Namesakes are keepsakes

By Lynn Moncus

Life never ceases to amaze this woman from Ima. I can just sit quietly on this corner and suddenly become involved in rather unique experiences.

For instance, someone knocked on the door Sunday morning, and when I opened it, a young woman introduced herself as Mary Lynn Hodges. To say I was stunned for a few seconds would be a mild description. I looked at her and said she had to be the daughter of JoAnn Blann Hodges because JoAnn had bothered to name her daughter after me.

The young woman explained that she had brought the ashes of her parents, JoAnn and Lee Hodges, back to Quay County and that she had some items JoAnn had made for our high school class to enjoy during Rattler Reunion. She also mentioned that she wanted to meet the person for whom she was named.

We then talked about her parents and grandparents as she had a number of questions about the past. Although she was rather emotional, we had a most pleasant visit as I tried to fill in a little information about her heritage.

She knew of the Blann Grocery and wanted to know where it was located. I explained that it was on the corner of Second and Route 66 Blvd but no longer existed. I pointed to the only remaining house in which the Blanns had lived, and she remembered having visited them on that corner.

After wishing her a good life and thanking her for taking the time to stop by, I came back into the house to mull over that experience. Her mother was one of the first friends I made when we moved to town in 1939, and we remained close through our school years. We had great fun playing at the courthouse when we were very young and just enjoyed life as we grew up here.

She was one of the most intelligent girls in our class and could always beat me on test scores but was always willing to help me when I didn’t understand math. After our school years, we lost touch for the most part although JoAnn and her mother visited me shortly after I had moved to Las Cruces.

In the later years, she became interested in Rattler Reunion and designed a flag for us as well as created a rather unique poster with her version of the meaning of the Rattlers to her.

She was always artistic and certainly kept that ability alive as she thought about her alma mater.

We talked last a few years ago shortly before her death when she called to discuss a book she was writing. She was not one who could remain idle and tried to have some project under way at all times.

Well, it took 52 years for Mary Lynn and me to meet, but the wait was much worth it as that young woman would make her mother proud. Her loving remarks caused both of us to shed a few tears as we wished we could be visiting with JoAnn.

Who knows what will happen next, but nothing could make me feel more privileged than that experience did. Only in our home town could we enjoy such continuity.