Many of us are interested in the general history of our area and are always eager to gather more. When we have an opportunity to read about individuals who have participated in that history, we feel fortunate because their stories give us personal views of the past.
Recently, Linda Moore at Tucumcari Historical Museum handed me a couple of biographies of citizens of our area: “A Tribute to My Father: Henry M. Goldenberg,” by Henry C. Goldenberg and “We Remember Mama: Maria Otero Encinias Goldenberg, September 10, 1904 – May 5,2008,” by Josephine Encinias Leger and Henry C. Goldenberg.
Each book contains stories about the family and their lives in Tucumcari. Also, memories about each by other family members and friends give the readers more comprehensive views of Mr. and Mrs. Goldenberg.
Whether the tributes were by their children or other people in their lives, the two main subjects are portrayed in warm, loving words. We get clear pictures of the times as we read each tribute. We see how the two main subjects faced life during good and bad times, and how each made others feel secure in their presence no matter what the situation.
Mr. Goldenberg is remembered by many of us as a city commissioner who served his first term beginning in 1937. Interestingly enough, he is shown with the other commissioners when the Power Plant (recently razed) was dedicated in 1938. The pictures, along with the words, make the reader feel closer to the history and to the family because we can remember some of the scenes and events. His many years spent on the railroad and in other occupations let us learn more about what he contributed to our history.
Mrs. Goldenberg is certainly portrayed as a warm, loving wife, mother, relative, and friend. Most of the tributes include mention of her wonderful cooking skills and her generosity with that good food. She truly cared about those around her and passed along that pioneer heritage she had inherited from her family. Her strong faith and her respect for others are emphasized and obviously made her an outstanding lady in our area.
These two biographies leave the reader wanting to know more about other individuals in our area. General histories give us an outline of what has happened through the years, but biographies allow us to learn about individuals and the part they played in our ever-growing history.
We are fortunate to have such books available to be perused at our museum and to have families who took the time to capture the lives of those who helped make our history what it is — a history to be proud of.