By Ryn Gargulinski: QCS
In honor of another 12 months gone by, QCS is compiling a year in review to be published in installments.
July 2005 had a slew of events to demarcate Quay’s summer.
July 1: Tucumcari bowed out of the Eastern New Mexico Rural/Water Authority’s pipeline project this month, opting instead to contract with Ute Lake Ranch.
July 2: A buggy invasion of false chinch bugs, which had been slowing gathering momentum in Eastern New Mexico since April, hit its peak eating wheat fields within the prior two weeks.
July 4: Fireworks were the only thing lit for more than 4,500 Tucumcari homes and businesses that lost power when a massive hail and thunderstorm knocked down two power lines.
July 5: More than $200,000 in unpaid ambulance bills kicking around town forced city officials to turn to Collect Rite collection agency to rake in the debts.
July 7: The fifth annual “Best Little Festival on Route 66” kicked off with music, rodeo and watermelon to run through July 9.
July 7: Slithery, slinky and scaly creatures came to the Tucumcari Public Library when Rio Grande Zoo officials were in town from Albuquerque bringing the critters around to meet youngsters and nursing home residents.
July 8: The four-day school week was nearly unanimously approved – its lone dissenter was Tucumcari school board member Marty Garcia. Even he conceded when faced with no choice. “We’ve already voted on it and I want to move forward now,” he said.
July 9: Five local folks were sought to join the Tucumcari Senior Citizens Advisory Board. “Tell us how we’re doing with meals, activities and future plans,” said Mayor Mary Mayfield.
July 10: A new managing editor took the seat at the Quay County Sun in the form of Ryn Gargulinski.
July 11: A retired trucker named Steven Morris had hung 15 pairs of shoes on fence posts along Route 66 just east of Tucumcari. What Morris did know was he saw a similar display in California and wanted to make a statement. What Morris perhaps didn’t know was a statement of shoes strung on overhead lines in New York denotes gang territory.
July 12: The Ute Lake Ranch project, although still in its pre-application process, was being heavily discussed and lauded by Quay County commissioners.
July 13: A cookout was held to honor special olympians who participated in the summer games, like George McCandien who nabbed a gold medal in the bocce competition.
July 14: Bastille Day.
July 15: Teen pregnancy was down in town – a drop of 53 percent from 1998 to 2003 in the county, according to statistics from the health dept. Maternal Child and Community Health Council’s Alida Brown attributed part of that drop to a teen pregnancy committee initiated by MCCH though Tucumcari High School.
July 15: Experts were saying today’s kids need time to sit around and do nothing. It was undisclosed if these experts had kids of their own.
July 16: Garage sales made front page headlines, partly because there are so many in Tucumcari throughout the summer and partly because readers needed to know why people adore them.
July 17: Prison loaf – a baked concoction consisting of that day’s ground up meal mixed with flour – was on the menu at several jails. Quay County Detention Center Administrator Tony Elebario said he never heard of the thing and it would never make it to the QCDC kitchen – in part because he would have to eat it.
July 18: Tucumcari’s Church of Christ was holding a celebration of All Things Bright and Beautiful running through July 22.
July 19: The Five Mile Park Restoration Committee was seeking volunteers to come help clean, refurbish and polish up the park to its original grandeur.
July 21: A new Web site was launched to showcase New Mexico history at www.newmexicohistory.org by State Historian Estevan Rael-Galvez. This meant the battles on the plains were merely a mouse click away.
July 22: The Tucumcari farmer and rancher accused of criminal sexual acts whose first two trials ended in hung juries was not being tried a third time. District Attorney Ron Reeves said there were several reasons behind the decision, one of them being the cost, another to avoid further trauma to the witness.
July 23: Quay County fire stations were recruiting volunteers, enough to fully staff nine main stations, five substations and one administration station. Because all fire fighters are purely volunteer, Fire Marshal Donald Adams said they are often tied up with their own full-time work and the more in the pool of volunteers, the better.
July 25: The Quay County Fair books were available, complete with a schedule of events, contests and anticipation for the upcoming fair.
July 26: Quay Council for Arts and Humanities elected a new board of directors.
July 27: A new Hispanic radio show called “La Voz” hit Tucumcari’s air waves twice a week, to continue indefinitely.
July 29: The celebration of Conchas Dam’s birthday was slated for the Corps of Engineers Day Use area.
July 31: A repaving and facelift was scheduled for Route 66 to begin in August at a cost of about $1.3 million.