By Lynn Moncus
Some weeks ago, Mr. Jack Dyer of Logan brought me a copy of his book, “Letters From Albuquerque”. It is the story of his family, their westering movement, and their experiences and is presented in epistolary form, thus giving it the personal theme of letters from his aunt, his mother, and himself to relatives in Texas.
The first letter was written in 1873, and the last one was written in 2009, thus giving the reader much insight into Mr. Dyer’s family and to let us know him better as we read about him from his birth. We are privileged to read about the many travels his grandparents, his parents, and his own family in later life took as they helped to explore and settle much of our country.
The letters tell of the many hardships that befell the families, but they are presented in a positive manner so that the reader feels the pains but briefly and gets ready for the next adventure. Those letters also tell of the many joys that life held for the various generations and bring the reader into the midst of those joys so he feels the pleasure and pictures the experiences.
Mr. Dyer also includes a number of photographs so we can see his family and better relate the story to, each member. He dedicated the volume to his grandmother and his mother-and certainly shows them as pioneering women–the kind many of us have been privileged to know and appreciate.
When we know a writer personally, his work just automatically means more to us. We can picture so much of the story through his eyes and can almost feel a part of it because we have known Mr. Dyer and his family for so many years. This woman from lma was particularly delighted to receive the book because I had the honor of having his son and his daughter, Gene and Peggy, in classes when I taught here in Tucumcari and to have also had his son-in-law, Bruce White, as one of my first students at Forrest. I could feel their pride in their family and their father, as I read each page.
Those of us who are particularly interested in history, especially of people in our area, wish that more would take the time to write their memories of their lives here in our Southwest. We have a rich history and it becomes even richer when friends and neighbors tell their stories. Thank you, Jack, for sharing your story and especially for enriching the lives of so many of your friends and neighbors.