By Lynn Moncus
Those of us who have lived here for a few days recall the many stores we could choose from when we wanted to go on a shopping spree. We had but to park on Main Street in then decide which direction we wanted to go from there. Little did we dream that one day, we would no longer have many choices and might even have to go out of town on occasion in order to buy some necessities.
Because a lot of us still prefer to shop at home, we have learned to become rather resourceful and have learned that we can find many of the items we want. I have several friends who live elsewhere and who are a bit amazed when I tell them I have been shopping at our local feed store. Of course, some of them have never heard of a feed store and need an explanation, and others know exactly what I mean but are still a little surprised by some of the items they receive for special occasions.
Yes, Tucumcari Ranch Supply is one of my favorite shopping places and is owned by a couple of my favorite people, Stella and Jimmy Watson. To receive warm hugs from such owners certainly makes a country person appreciate the people who tend to carry on those country traditions which were once a major part of our lives. To have one or the other of them or of their friendly employees tell me about something new in the store or simply to take time to visit for a minute makes me want to do a little extra looking even though I may have gone in because Aggie is going to starve if I don’t buy her a sack of food.
Frequently, someone hands me a sample of their latest arrivals in the department of human foods. Methinks they have learned the lesson that if their customers like one of the new products, they will be back for more and will tell their neighbors about said products. One good steak often causes a person to want another. One good jar of fiery hot sweet pickles can cause a person to form new taste habits and to be down right demanding when the supply runs out for a few days. Other taste treats must be tried as time passes and new products arrive.
When I sent some rather good-looking silver jewelry to a few friends, they were amazed to learn that the pieces had come from the feed store and were eager to hear what else could be purchased there. A few friends are old enough to remember the general stores we had scattered throughout our county and have a pretty good idea of what I am talking about. They recall the variety of items that could be purchased there from livestock feed to tools to clothing to groceries to almost anything else the mind could dream up. They also recall the friendly atmosphere that just naturally makes people want to return so they can do a little extra visiting with friends and neighbors who are also enjoying a little shopping spree.
Who really needs a major-named, unfriendly department store when we have our own Tucumcari Ranch Supply, a small store with a very large supply of products and friendship? Let’s continue to shop locally as much as possible so we can keep a few such places in existence and can retain a tie to the past. Thank you, Stella and Jimmy for doing so much for the people of Quay County.