By Chelle Delaney: QCS Correspondent
Before Saturday night’s finale at the 39th annual Rattler Reunion banquet, the hatchet had been passed on to the class of 1980.
The passing on of the traditional hatchet signaled that preparations were under way by the Tucumcari High School class of 1980 to host the 40th Rattler Reunion in 2010.
The THS class of 1979 hosted this year’s event. Before a crowd of about 460, Franklin McCasland said the class of 1979 consisted of 142 graduates.
Of the 1979 graduates, 42 still live in Tucumcari, McCasland said.
“Cherish each moment and memory we have, and share your memories with others,” McCasland said.
One of the THS class members who still live in Tucumcari is Tim R. Gutierrez.
“It’s been fun meeting everybody I went to school with,” Gutierrez said. “Some I hadn’t seen in 30 years or more. And some people I hadn’t seen and they live in Tucumcari.”
Gale Yocom of the class of 1969 echoed Gutierrez’s comments about seeing old friends.
“It draws out your memories to see old classmates,” said Yocom, who now lives in Roswell. “Everybody shows up. It’s one of the biggest reunions in New Mexico. You get to see everybody, and everybody shows up. It’s even bigger than the reunions my kids go to.”
A member of the class of 1958, FloyNell Carver Bogard who now lives in Fort Worth, Texas, also said it was good to see all of her old friends.
Although attendance at this year’s reunion was down about 100 compared to 2008, next year’s event — the 40th Rattler Reunion — is expected to bring in more attendees, organizers said.