I was talking to the director of the Chamber of Commerce the other day and she voiced her opinion that we had no big attraction to lure visitors to town. She pointed out that Colorado Springs has Pikes Peak, Flagstaff has the Grand Canyon, Inverness, Scotland has the Loch Ness Monster and the Pacific Northwest has Big Foot (I could go on, but I think you get the point).
While we agreed that huge mountains and canyons are big draws touristwise, we felt they would be a bit of a challenge to bring to Tucumcari although I think it would be great conditioning for our athletes just before the athletic season begins to be digging a canyon or building up Tucumcari Mountain. Can’t you just hear the coaches?
“Come on Jamie, get those legs into it. I want to see that mountain 10 feet higher before nightfall!” or “Jeez, Robert, my grandmother could dig a better canyon than that, for heaven’s sake!”
But realistically, we thought maybe a Big Foot, Sasquash, Yeti or Loch Ness type monster may be better to bring in tourists. I suggested a monster somewhat similar to Big Foot, which would range the fields and pasture land around Tucumcari devouring herds of reindeer and the occasional bad setter on the volleyball team.
“But,” said my friend when she heard my idea, “Tucumcari doesn’t have any reindeer herds or bad setters on the volleyball team.”
“You see,” I said laughing maniacally. “They’ve all been devoured. See how fiendishly clever my idea is?”
I figured we could come up with a wild description of the beast and people would flock to the area and begin searching for him. It could have grayish white fur, wild eyes, chubby, a shuffling gait and he would always be bumping into things. My friend listened to my description, looked at me, then listened a bit longer and finally interrupted.
“You realize, of course, you have just described the editor of the Quay County Sun…”
I jumped up and said angrily, “Hey, I’m the editor of the…Oh,” Then I got to thinking it might be a good hobby after I retired.
She, however, thought the idea of a Loch Ness type monster would be a better type of monster. She pointed out that water can hide a number of different things and if one monster didn’t work at one area body of water, we could always have another surface and take its place. That way it could be in Lake Conchas one day at Ute Lake the Next and then appear at the ponds east of Tucumcari the third. Everybody can get a piece of the action.
“And think about the name,” she said, “It can be like Nessie near Inverness, Scotland. We could call it Tukey. Doesn’t that sound like a great name. I can see the money rolling in from stuffed animal sales.”
“And bumper stickers,” I added warming to the idea, “and T-shirts. They could say something like, ‘I got all puky when I saw Tukey’” (OK, OK, it wasn’t one of my best ideas).
We would have television stations down here daily and government study groups would flood the town with all kinds of money.
After some thought we agreed that possibly we should spend a bit more time thinking about our idea. She added if the idea did catch on, Clovis or Santa Rosa would just claim it wandered down there.
“They steal all our good ideas,” she said.
Then she thought a moment and a gleam came into her eyes. “Now if a UFO landed or crashed near here…”
“Nah,” I said discounting the whole concept, “that won’t work. Who’d ever believe a UFO would crash near any small town in New Mexico?”