Mountains

Mancos Days Pioneer Queen is Wanda Goode

Courtes photo

Wanda Goode at age 19

This year’s Mancos Days Queen is Wanda Goode. She was born in Mancos in 1926. Wanda’s grandfather, Jens Jensen, and his father, helped to settle the Mancos Valley, and her mother, Iola Jensen, married Paul Boston. They had two children who were born in Mancos — Wanda and Frank Boston. Shortly after Wanda was born, her father left. She finally met her dad when she turned 8 years old. Wanda’s stepdad, Howard Starr, his brother and father, discovered the Doyle Mine, in which her uncle Parley Jensen was killed in a snowslide in the 1940s. Wanda loved her school years and still has all her grade school report cards revealing that she was a straight-A student. When she was 6, the drama teacher wanted Wanda to take on a role, and many productions followed. She continued to write plays, choreograph, produce and star in many productions as drama director for the Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) church. Mancos schools also benefitted from her choreography, dancing and direction of the school programs held each year. In addition to her excellence in drama and academics, Wanda was also a cheerleader and a majorette. Wanda also has fond memories of her school extra curricular activities. “It was the first day of spring and the whole high school, except one girl, decided to play hooky one afternoon. The boys snuck out the school bats, footballs, and all fun things. So as not to raise suspicion, group by group, we hiked up to a pasture. We had a grand time! When time to go, smart-alecks that we were, we marched right down Main Street abreast — back to school. The next day, however, wasn’t so grand. Everyone was expelled. Lots of parents were at school the next day, getting them back into school. A lesson learned that we never tried again.” Attending the VFW-sponsored rodeo held every year at the old airport is one of her fondest memories. One year, a teenager was working with a matched pair of Shetland ponies at the rodeo, that he could Roman ride (you know, standing on the back of the horse and gallop away). This handsome young man was Roy Goode, who would become her future husband. Roy became a jockey in Arizona and even rode for Bing Crosby in Mexico City. When Wanda was 16, during World War II, she went to California to work at Rohr Aircraft putting together the air ducts in the motors. The bigger planes were brought there to replace the weak braces in the wings with stronger ones and then riveted into place. She became “Wanda the Riveter”. When Wanda was 17, she and Roy were married. Roy continued racing as a jockey and the couple moved more than 250 times. They raised four children Jeanne Smith is retired and married to Jack Smith. She lived on a ranch in Mancos. Son, Darell Goode lives in the area as well, and operates the mulch plant. Son, Dan Goode, has his home in the area, but is currently working in the energy industry in North Dakota. The youngest child, Cindy Eckhardt, lives in Texas with her husband, Troy, who is a retired Air Force pilot. She works as a registered nurse. Wanda has 14 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren. Roy has passed away. He spent his last years in a nursing home in Cortez, and later on in Mancos. Wanda’s grandmother, Celia Jensen, was one of the first Mancos Days Queens. In her honor, Wanda designed, helped build, and performed on the float with many family members. This float became the 2004 Grand Prize float award of the Mancos Days Parade. Being a member of the Red Hat ladies, Wanda was also elected to design and build another float, which won the 2006 Grand Prize Float award. Wanda has made hundreds of quilts, with her greatest accomplishment in the quilting world being a wall hanging made of ribbons won by others in 4-H, hunter-jumper, and many other events. Wanda continues to be active in the LDS church and has had many jobs within it. Some of these were seminary teaching, classroom teaching, drama and dance director, just to name a few. She was baptized at age 8, and has been a very devoted member ever since. Over the years, Wanda has traveled to many places including Mexico several times, as well as Guatemala, Jerusalem and a tour of Europe. Look for Wanda in the Mancos Days parade, sitting in the carriage and wearing a special dress she made for the occasion. She will also have lunch in Boyle Park after the parade with many former queens, and is honored with a Queen’s Tea. The Queen’s Quilt will be hanging in the Mancos Valley Bank and will be raffled off. Tickets are $1 each, or 6 for $5 and can be purchased from the bank, from Queenie Barz or Bev Humiston.

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