Tucumcari graduates keep in touch

Through the years, we have written about many of our Rattler Alumni and have mentioned that they are proud to be THS graduates.

Last Saturday, David H. Stratton, Ph.D. and Class of 1945 THS graduate, took the time to visit for almost an hour from his home in Pullman, Washington. As a Professor Emeritus from the History Department at Washington State University, he spends much of his time writing and continues to teach one class during each spring semester.

We have talked a few times about the Nov. 4 celebration planned for our town. Because he is writing a definitive history of the railroad in our area, I wanted to check on his progress. He probably has most of the research finished and much of the writing, but he has been “sidetracked” several times and won’t have the book finished in time for the celebration. He is, however, writing an article about some early Tucumcari citizens and hopes to have it published in The Historical Review to help celebrate our 100th birthday as a state. We will discuss its publication in the future.

Dave and I had a blast talking about many of the early settlers in our area, most of whom we knew in our youth. We talked about serious times and experiences as well I as about happy times. His delightful sense of humor makes each visit special and makes me want to stay in touch. Listening to a real historian is also a major pleasure as some of you will remember when you heard him speak at the annual meeting of the Tucumcari Historical Society as few years ago. His quiet demeanor automatically makes a student want to pay close attention because he doesn’t want to miss any of the lecture being delivered.

He never fails to give Kathryn Stephenson, his favorite THS English teacher, credit for his wanting to continue his education and for his desire to write. I have heard her make glowing remarks about him and could see the real teacher-student love when they met at dinner for our historical group. They also visited on occasion through the years and maintained the special teacher-student relationship that comes along a few times in each teacher’s life.

We will be awaiting the publication of Dave’s article and will continue to look forward to his rendition of the history of the railroad in this area. We are fortunate to have such outstanding THS graduates who continue to care about their home area and to keep in touch with the happenings here.