Comments from the Canyons: Buildings help make history vibrant

Recently, a group of us talked about the various schools we had here in town and decided that we have to rely on our memories for some of those which were most important to us.

As beginners, those of us in the over-the-hill gang had Four Points, Central, and Third Street schools to attend.

A small portion of Four Points, the front part, remains to remind us of our early years. The two original buildings burned or were torn down, but the WPA portion of the later building still stands surrounded by additions.

Fortunately, one of our oldest buildings, Central, remains intact as Tucumcari Historical Museum. Those of us who began our education there can walk in to reminisce and to check out our old classrooms.

Unfortunately, the castle building that served as our first high school and later as our elementary school burned long ago. It had an addition that also served as our junior high and had been built by WPA but was razed a few years ago. The brick-faced building on Fifth Street also served as part of our junior high.

Unfortunately, our favorite Tucumcari High School building, which was built in 1932, burned some years ago, leaving many of us disheartened. We had spent many wonderful years there and had enjoyed that great auditorium as we attend concerts and plays. Before it burned, it became the main junior high building and was in use at the time of its destruction.

Those of us who were privileged to teach here in the dim, distant past are just about out of luck if we want to see any of the classrooms of our era. For instance, I can find the first junior high classroom in which I taught at the Fifth Street building. No other classrooms remain to remind me of the many outstanding students I had in those years or the fun we had when said students became over active and provided all too much entertainment for our end of the building.

Our group admitted to knowing the people in our memories are far more important than the buildings, but we sighed in unison as our minds returned to some of our favorite places in those buildings. Of course, we can still look at pictures and can still use our memories, but we would like the pleasure of hearing the echoes in the halls of those favorite buildings. History just naturally remains more vibrant if we have the buildings to remind us of the passage of time.

Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident and can be contacted through the Quay County Sun by calling 575-461-1952.

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