he said.
In 1963, Blair traveled to Africa to bag the “big five,” which include a rhinoceros, lion, elephant, leopard and cape buffalo. In fact, he made the World Record Book for bagging four of the five. He didn’t get the rhinoceros.
Currently serving as Roosevelt County historian, Blair has written stories and a book for his grandchildren and collaborated on a book about the history of Portales with a relative, Henry Hahn.
Blair developed an interest in history from his father.
“My grandfather fought in the Civil War and my dad told me stories of him. I’ve always loved history,” Blair said.
“He has worked hard for his community and for veteran organizations, as well as preserving the history of Portales,” said Judy Hall, Blair’s daughter, who nominated her father for Pioneer of the Year. “If I were to be asked what kind of person represented a true American, I’d have to say my dad.”
Information provided by Anna Foster of the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce.