Woman maintains treasure of post cards

William Thompson

FORREST – Judy Rush may have one of the more unique collections of post cards in New Mexico. Many of her post cards date from the early 1900’s and were sent to and from locations in what is now Quay County.

Rush said she and her sister, Diana Rush, found two large vintage albums of post cards among her parents’ items after they had died. “Collecting post cards must have been a popular hobby back then,” she said. “There are about 200 post cards in the post card albums.” Rush said her grandmother, Addie Yates, (formerly Stratton), received many of the post cards in a town that no longer exists. “She lived in a town called Barancos. It was somewhere around here in the vicinity of Forrest.,” she said. “ Another town called Loyd is also one of the addresses on some of the post cards. It, too, was a town somewhere around here.”
One of the post cards dates from 1911. It has a photo of Tucumcari Baptist Church on the front. It was addressed to “Miss Addie Stratton, Griggs Oklahoma.” The sender’s name is “Bertha.” Bertha wrote to Addie: “I went to a dance last Saturday night and had a good time.”

Rush explained that Addie Stratton lived in Oklahoma at the time because many people from the Quay County area often went to Texas and Oklahoma to pick cotton. “I remember my grandmother saying how bad her feet hurt from picking cotton,” she said. Rush has a post card from 1934 where her aunt writes to her parents from Las Vegas. Rush’s aunt was attending New Mexico Normal School (now Highlands University). The card reads: “Dear Mama and Papa, Very much in need of a dollar, I’m practically broke except for a nickel and three pennies, and we need a bucket of milk. Answer real soon.”

Rush’s post cards are still well-preserved. Many of them depict ornate drawings of flowers and elegantly-dressed ladies. Most of the messages on the cards were written in pencil. Rush said the post cards were a major way to communicate in the early 1900’s. “I’ve got one card from a man in Loyd to a man in Barancos in 1910,” she said. “One wrote to another telling him that he hoped he could come to a dance later that week.” One post card is addressed to Miss Addie Stratton in Tucumcari, 1909.

The card reads: “Dear friend, How are you liking town by this time? Barancos is still as dull as ever. When are you coming home?” Rush said the trip from Barancos to Tucumcari took a full day back then. “It was a day-long trip by wagon to Tucumcari,” she said. “Most people stayed overnight and the next day. On the third day they would make another day-long trip to get back down here to this part of the county.”