Mesa Elementary receives new cafeteria

The teachers at Mesa Elementary School, dressed in ’50s attire, finished their dance and the end of the dedication program for the new “Wild Horse Café” on Wednesday at the school. (CNJ correspondent: Martha Richardson)

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer

The present Mesa Elementary students received would never fit under a Christmas tree. It spans four walls and a hallway, and took almost a year to bring to fruition.
The gift is an entire cafeteria.

Faculty and community members renovated the eating space to reflect the musical history of Clovis, and celebrated its completion Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“We wanted to do something special for the kids,” said Mesa principal Jan Cox. “This is their Christmas present.”

Hanging from the brick walls of the cafeteria — dubbed the Wild Horse Cafe by popular student vote — are more than 20 framed posters and assorted items. A neon lit jukebox and the bed of a blue truck — turned into an eating nook complete with a table and two swivel chairs — also decorate the space.

“My favorite part is the truck. I think it’s really cool that we got to have a new cafeteria,” said Mesa fifth-grader Teanna Squires.

The entire arrangement, Mesa administration and faculty members say, is a tribute to the rock ‘n’ roll legends who recorded at the Clovis Norman Petty Studio.

“I want our children to learn what has happened in the past and truly appreciate what has happened here in the past,” said Cox, a native of Clovis. “This is a living museum we will continue to add to.”

Clovis resident David Bigham stood near the back of the cafeteria at the end of the ceremony. Bigham, former member of the rock ‘n’ roll band the Roses, scanned the colorful walls as students trickled out of the room.

“They did a fantastic job,” Bigham said. “I am pleased to see the ’50s legacy is being passed down to our younger people.”

It seems that it is.

“I think the music is cool,” said Mesa sixth-grader Drake Davidson.

He had a few suggestions of his own, however.

“All they need now is a poster of Charlie Brown. This place,” he said, looking around the cafeteria, “is perfect. But it would be better with a poster of Charlie Brown — he’s my favorite.”