Comments from the canyons: Still proud to be an Aggie

While some of you collect items of value, this woman from lma has begun to collect 50-year graduation anniversary memorabilia.

For instance, I hit the Golden Rattler age in 2002, the Golden Aggie age in 2005, and another Golden Aggie anniversary this year. Of course, that first Aggie degree, a Bachelor of Arts, was received from the New Mexico State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. That college changed her name shortly thereafter to New Mexico State University, and I received a Master of Arts degree from it in 1963.

As usual, I drove to Las Cruces for homecoming to see friends and to attend one more Golden Aggie luncheon. The drive itself represents a trail of thousands of memories.

Each mile holds something special, whether a fond memory or an emotional one. Having about five and a half hours to think and to view the changes in landmarks is a special treat although I noticed this year that the road seemed much longer than it had back in 1952. 1 was almost as stiff as if I had ridden a horse part of the way. I have to admit that age does make a difference in some activities.

Of course, my young friend, Debbie Widger, associate vice president of development, saw that I attended the various ceremonies, such as the memorial ceremony at Aggie Memorial Tower in honor of fallen veterans of WWII. She then took me to view the parade and to meet my friend from the 1952 era, Barbara Funkhouser.

The three of us watched that parade while memories of having marched in such parades as an undergraduate flooded the mind. We then attended the Golden Aggie Luncheon to see friends from other years and to enjoy each other’s company The Class of 1963 was welcomed to the organization, thus giving me my third golden anniversary award.

Sitting beside Barbara and recalling our most loved professors as well as some of our memories of the 1950′s was a major privilege. As the first woman editor of The El Paso Times, she has collected many awards and has also collected many friends, but she has always found time to remember that freshman from 1952.

Debbie then returned me to my motel after asking one more time if I would attend the homecoming game, knowing full well that I wouldn’t because I am not much of a sports fan. Well, I had to attend games for years because I was in band and welcomed the freedom when I no longer had to go.

In the early evening, I walked outside to look at the red “A” alight on A Mountain just east of town. Upon returning to my room, I discovered that the game was on television and decided to watch for a few minutes. By the end of that “nail biter,” I was one of the roaring crowd to celebrate our first win after having lost eighteen games in a row.

As I left town Sunday morning, I took one last drive through campus and stopped to take a few pictures. As I looked at Rhodes Hall, named for Eugene Manlove Rhodes, a girl’s dorm in the 50’s, the quotation from the plaque on the entry way held more meaning than ever before:

“Paso por Aqui” meaning, “I passed by here.”

Yes, I now know what he meant about his own life. This Golden Aggie passed through that campus many times and is still a very proud Aggie.

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

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