Coon Memorial Home crowns XIT King and Queen
By Robin Scott
Coon Memorial Nursing Home held its annual crowning of the XIT King and Queen on Tuesday, August 4th. Festivities began at 10:30 a.m. in the lounge of CMH, which was filled to capacity with residents, family, friends, and XIT officials.
Each 73rd XIT Rodeo and Reunion Director was introduced. They each let everyone know what tasks they were individually responsible for this year. The directors include Andrew Banks, Greg Batenhorst, John Foley, Marty Galloway, Tommy Parker, Scott Simmons, Chad Strafuss, Travis Taylor and Troy Valdez. Also attending were the 72nd XIT Queen Laramie Wing, 73rd XIT Queen candidates Jamie Coleen Frazier and Rebecca Richardson, the newly crowned Little Mr. XIT Stratton Potter and Little Miss XIT Dylan Moore. The directors and other XIT officials make an impressive entry into any event, with their starched white shirts and cowboy hats.
As everyone waited with anticipation, the King and Queen were announced. Melvin Reed was crowned XIT King and Rita Skelton was crowned XIT Queen.
Melvin grew up in Richmond, Indiana. He lived in Richmond for most of his life. He served in the U. S. Army for 16 years and he fought in the Korean War. Melvin was a machinist for many years. Melvin is the father of five children, Chris Copley and her husband, Curtis ,and their three sons live in Dalhart; Lisa Guerra and her three daughters live in Texline; sons, Robert Reeves and Russell Reeves both live in Dalhart, and Mike Reeves lives in Richmond.
Melvin stated that he enjoys living in Dalhart. He noted, “I enjoy setting out on the wall in front of Coon Memorial and watching all that goes on.” The staff at CMH stated, “We enjoy Melvin. He brightens our day.” Melvin had no idea that he had been chosen as this year’s CMH XIT King. He commented, “I can’t even talk about it because I get all choked up.”
Rita was born in Oklahoma. Her family moved to Channing for work. In Channing she met and married her husband. Rita adopted her husband’s two children and together they had a daughter. Years later they moved to Airport Road in Dalhart. Rita was an active member of the First Baptist Church. She noted, “We lived here for many happy years.” Rita was also unaware that she had been selected as CMH XIT Queen. She stated, “It was a complete surprise to me!”
Stevie Brewer, Director of Activities of the Nursing Home, coordinated the event. The entire lobby and lounge area was beautifully decorated with red, white and blue flags, flowers and trimmings, and a hint of the Rodeo was all around. Stevie was assisted by Nancy Phillips, Andrew Sater and Larae Scott, who are all activity aides. Larae stated that her favorite part of the event was, “All of the people here, the good will and cheer. We look forward to this because it makes everyone happy.” Andrew stated, “I really enjoyed Melvin and Rita, and seeing them. It was great.”
Each resident posed in western wear for a “Wanted” poster. The posters were displayed throughout the lounge. The residents picked an alias, and stated what they were wanted for. Names and crimes included Sheriff Doolittle suspected of looking the other way in a bank holdup, Rustlin’ Ruthie, suspected of picking flowers without a permit, Pistol Pete, suspected of holding up the bank for candy money and Montana Jill suspected of stealing money from Pistol Pete.
CHM XIT Queen Rita Skelton was crowned with a cowboy hat adorned with a bandana and corsage. CMH XIT King Melvin was crowned with an XIT baseball cap adorned with an XIT 73rd Rodeo and Reunion bolo tie. Both the King and Queen graciously posed for numerous photos. The residents all received a bolo tie or corsage followed by refreshments.