CHARLES “PAPPY” HARRIS WAS 10 years old when Frank Kindel’s two-seater Piper Cub took flight on May 31, 1964, near Queen, in southeastern New Mexico’s Guadalupe Mountains. “We knew what way he took off and saw him bank to the left,” recalls Harris, who was about a mile away at the Guadalupe Christian Camp. He learned shortly thereafter that the plane crashed about 50 yards from the landing strip, killing Kindel and injuring his passenger, Rev. Willis Plapp. By the time the youngster visited the site, only a pile of rubble remained. A Carlsbad business and civic leader, Kindel was best known as the Flying Paperboy of the Guadalupes for navigating his plane over the sparsely populated mountains on Sunday mornings to drop off copies of the Carlsbad Current-Argus. He was a frequent visitor at the church camp, delivering supplies and sometimes serving as an emergency medical transport. Plapp had joined the 71-year-old paperboy to hold a sunrise service for participants of the annual Pecos Valley Trail Ride, and the two were heading home when the tragedy occurred. Erected by Carlsbad residents in 1964, a 10-foot-tall concrete obelisk with a propeller mounted onto it honors his efforts. Harris has his own memento of the day: a piece of melted aluminum from the crash that he’s kept ever since.

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The monument to Frank Kindel can be found off NM 137, in Queen, about 36 miles west off NM 285, in the Lincoln National Forest.