Author tells landmarks’ stories

One more time, we have a native writer who has published a book to entice readers who enjoy glimpses into the past.

Gene L. Duke has compiled a unique look at scenes along the roads in this area of the nation — “Route ‘66’: May They Rust in Peace.”

This volume is about the many icons that played major roles in our history and are now idle as they are no longer needed. Gene lets each of the trucks, tractors, windmills, and many other items tell their own stories, allowing the reader to see their pictures and hear their stories. He and his wife did much traveling while collecting the pictures. He explained that no work was involved in putting this volume together because it was all fun.

While listening to him talk about this book, I could tell he had great fun putting all the pictures and information together. Gene and his wife include some personal stories to let us know the compilers personally, but they allow the subjects in each picture to tell about their lives and their importance in leading us into the present.

We can hear those objects and can feel them come to life as they brag a bit about the part they played in our past. We then see them “rusting in peace” as we proceed to the next picture.

Because the Duke family lived in several areas of our county, Gene includes stories about items from those sites, letting us know his personal knowledge of their use. Each picture along the highways and byways gives us a different perspective than what we might have had as we viewed many of the items along our own trails.

We may now have a different point of view as we gaze at the remains of the past. We may also look a little more closely at them and find ourselves listening to their stories as we inspect them.

These books are now available at Readmore Book Store and can also be ordered from Gene by writing him at 8303 Rochester Ave., Lubbock, Texas, 79424 or e-mailing him at

Also, you can meet Gene and visit with him at a book signing at Tucumcari Historical Museum from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 26.

Even if you already have the book, you might want to attend that function to visit with him and to talk to other friends and neighbors. Such gatherings make us more aware of those friends and neighbors because we are greeting them amidst the collections of our own history, and we are aware of the part that so many have played in creating that history

Let’s enjoy the past as we continue our trek into the future.