Class book priceless gift to former teacher

By Lynn Moncus: Local columnist

The 2009 Rattler Reunion has taken its place in the 39-year history of the gathering and was just as much fun as that first one so long ago.

Of course, as we grow older, each reunion becomes more priceless because we tend to grow closer to each other. We have remained closest to our classmates through the years and have grown closer to members of other classes.

As I mentioned last week, I was looking forward to the newest class to become Golden Rattlers: the Class of 1959. Many of them were my former students and seeing them together again after 50 years was a rare privilege.

They presented me with their book, “The Finest of the Fine — Class of 1959,” which had been compiled by Lucretia Wells Carmichael and Dorothy Almond Liska. It contained much of the class history and many biographies of class members. It made me stand just a little taller because it was dedicated to three of their sponsors, Bill Litchfield, Norma Jean Crellin, and me. What an honor.

As I watched those students, I remembered much about them and could see them as those kids who graduated in 1959.

I was especially interested in watching the boys because so many of them presented a lot of challenges to that young English teacher. Yes, they were a lively lot and taught me much about maintaining patience under duress.

Many of the girls were also lively, but they were more easily corralled than were their impish male counterparts.

Those “kids” have no idea just how much each of their greetings meant to me or just how much their gift will be treasured.

Naturally, I saw many students from other classes and had some great visits with them as well as with my own classmates and other friends. As always, the time was just too short to be able to see and visit with each person I knew, but I surely enjoyed each contact with all I saw.

Carl K. Darnell certainly surprised me when he called me to the podium during the Golden Rattler Luncheon and presented me with a book by his classmates — “THS Class of 1954 Bulletin.”

He had urged his classmates to write stories about their parents, and then he preserved those stories in book form. Obviously, he and his classmates are interested in the history of our town and decided to preserve some of it for us. I was most honored that Carl K. chose to give me a copy to enjoy. It will later be presented to the museum so it can have a permanent home. A copy is also available in the library.

All of us also owe a major thank you to the owners and staff at Del’s Restaurant for providing food for the Thursday night mixer, the Rattler Luncheon, and the Saturday night banquet. Theirs was a major task, and it was handled most gracefully and graciously.

We will now begin to plan to meet again for our 40th Rattler Reunion and will be hearing more about it as time passes. If any of you are interested in helping with that, you are welcome to contact the Rattler Reunion Board. They are always eager to have all the help they can get. If you have never become involved in such an effort, you should do so now because you will learn much and have great fun.

Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident. Contact her at 461-1471.