Through the years, we have visited about some days being so special that we can hardly believe they actually happened.
When we are surrounded by so much turmoil, we really need to appreciate such days because they are major treasures. Last Saturday evening, Eddy Shoemaker of the Cuneva called to invite me to attend the Hassell Reunion. No doubt, he could detect some hesitancy in my voice so he began to mention names of people who might be there and to talk a little about our history. I gave him one of my “definite maybes” and wasn’t really sure I would go until the next morning when I came to my senses and headed south.
During the drive through the valley and across the plains, I managed to get self into a bit of a stew because I tend to be rather timid when going alone to such a gathering. Although I was reasonably sure I’d know many of the people there, i wasn’t really sure I had the courage to enter that beautiful little church. When I saw all the cars parked there, I felt a little like turning around and heading for the canyons but decided to stop and force self to proceed.
Upon entering, I heard someone say, “There’s a Moncus,” and knew our family had not been forgotten. While looking toward the back of the church, I saw Rex and Sandy Sparks, two gentlemen who have known me all my life. As I walked in their direction, all tension left because I knew I was in a most warm, friendly place filled with wonderful people.
As friends began to stop to visit, I was more than a little overwhelmed by emotions from the past. Three former classmates, whom I had met in the fifth grade at House sixty years ago, brought back more memories than I could deal with as they talked. As I sat there amid so many people, I couldn’t believe how very relaxed I felt and how proud I felt to be included with them. Many of us had shared similar childhoods in that area and knew a little about the work involved in growing up on the land. A few are even fortunate enough to have lived all their lives in the area. Some could remember the dugouts we called home and now live in beautiful, modern houses on the plains.
Much history was discussed, and I was most pleased to see that such an interest in the past has a number of friends on the trail of more information. Obviously, they are just as proud of our history as I am and want to record as much as they can.
Members of the community provided a veritable feast as has been the custom of the settlements throughout our county during the last hundred years. Of course, that brought back memories of such gatherings and the wonderful times we had while visiting with neighbors. Just watching friends eating together and visiting with each other was a thrilling experience. Because emotions were beginning to surface and because I am not good at saying goodbye, this woman from Ima slipped quietly out to the car and headed for the canyons of home to do a little more thinking and remembering. I cannot begin to thank those neighbors from Hassell enough for including me in their gathering, but many of them know how I feel about friends of a lifetime and know that I collected many memories of another wonderful day in Quay County.