Historical group offers educational experience

By Lynn Moncus: Comments from the Canyons

On the evening of April 19, Tucumcari Historical Research Institute held its annual meeting at the Elks Lodge. The program about the history of education in Quay County was presented by Joy Moon and her daughters, Carolyn Franklin and Janet Griffiths.

The daughters prepared their script by doing a lot of research and by reviewing their Uncle Willard Moon’s thesis in which he charted the 106 schools in our county. They had to be selective, of course, as they presented their information in a most interesting manner, thus holding the attention of the members. As they passed the microphone back and forth, they performed as only two excellent teachers could and made those of us who have known them very proud of them and also proud of having received our education here in Quay County.

Mrs. Moon then told us about her experiences in attending some of those one-room schools and certainly made us aware that she has many pleasant memories of those early years. She described the rooms so clearly that we could see the young students and their surroundings and could feel her love of that early education. Just watching her and her daughters speak so beautifully about the past was a major thrill.

As the daughters closed the program, they gave us a test and had at least one of us wondering just where we were heading. When they asked about the names of the last four Miss Americas and who had won the last four World Series, I felt much as I did when I had to turn in blank papers because I hadn’t bothered to do my homework. When they asked the last question, however, I knew I could answer it without having to spend much time in thought.

List your four favorite teachers: I limited my thoughts to public schools and within seconds had four names, two from those two years at Central School, one from House, and one from Tucumcari High School.

I could see other members listing and remembering their past. Obviously, we felt very comfortable with that question, and I would recommend that you now list your four favorite teachers.

As Mrs. Moon and I visited before and after the meeting, we certainly returned to the past and many pleasant memories. Her mother, known to many children at lma as “Miss Audrey,” had taught the six Moncus children of Dad’s generation, and I had a little chance to repay a bit of that by having Mrs. Moon’s daughters on campus. We then talked about our grandparents and recalled even more pleasant memories.

Being a member of Tucumcari Historical Research Institute is one of the privileges we have in our county if we want to continue learning about our history and to continue trying to preserve as much of it as we can gather. Please feel free to join us any time.