A letter from a lady who cares


First of all, the clock on the court house wall is working. Wahoo!

I received an e-mail from a lady who cares.

She told me I should go check out the clock at the courthouse and talk to someone about fixing it. I thought to myself and laughed: that’s her mode of operation, not mine. I just write about it.

In my earlier days, I might have had My Sweet Al up on a ladder leaning against the wall, fixing the clock. I would have put him in a world of trouble, but not today.

This is a lady who has been a friend of mine for over 23 years. Two years ago, the City of Clovis, New Mexico, appointed her as one of the people who made a difference in their town. The city asked me to come and speak on her behalf. I did.

I spent a long time preparing my speech.

I asked the audience this question, “Who is Betty Lucero? She is no nonsense, all black and white. There is no one who she wouldn’t help.”

I wanted to be as authentic as she is. She is the real deal.

The other speakers had long pages of bragging rights for their candidates, with all their degrees, credentials and diplomas. They were on the Who’s Who list in the City of Clovis. They were doctors and mayors. My friend had no degrees, held no office, no position, and was an eighth-grade dropout.

It was unheard of for a woman, especially a Hispanic woman, to be in business in the 1950s. She owned five businesses during that time. At the end of my speech, I asked everyone to stand who had been personally touched by this woman. Four hundred people stood to testify that she had made a difference in their lives.

Over the years, when I have visited her, Betty would say, “So and so is struggling in business, we need to go buy something from them.” Or, “Let’s eat there, and help them out.”

She came by my gallery in the ’90s in Albuquerque, and started moving my art around. I had never met her before that day. She said it would sell if I displayed it a different way. She was right.

My dearest friend is still a little bossy, but don’t be fooled … this woman cares.

She wrote this note about her own mother who passed away at 94 years old. Her mother was a tough woman, and I have seen the same determination and heart in my friend, Betty Lucero.

“Slade, Oh how I can relate to your article. Remind me to laugh when I can’t. I once knew a “Pillar.” A lady who got up early to do lots of everything, which she felt needed to be done. When she got up in the morning, the rest of the world was suppose to be up as well. Oh, but then came the day when she could no longer get up and do all those things which were so important to her.

“I need to tell you, all those things continued to be important to her. However, she no longer could muster the strength to get up. Oh, she tried, because “she still cared.

“So, let me make a suggestion here. Have you considered stopping in to ask why the clock stopped working?

“I am now 75 years (young), at least in my mind. When I need help to do simple things, which I used to be able to do by myself, someone will ask, “Can I help?”

“The tendency is to say, “No, I can do it myself.” There will be a day when I’ll have to say, “Yes, thank you for helping me!”

“When that happens, that day I will think of the Pillar I once knew. It was my mother, who left us four years ago this February. But, guess what? She never left, because her Pillar Spirit will live on forever in anyone who knew her.

“Why? Simply because she cared!

“Stop in next time you go around that bend. Why? Simply because you’re the one who cares.

“Until next time, I enjoy all the articles from all the writers. Thank you Pagosa Springs SUN for allowing them to express how they care.

“A friend who cares in New Mexico,

“Betty Lucero”

Final brushstroke: I’m glad the clock is working. My friend would continue to remind me that I needed to do something about it, because I noticed it and she cares.

Readers’ comment

Send in your comments to betty@bettyslade.com. Have a great day.

This story was posted on April 4, 2013.