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A rich history full of sentiment and ... polka dots?

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By Carol A. Clark

As the big rock in White Rock nears six decades as the town’s unofficial messenger, a local photographer recounts how it got there and its history through the years.“White Rock wasn’t even here in 1949,” said Jack Clifford, who’s lived in the area for 58 years. “It became a construction town about a year later.”The man responsible for placing the big rock on the corner of N.M. 4 and Rover Boulevard is Max Chavez, Clifford said.Chavez owned what’s now the Quick Stop gas station on that corner. He was driving down N.M. 4 one day and noticed a major construction site.“Max thought it would be neat to get a big rock and put it on the corner and paint it white,” Clifford said. “He talked to the superintendent on the job to see if he would place the rock on the corner.”They bartered for a few tanks of gas in exchange for the rock and its transport, he said. Chavez painted it white and Clifford said he really watched over it. Then one night some kids painted polka dots on the rock.“Max was furious,” he said. “He painted it white again and it stayed that way for a long time ... Then some guys painted the rock black. Max repainted it and it stayed white for the longest time.


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