As you know, this woman from Ima rarely gets out of Quay County, but the car seemed to need a little more airing out after having been to Las Cruces; thus, it headed toward Liberal, Kansas so I could visit a THS friend, Pat Shockley, Class of 1950. Of course, she had proffered the invitation for weeks since the August All School Reunion, but I had been my usual stubborn self and said I couldn’t manage such a trip. She finally convinced me that if I could drive for five and a half hours to Las Cruces, I should be able to drive for three and a half to Liberal.
To be entertained by such a gracious hostess in such a beautiful home was a major honor. From the time I arrived on Monday until I left on Thursday, she and I talked almost incessantly amid many spells of hearty laughter. As she showed me through her beautiful home and took me to visit every plant in her spacious yards, we were transported to Dorothy’s “Land of Oz.” Now and then we would talk about the present, but most of the time, we enjoyed exchanging memories of the past from the time we met in 1940 until we graduated.
We were both in band and had much to say about the fun we had during all those years. We were also Rainbow Girls and had many memories to review. Most of the time we were lost in memories of our teachers, classmates, heroes, and families. Just the pleasure of being able to visit in such a beautiful home with such a long time friend was priceless. Even though our lives have taken many turns since we were in school, we enjoyed filling in some of the gaps and learning more about our lives since graduating over sixty years ago.
She invited me to attend the anniversary dinner for her daughter and son-in-law, Sheryl and Tim Bohannan, and we had a delightful time. Being around her daughter several times let me get to know her well enough to see just how much like her mother she is and how gracious she is. After having met Pat’s son, Mike, at our reunion, I was pleased to meet the daughter and to be able to draw comparisons.
Many of you will remember Pat’s husband, John Shockley, who was an outstanding athlete in high school. Obviously, he had as great an effect on his children as he had on Pat. His quiet ways balanced Pat’s less-than-silent ways, and they reared a wonderful family together. I could certainly see as much of him as I could of her in the son and daughter, and I could see and feel the love they all had for each other.
Being in a warm and friendly home with a special friend was a major experience that has already entered a chapter in my memory bank. As I look back on all the years we have known each other, I realize one more time how very fortunate I have been to have such a friend, and now to know her family makes our relationship even more special. Friends really are our most treasured gifts and make our lives rich in ways that cannot be compared to any kind of wealth in material goods. Yes, I really am the wealthiest person I know because I have such friends as Pat.
Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident. She can be contacted through the Quay County Sun at 461-1952.