Friends give us new view of relatives

Through the many years we have been visiting, we have mentioned the major privilege of living on one’s home area and knowing several generations of most of the residents. We know we are among friends when they mention having known other generations of our family.

Recently, for instance, I had the opportunity to do a little chatting with Wade and Sarah Miles, two special people in the life of this woman from lma. Of course, Sarah is not a native of these parts, but she and I have been friends since they moved here in 1961 and she taught in our schools. We also speak the same language because we grew up on ranches and love the land upon which we began our lives. Wade, on the other hand, was born at Frost and spent much of his youth growing up in Quay County, including a little time living in the sheriff’s residence near the old courthouse while his father served as deputy.

Wade often begins our conversations by asking how things are “out on top” in order to let me know that he knows where Ima is. We then visit about all sorts of subjects but seem to be most comfortable when we are talking about the past.

Last week, he began reminiscing about Uncle Ray Moncus and his prowess as a Tucumcari Rattler track star who held several state and local records for a lot of years. Just to hear someone talking about a relative who was one of my heroes made me know how fortunate I am to live in a place in which such relatives are remembered. He then talked a little about my dad and his time spent in the sheriff’s office.

As he talked about other generations in my family, I was remembering having met his father when he was Governor of the State of New Mexico and when he came home to help to dedicate the new courthouse. I also recalled having met other members of his generation and knew that both of us were feeling good about having our past remembered by the other. We are both proud of our heritage and are pleased with having had our share in helping to create some of the history of this area.

I could see Wade as he must have been when he tried to imitate Uncle Ray in throwing the javelin or in making broad jumps. He said that Ray was a hero to him in his youth as he was to a number of young people in our county.

I could also appreciate his stories about his life in the residence in which he was able to keep his horse in the garage. According to stories about Wade, he has always been much of a horseman. I feel sure that Sarah has also been quite the horsewoman and knows much about taking care of cattle on tie ranch.

Just seeing such friends on a fairly frequent basis makes me realize more than ever just how great it is to call this county home and to call so many of its citizens friends. Those of us who have lived here for much of our lives know how very fortunate we are and wouldn’t trade our part of the world for any other place. Let’s just continue to enjoy it and to visit with each other whenever we have the opportunity.