Newspapers were once heartbeat of community

By Lynn Moncus: Quay columnist

We have watched more changes in our newspapers than most of us can even recall, and we always live with the hope that we will be seeing much local news.

According to what we are being told, some of that hope just might come to pass, and we need to do all we can to support such a change.

The first edition of the new once-a-week publication let us see that at least one page may be devoted to the kind of local news we once had, such as articles about our neighbors, society news, and maybe even some county news if only someone will send it in. Because we are close to so many people in our town and county, we are always eager to read about them.

Some of us who have been around for a while were recalling the weekly publication, The Tucumcari American, and what fun we used to have reading it as Dillon Suthers reported on local happenings and kept us up to date with the outer world as well. Even though other papers were being published at the same time, she didn’t repeat much of the news they printed and made us want to read her newspaper as well as the others.

Of course, we were always interested in reading about what our friends and neighbors were doing and were able to keep up with them because we had writers from most communities sending in weekly news to all our papers.

We knew what was going on in all areas of our county and could then exchange comments as we met and greeted those friends on the street.

Just walking down Main Street was a real treat because we would see so many people we knew and because we could talk about what they had been doing since we saw each other last.

Those of us in the over-the-hill-gang surely recall seeing Mrs. Sartain going from store to business to collect news and can visualize Mrs. Murphey as she wandered through the halls at the courthouse collecting news.

Those two and others often called various contacts to find out about the latest shopping trips, vacations, weddings, or other gatherings so they could report those happenings to the readers. Such news gave us a definite feeling of continuity and of being a part of our area. It kept us aware of the happy times and the sad times and let us know what was happening all around us.

We know we aren’t apt to return to such reporting because so few people are available to gather such news, but we now have a little hope that we may see a few more items of interest. Yes, we want to be up-to-date on the business of our city and county, but we also want to be just as current about the every day life of our citizens.

Whereas, we are often told that only bad news appeals to the general public, those of us who call this place home know better. We like to read about the good things people are doing. We can always turn on TV to see the bad news. We can even read about it in other papers if we can find other papers in our area.

With an affirmative attitude, the writers in our paper can improve our feelings about our area. By reporting on positive happenings, those writers can help us reach toward positive thoughts. Let’s just see what happens and continue to hope for the best!

Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident and can be contacted through the Quay County Sun by calling 575-461-1952.