Fairview names arena after couple who built it
By Suzanne Dean
FAIRVIEW—Fairview has renamed its rodeo arena in honor of the man who built it 34 years ago, and his wife, who has helped maintain it over the past three decades.
Near the beginning of the Pioneer Days Rodeo last Saturday, July 20, six past mayors lined up on the south side of the arena as Cliff and Jackie Keller entered through the north gate in a horse-drawn carriage.
The carriage passed under an ornamental-iron sign that said, “Cliff and Jackie Keller Arena.” Signs at other entrances now say “Keller Arena.”
The carriage circled the arena as the mayors and audience applauded. It stopped near where the mayors were standing, and Janice Taylor, wife of current Mayor David Taylor, presented Jackie Keller with a spray of roses.
The announcer said the city was expressing its appreciation to the Kellers “for their labor of love and untiring service” on behalf of the arena.
Cliff Keller retired a few years ago after working for Fairview City for more than 20 years as the water superintendent.
But in a city with only four public-works employees, he did everything from plowing snow to fixing the electrical system, Taylor says.
“He’s a walking encyclopedia for the city,” the mayor says. “We still reach out to him” for information about city infrastructure and advice on what to do about various problems.
Over the years, Jackie Keller has tilled the arena so people had a place to practice their riding skills. She has taught young people how to care for horses and taught barrel racing.
The Kellers are committed “horse people.” Jackie has won numerous prizes for barrel racing and in 2006 she was the barrel racing champion in the National Senior Pro Rodeo Association. Cliff has been the reserve champion at least three times in the senior rodeo association.