Marie Roberson said most people know her as the lady behind her desk at Graham Abstract on Second Street in Portales with her faithful dachshund by her side.
She started in that line of work in 1946, only taking a brief pause to raise her two children, and now at 86, she’s helped
generations of families as a title examiner to land and real estate.
When she finished high school in 1943, she attended Eastern New Mexico University as a chemistry major. She married the love of her life Oscar Roberson, with most of their courting done through the mail while he fought in World War II, in 1945, which put her college career on hold.
She returned to her education and at age 75, earned a degree in religion from ENMU.
Roberson has three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Her husband died in 1989.
You’ve worked at Graham for a long time, tell me a story about a family who you’ve got to see multiple generations of?
The lady I work for right now wanted to work for me when I owned the business. I tried to retire after my husband died, but I enjoyed my work. When I graduated in 2002, I went to work for her. She bought the business in 1998 and now her 27-year-old daughter is working here.
What was college like after taking such a long hiatus?
Fresh out of high school, it was easy. After not putting my heart into studying for 69 years, it was hard to get back in the groove. I was always a good student, I graduated from Eastern suma cum laude.
Why did you change your major from chemistry to religion?
We can never be enough like God. Of course as we learn about him and follow his pattern, we become more like God and Jesus Christ.
What made you decide to go back to school after so many years?
I felt like a dropout, a loser and a quitter, and I went back to school.
Of all the community events that happen in Roosevelt County each year, which one is your favorite to attend?
We always went to the fair. I like to see all the handiwork, through the years, I entered fair work.
What types of pieces did you make for the fair?
I won a lot of blue ribbons. The most I took to the fair was handiwork such as crafts and quilting. I made a floor pillow out of pom poms.
Of all the quilts you’ve made, which one is your favorite?
I have a king-size, double wedding ring that I made for my grandson and he’s never gotten married. He had a serious girlfriend at the time; it was supposed to be for a wedding present.
What was the biggest improvement or change in technology you experienced at your job.
The typewriter; I had the one you would have to return. Then you had a manual typewriter and that was important. The manual typewriter to the computer is the best technological change I’ve seen in this business.
At one time Elida had a lot more going on than it does now. What was that like?
Everyone went to Elida on Saturdays. People went to buy their groceries and visit. The stores would pay you for your cream and eggs and the merchants did the buying.
Your dachshund Krystal is a rescue. What made you choose a dachshund to adopt?
When our daughter was in the sixth grade, her teacher had a dachshund. That was her favorite teacher and we were given one from him. When she married, the dachshund stayed with us.
What was your favorite movie that you saw in Portales when it had movie theaters?
“The 10 Commandments.” I also saw “Gone With the Wind” at the Yam Theatre with mother and daddy when I was 14.
— Compiled by CMI staff writer Christina Calloway