By Lynn Moncus
Those of us who call Quay County home are among the most privileged people in the world because we have such a wealth of good friends who just naturally know how to step in when tension is a bit much and to show their friendship by sharing it.
Dorothy and Jimmie Randals invited Jo Priddy and me to take a little tour of part of their ranch last Friday afternoon – the most perfect afternoon of the fall. The four of us, accompanied by two wonderful dogs, clambered into the pickup and headed into the hinterlands. When Dorothy had mentioned that we might go up Montoya Hill and spend a little time on the mesa, I could hardly believe my ears because I never dreamed I would be on that road again. As many of you know, that road led from Montoya to Ima and is one steep, dangerous red clay road down which boulders roll at all times.
Being tall has its advantages, thus Dorothy insisted that I ride in the front seat with Jimmie. That gave me plenty of freedom to take pictures and to stare into the distance as we ascended from the depths to the heights. After all, we were going toward the highest point in Quay County and were rising above the valley floor as rapidly as possible, considering the loose clay and the very sharp curves. After watching the good driver at work, I relaxed at the foot of the hill and was able to enjoy every inch of the road to the top.
Memories were often almost overwhelming, but those good friends kept the conversation lively and induced much laughter.
After that trip to the top and back to the foot, we wandered around to some of Dorothy’s favorite places and learned much about areas to which I had never been.
Listening to her talk about that land certainly let any listener know just how much she loves the land and how close she is to it. As we stood amid the rocks in one of her special locations, I could see why she had selected such a spot because it was so beautiful, quiet, and secluded. Obviously, she listens to the land and lets it guide her as she enjoys her own thoughts.
Jimmie was most gracious as he herded us from place to place and showed his skill with the camera as he wanted to have more than the pictures of the land. He wanted it to have some happy people wandering on it. His quiet sense of humor was most welcome and very relaxing to be around. He didn’t have an opportunity to say much, but when he did, his few words were priceless. His eyes really glowed as we drove near some of his horses. He really didn’t have to say a word about them because his face showed his feelings.
When people take the time to share their surroundings with their friends, we know they are very real people. They are the friends and neighbors who have made this land so very much a part of their lives and who are pleased to share its beauty with those of us who no longer live on the land. They are the quiet, steady people who have kept the spirit of the Southwest alive and who give us the hope that such a spirit will be carried on as the years pass. Their humility invites our respect and lets us know that their fame has just enhanced their warmth rather than lessening it.
Yes, I am so very fortunate to have such caring, considerate friends, and I surely thank them for all they do for our county and those of us who call this place home.