Lyn Moncus:Comments from the Canyon
Last Saturday, members of Tucumcari Historical Research Institute took a field trip to Hassell, the wind farm and House in order to learn a little more about Quay County and to admire the beautiful countryside as we drove along.
At the Hassell Church, we were met by Mr. and Mrs. Eldon Blackburn and Mr. and Leo Moon. Mr. Blackburn, who was born a short distance from that site, explained that Mr. L. Parker had built that church in 1914. As we looked at the pulpit made from an old organ, I could almost hear the sounds of the singing conventions that were held in those communities.
He then talked about his own life in the area, thus giving us first hand in the area, saying something to the effect that he was a bit of a new corner without mentioning that he had been born near Forrest, just a good horseback ride from where he now lives at Jordan.
Mr. Blackburn then accompanied us to the wind farm so we could admire the giants on the plains. We had seen them for miles as we drove toward Hassell, but we were more impressed by being able to stand in their shadows and to see them stretching along the valley rim.
Having seen them before, I was able to watch the expressions of others as they saw them for the first time and to listen to their remarks as they stared in awe.
We then drove to House to be greeted by Mayor Sherman Martin in the park by the community center. After our picnic lunch, we listened to Mayor Martin recount much history about House. He had a collection of memorabilia to capture our interest as he talked.
As he held the Bible brought to the community by Mr. John House in the early 1900’s, we could feel the presence of the past and appreciate the present while setting in the village he founded.
That particular field trip surely meant a lot to this woman from Ima because I was seeing old friends and remembering the years in which I attended school in House and rode the school bus through Hassell every school day. I could see Hassell as it was when the Snipes family ran the store and post office and could remember vividly going to school in the early House school also built by Mr. L. Parker.
Having been privileged to know the Parker family made me much aware of all they had done for that area in the early days. Having met Mr. Blackburn first at a baseball game when I was but two weeks old made me much aware that place we called home and of the community in my life.
Of course, Cousin Tink had to listen to my ramblings as we drove along because memories were certainly on the surface and needed to be shared. She could understand the feelings I was experiencing because she has similar ones at Nara Visa as she also has that continuity in her life.
Many of us are eager to learn more about the history of Quay County, and we certainly have many places yet to explore while we learn.
Just seeing the contrast between the wind turbines and the beautiful pioneer church was an outstanding experience, and hearing the history of House while sitting in the park near the beautiful school complex made some of us aware of how fortunate we are to live in Quay County.