Pearce’s memoirs detail early life of poverty, humility

December 18, 2013 • Local News

Congressman Steve Pearce signs copies of his book, “Just Fly the Plane, Stupid!,” at the Historical Society For Southeast New Mexico, Wednesday. (Mark Wilson Photo)

Congressman Steve Pearce (R-District 2) held a signing at the Historical Society’s Archive Building from noon until 2 p.m. Wednesday for his book, “Just Fly the Plane, Stupid!: The Memoirs of a New Mexico Congressman.”

Pearce said that he spent about two-and-a-half to three years working on his biography, which covers his life from the time he lived with his family, who were sharecroppers, to the present day.

He had to write at [auth] night after work and on the weekends.

“The hard part was that I had to write it in pieces. I’d write a piece here and I’d write a piece there. We had 25 to 30 rough drafts printed out, and then I had to get the pieces to mesh, ” Pearce explained.

He said his inspiration for the book came from his constituents.

“Kids kept watching me in the office. … They’d think their family was too poor or they had no personal skills.”

Pearce wanted people to know that an individual can come from a background of poverty and still succeed.

He pointed to a picture of a chicken coop with cloth hangings that acted as coverings in place of windows. “I came from that.”

He also admitted that as a child he was shy, crippled by his own fears which he learned eventually to overcome.

“Parents worry about their children, but the beginning points and decision points reveal that persistence can take precedence over adversity.”

Pearce said that writing the book had helped clarify his mind about his own past.

“We didn’t have money, but my mother decided in 1957 through 1966, we could pick up trash to contribute to our community.”

This experience served him well during the Bush years, when he worked on the steering committee for picking up litter as part of a beautification campaign.

“Everyone wanted to plant trees and bushes, but I did what I had done in the past, picking up trash.”

The Chaves County signing was the second of a series of events. He said that the book is selling well, with the family having to order more copies of the book after the first signing.

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