Elders’ stories reflect real history

As we age, many of us tend to enjoy reminiscing about the "dim, distant past."

While we are engaged in some of our conversations, we can note that the younger people's eyes glaze over because they are rather bored with our memories and aren't really sure we actually had some of the experiences we discuss.

Well, most of us can remember when we felt much that same way as we sat among our elders and listened to their stories. I can remember wishing I could leave the table before the older people finished eating because I really didn't want to listen to their tales about the past. Of course, as I became more aware of what the past represented, I wished I had spent more time listening and learning. I let a lot of history pass by without a thought of the future and the value of history.

By the time I was 10 or 11, I began to look forward to the gathering of Dad's generation so I could hear some of their stories about the past. I also spent much time questioning Grandmother about the pioneer days and the kind of life she led at Ima. Dad's siblings were all good story tellers and liked to talk about their lives in those canyons and later here in town. All of them had great senses of humor and would begin to laugh so hard they could barely finish telling about their experiences. That laughter made me aware of how some of my unpleasant memories could be turned into some that could at least make me smile.

I can still see those aunts and uncles sifting around in the living room in the house in those canyons and enjoying revisiting their past. In those days, they didn't all talk at once. Usually, they took turns in telling their stories and were interrupted only when something was about to be left out. Rarely did they disagree on what happened when or where. Their memories were very clear during those years. I think they recalled their experiences better when they were in those canyons because their best stories were about their lives there. Besides, they all called those canyons home no matter where else they lived.

If young people ever read this column, let's hope they will take a little time to listen to the stories told by their elders so they can pass them along to the next generation. Those stories are far more interesting than any of those read in a history book. Besides, they reflect the real history of the era. Let's just keep remembering and sharing our memories!

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

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