Pat Schoonover Shockley of Liberal, Kan., called last week to do a little visiting and to catch up on some news of her hometown. She and John, her husband, graduated from THS in 1950 and have remained in contact with friends and relatives throughout the years. They have also attended many of the Rattler Reunions and have shared many of their memories as they have visited with other alumni.
Pat and I first met in 1940 when we attended Central School, now Tucumcari Historical Museum. We talked about that long-ago time and laughed as we recalled a few incidents. She said she couldn't remember how the grades were arranged at Central, and we agreed to meet there sometime so we could review the locations. At that time, primary through third grade were in that building. In 1942, that school closed for a few years, and the students were sent either to Four Points or Third Street.
Pat sort of let me follow her as we continued in school. Being two years her junior, I looked up to her and enjoyed her wonderful laughter. We were both in band and certainly enjoyed many trips throughout those years. Among the most memorable were those to Dawson and to El Paso. We rode the "Polly" to Dawson to participate in the half-time show at the football game. That was the coldest weather we ever played in, and most of us just marched because our instruments froze.
We rode one of the Southern Pacific trains to El Paso so we could march in the Sun Bowl Parade. Although the temperature wasn't below freezing, the rain made our marching rather exciting because we would go into water over our ankles when we hit low places along the way We were housed in barracks at Fort Bliss and were well chaperoned by some of the mothers, although a few escapes might have been noticed.
While Pat and I were in band, John was much involved in sports and helped win many football and basketball games for the Rattlers. Both of them have remained proud alumni and eagerly share their memories of their school years here.
Pat reported that she and John have a New Mexico room in their home and have worked hard to create a little flavor of our state. They had just spent an afternoon browsing through the pictorial history of our county I had put together a few years ago. In fact, that encouraged Pat to call to talk about some of their activities. Her wonderful sense of humor remains much intact and certainly was present while we visited. Such calls make life in our town special because we have the opportunity to share memories and exchange ideas. I hope Pat will begin to call more regularly. If not, I know how to dial and/or to write.
Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident. She can be contacted through the Quay County Sun at 461-1952.