Approaching summer means that Mancos Days is drawing nearer. And in preparation for the annual celebration, the Montezuma County Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary Post 5231 has selected Roma Ewing as this year’s Mancos Days queen.
Ewing, who will turn 80 on June 23, is an active community member with family roots in Southwest Colorado.
“I feel very honored that they have asked me to be the queen,” she said.
Ewing was born in 1939 in McPhee, Colorado, the sawmill company town at the site of what is now McPhee Reservoir. Her father worked as a logger, and her mother cooked for a logging crew at a boarding house during summer.
A few years later, the family moved to Olympia, Washington, where Ewing’s father worked as a longshoreman in the Puget Sound. Jobs in Southwest Colorado had grown scarce because of the outbreak of World War II.
Ewing and her family returned to the area a few years later, though, moving to Lewis in 1946 and Mancos in 1949. She spent the rest of her youth in Mancos, graduating from Mancos High School in 1957 and marrying her high school sweetheart Henry Ewing not long after graduation.
The Ewings stayed in Mancos for a few years, before moving to Durango so Henry could work for the telephone company Mountain Bell. Roma took care of their three children, volunteered at the Methodist Thrift Store and sold home interiors.
They came back to Mancos in 1973. A few years later, Ewing attained her accounting degree, allowing her to work for Mesa Verde Co. in the accounting and payroll department and later as a personnel and safety officer.
The Ewings retired in 1989, after which they spent time traveling in their RV until Henry’s death in September 2007. Roma Ewing spends winters in Arizona in order to be close to her daughter and the rest of the year in Mancos.
Ewing’s selection as queen is somewhat poignant, as she herself was present at the first Mancos Days celebration and her mother also held the post in 2003.
“I feel like I’ve been a part of this community and this county,” she said of the reason for her selection.
This is the 60th anniversary of Mancos Days, an annual festival which this year will take place from July 26-28. The Auxiliary will host a tea for Ewing and all past queens at 1 p.m. Friday, July 26, at the Mancos Community Center.
The next day at 1 p.m., the Auxiliary will conduct its annual Queen Quilt Raffle at Boyle Park. The handmade quilt will be on display at the Dolores State Bank starting June 10.
Tickets are $1 each or $5 for six, and can be purchased from any Auxiliary member. For more information, contact Jazmyn Hampton at (256) 690-2088 or Mayor Queenie Barz at 749-9320.