Comments from the Canyons: Quay tree tradition lives on

Lynn Moncus

We have a number of Christmas traditions in our county and can trace many of

them back to other countries and times before our county came into being. We also

have some more recent traditions and look forward to seeing them age in order to

become a part of our celebrations.

One of the more recent traditions began a few years ago when Roberta

Waterman and Dorothene Kingston decided to decorate a lone tree on Highway 209 between Tucumcari and Quay. “Bert” had seen such a tree in another state and decided to give a major gift to the travelers on Highway 209. The two friends combined some of their old decorations and collected a few others in order to add plenty of beauty to their chosen tree.

Since its inception, that tradition has been missed very few times. Several

people have become involved since Bert’s death and have changed the theme. The current one is eye-catching with traditional rope and DVDs glittering in the sunlight. They also glow as car lights hit them and let the traveler know that Christmas is near.

Those who decorate the tree seem to prefer to remain anonymous and just let

the rest of us remember Bert’s tree as she envisioned it. We can continue to think of it as her gift, but we can also appreciate the efforts of those who are keeping her wish of seeing that tree each year. We can also imagine they have just as much fun as she and Dorothene had as they decorated that first one,

Bert often remarked about that first one that they surely had to work hard

because they chose a tree that was deep in the ditch, and they refused to drive into the ditch, thus having to walk up and down the steep side to carry the decorations. I can still hear her laughter as she described that adventure and remember her saying that everyone who drove by while they were decorating honked and waved.

Those two women created their own Christmas gift and learned how much it was

appreciated as people throughout the county talked about it. They really didn’t want their names used either, but some of us felt they should be recognized and thanked for their efforts. Those of us who enjoy that gift would like to thank the people who continue to provide it and to carry on a recent tradition.

Lynn Moncus is a resident of Tucumcari and can be contacted through the Quay County Sun at 461-1952.