History preservation important task

By Lynn Moncus: Comments from the Canyon

Those of us who are still interested in the history of our area are certainly missing the many sources we once had.

When we have questions about the past, we really have to do a lot of searching in order to find someone left who can come up with any answers.

Unfortunately, we have reached a point of having to rely on our memories of the stories we grew up listening to. Even more unfortunately, we realize that we didn’t listen very carefully and that we have many gaps in answers we seek.

Recently, an old friend called to ask about a homesteader in the lma area and just plain stumped this woman from lma. She said she thought of the people to call and realized that I was sort of her list of the “old-timers” from that area.

That comment gave me pause and made me realize very few of us left knew the original settlers in the lma community, and even fewer were related to them.

When my friend mentioned the name she was researching, my eyes just glazed over because I had never heard the name. That sort of surprised both of us because one or the other of us should have heard of that homesteader. All I could say was that the person must not have been in the community very long, else we would have heard the name through the years.

Dad talked much about the homesteaders as did the rest of his family, and I have felt reasonably comfortable in thinking I had at least heard the names of those first pioneers. So much for that thought.

Quite a few of the people in Quay County are still scurrying to capture as much of that early history as possible. Even when we published that first Quay County history book in 1985, we realized we had waited far too long because we already had many missing facts. At least, we managed to capture much of the early history and had many writers who helped with that gigantic task.

We are also preserving as much of our history as possible at the Tucumcari Historical Museum. The more we can collect there, the better our foundation will be for future generations should they want to know a bit about the past.

Many members of the younger generations tell us today they are not interested in history because it has nothing to do with them. Little do they realize they are now making their own history and may even want to know more about it and about their past as they get older.

Most of us certainly didn’t realize we were living our own history when we were very young. We had no idea that one day, some people would be asking us questions about our past and would be wanting fairly accurate answers.

For instance, when we saw the glow of the first atomic bomb, we had no idea what we had seen and didn’t really learn about the importance of seeing that glow until sometime later.

Let’s spend a little time seeing that some of our history is preserved and continue spending much time enjoying making it and living it.

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