By Paula Cronic: PNT Staff Writer
Weldon and Vernell Reed have resided in Floyd since 1951, where they bought land and settled into the farming lifestyle.
They raised four children and grew crops such as cotton, peanuts and wheat. However, after finances on the farm became tight they decided to attend college.
Weldon Reed said he was 40 years old when he started attending classes at Eastern New Mexico University.
“It was difficult because I could read and do math but it had been 21 years since I was in high school, so I just had to start all over,” Weldon said.
Weldon and Vernell persevered and graduated from ENMU with their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education.
“We enjoyed working with children, it was something that we could do and then spend more time with our own children,” Vernell Reed said.
Weldon, 78, taught and was principal at Melrose schools for 17 years while Vernell, 76, taught in Melrose and Roy for 22 years.
They are retired from education but Weldon is still active in farming. He also works with Ag Expo and serves on the scholarship committee for Roosevelt County Rural Telephone.
The longtime Floyd residents were nominated for the Roosevelt County Pioneer of the Year award, which will be presented at 5 p.m. today at the Memorial Building as part of the 2006 Heritage Days.
The winner of the award will receive a plaque and will also have their name added to a plaque held at the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce which lists past winners of the award.
The Reeds were nominated by the senior citizens from the Floyd Senior Citizens Center.
Floyd senior citizen and friend Norman Rector said he feels the Reeds are helpful with whatever activity is going on in their community and are truly solid and outstanding citizens.
The Reeds enjoy hobbies such as antique tractor and car shows. In fact, Weldon said they will be taking their 1956 four-door Ford sedan to the Heritage Days Festival. They also have a 1938 Buick which they sometimes use to chauffeur students to prom or children to parties.
Both enjoy collecting antiques and have attended many antique shows sharing in their collections, according to a Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce press release. Weldon said they also enjoy traveling and have been to all of the 50 states as well as visiting Europe and provinces in Canada.
“I just never dreamed that an old farm boy like me could ever do all those things,” Weldon said.
Other candidates up for the award are Lila Bryant and Hazel Murphy Holmes.