By Lynn Moncus
Often we visit about renewing friendships during Rattler Reunion and how very fortunate we are to know so many people of all ages who attended our schools. For some reason this year, I spent much time with members of the Class of ‘45 even though I didn’t graduate until ’52.
Obviously, I was still in grade school when they graduated, but I had known a lot of those “big kids” from the time we moved into town.
One particular member of that class and I spent more time together than we ever had although we have visited through these many years. Maxine Pyean Perkins holds a special place in my memory because she was one of the “big girls” who was taking violin lessons from Mrs. Marjorie Rivers while I was taking piano lessons. As I recall, Maxine played well and continued playing; whereas, I didn’t have time to practice and discontinued those lessons early on.
Because I was also privileged to know her parents and grandparents, I kept up with her progress during our young years and have since kept up with her because we are both Aggies and lived in Las Cruces during our teaching years. She and her husband reared their five children there and saw them through NMSU. Often, Maxine and I would see each other in Tucumcari when we were home visiting our parents and would usually greet each other at Homecoming on campus. I think we were both glad to see someone from home while we were down there and would take a few minutes to visit about the latest news.
In August, we just kept running into each other at the reunion and would spend fairly long periods of time just visiting about our friends, our past, and any ideas that came to mind.
I felt very comfortable in her presence, and she seemed to wish to say whatever was on her mind. As the days passed, I decided I’d really like to remain in touch but hadn’t bothered to tell her about that idea. Obviously, she reached the same conclusion because she called here upon her arrival in Las Cruces, and we spent over an hour talking, laughing, and recalling our recent experiences. We also discussed some of our history and just enjoyed exchanging ideas.
We have talked several times since and are planning to continue this renewed friendship as we have found much common ground upon which to continue to build our friendship. We have had many similar interests throughout our lives and are most definitely not lacking in subjects to discuss.
She was a major horsewoman during her youth and spent much time with the square dancing club here. In fact, she would take her saddle back and forth on the bus to college so she could ride during the week there and then have it at home to use on the weekends. We laughed as she described the bus drivers letting her off on Route 66 near her house so she could carry her saddle home and not have to be picked up at the bus depot by her parents.
She has a quiet way about her that just naturally makes a person feel at home while visiting with her. Her rather shy smile can burst into a hearty laugh, and her eyes can dance as she shows her wonderful sense of humor. I don’t feel that we are now separated by age as we once felt because we have so many things we want to share as the years come along. She will be here fairly frequently to visit her son, Larry, and his family in the Norton community and promises to find the time to see that we have the opportunity to be together and to exchange more stories and ideas.
Doors are always opening for us if we will but let them. That door of friendship began opening many years ago without our even realizing it and will now remain open as we become close.