By Lynn Moncus
On February 13, the Wallace families of Norton celebrated a number of family birthdays and had quite a family reunion at the same time. To be invited to that gathering was most definitely a privilege. The birthdays being celebrated included Mrs. Sue Wallace Tucek, Mrs. Noma Wallace Tillman, Mrs. Maxine Tillman Wallace, Mrs. Aurdrey Davis Selmon, and Mrs. Tara Latham Wallace.
The Wallace families and the Tillman families homesteaded in Quay County in early days and have played major roles in creating our history and traditions. If you haven’t read about them lately in “The Quay County Book”, you should take a few hours to enjoy looking into their lives and in learning about the many contributions they have made to our county.
Because time and space don’t permit, I shan’t begin to discuss the generations who attended the party or even the ones who celebrated their birthdays. Mrs. Maxine Wallace was pleased to report that all but one member of her family was in attendance. I could see that Mrs. Tillman was surrounded by family members, and noted most especially that Mrs. Tucek was the center of much of the attention.
After all, she was celebrating her 98th birthday and should have sat in the chair of honor. As she and I visited briefly, we both wondered where all the time has gone and both commented on our years of enjoying each other’s company at Tucumcari High School. Although I wasn’t privileged to have her as a teacher, I spent many hours working with her at various concession stands because the annual staff made extra money for our yearbook. Later, we became closer as we taught together for several years.
Upon her retirement, she moved to the ranch at Norton and helped her husband until his death. She then remained there as long as she could because of her love of ranching life. She used to write to me at NMSU to tell me of her delight at being able to ride off across the pasture whenever she pleased and to enjoy the freedom only a person of the land can appreciate.
I would like to thank Danny Bill Wallace for inviting me to that gathering and to thank the whole collection of Wallace relatives for making this woman from lma feel so welcome. We all seemed to speak the same language and to understand each other even without saying much. What a treat!