Southern journey sentimental, worth remembering

Most of you are aware that this woman from Ima is a proud Aggie. As such, I decided to attend homecoming at New Mexico State University to celebrate my 56th anniversary of having graduated from the then New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.

Yes, I took one more sentimental journey to the southern part of the state and had a great time visiting with friends from the past.

Debbie Widger, the outgoing alumni director, invited me to attend a special program so I could learn more about our becoming a state. Dr. Jon Hunner, chairman of the history department, gave a presentation entitled “Stumble into Statehood.” He illustrated his talk with numerous pictures of outstanding people who played major roles in helping us to become a state on January 6, 1912.

He pointed out that we were ready for that step by 1880, but we had to stumble around for all those years to reach that goal.

As “the state different,” we have a colorful history, whether we are discussing important events from pre-territorial to territorial days and on into statehood, or whether we are discussing our politics and colorful politicians. Dr. Hunner gave an impressive overview of our past and reminded us of many of the incidents at least one of us had forgotten.

Sitting in a small auditorium on campus and listening to an outstanding lecturer certainly took this Aggie back to the days of spending much time doing just that. Of course, I had to take many quick trips into the past as I listened, recalling those early experiences in the auditorium at Hadley Hall (the original building which is no longer). I could hear echoes of Dr. Percy Baldwin and Dr. Ira Clark, both of the history department when I entered A&M in 1952.

1 felt as if I were a student again because I was in the presence of a professor who was teaching me more about our state’s history. Dr. Hunner has presented this lecture around the state and plans to continue to do so. We would do well to have him here to help us be even more prepared for the centennial.

The other real high light of homecoming for me was the Golden Aggies luncheon at which many of the 50-year plus alumni gathered for a couple of hours of eating and visiting.

Seeing so many friends from the past is always a major treat. Each year, we see some we haven’t seen since graduation and have great fun telling about those years in between. Also, each year, we miss those who won’t be returning, but we remember them each time we attend such functions.

This was one more good homecoming to add to my memory collection, and I relived much of it as I was coming home.