Former Rattlers catch up with old friends in new times.

By Ryn Gargulinski: Quay County Sun

Maybe high school sweethearts Mike and Sara (nee Sanders) Morris will not take their former classmates by surprise when they show up to this weekend’s reunion as husband and wife — but that’s not why they are planning to attend.

Mike and Sara Morris, both from Tucumcari High School’s class of 1995, are just two of the names among the hundreds on the list of former students registered to attend this weekend’s All-Class Rattler Reunion, according to Norma Redhage Crellin, president of the Tucumcari Alumni Association Board of Directors.

“I met Sara in the seventh grade,” Mike Morris said, “the same time I met all my other classmates. I’ve only stayed in touch with one of them — two if you count Sara.”

Mike Morris said not many will be surprised by their 1999 wedding because a lot of them still lived in town at the time. But many have also since moved on, like the Morrises, who now reside in Amarillo after Mike Morris spent time at West Texas A&M University and has worked for Coors for the last six years.

No, Mike Morris said he is not attending the reunion to belittle past bullies or show off in any way, but mainly to catch up with old friends in new times.

“Sara’s more excited than I am,” the former Rattler wrestler and football player said. “She’s the social one.”

Marian (nee Farmer) Knapp said she wasn’t a social butterfly in her class of 1945, but since she has helped put together the Rattler All-Class Reunion for the past 35 years, she said she has sure got to talk to a lot of former classmates and students.

Knapp, in fact, has made a hobby of organizing reunions. She said she finds the reunion special — not only for the large amounts of people who attend and for its three decades of tenacity, but the friendships that stay bonded.

“We went from sandbox to 60 years,” she said. “I find it amazing. I bet we are one of the most unique reunions around,” she added, saying last year’s reunion took in more than 700 people.

She estimates about 30 of her former 1945 classmates will be on hand this year to help celebrate and decorate the float they plan to ride in the Rattler Parade.

What’s the best type of float for a class celebrating 60 years out of high school? “We’ll either get a hertz or an ambulance,” Knapp joked.