80’s-themed reunion draws 500

“Reunited and it feels so good...” These classmates of the Class of 1984 share a laugh Friday night during the Rattler Reunion at the Tucumcari Convention Center.

“Reunited and it feels so good…” These classmates of the Class of 1984 share a laugh Friday night during the Rattler Reunion at the Tucumcari Convention Center.

Thomas Garcia

QCS Senior Writer

Over 500 Rattler alumni descended upon Tucumcari for the annual Rattler Reunion Thursday through Saturday hosted  by the class of 1984.

“There were 400 that registered for all of the reunion events, but we had at least 150 more register for individual events,” said Pamela Clark, president, Tucumcari Alumni Association.

Clark said  she was pleased with the turnout to the reunion and is already looking forward to next year’s event.

“It’s always good to have so many Rattlers return home,” Clark said.

The main hall at the Tucumcari Convention Center was decked out in a 1980s theme,  complete with movie posters from period films including The Terminator, Gremlins, Footloose and Sixteen Candles.

“It was good to see former classmates and have a chance to rekindle some old friendships, while reliving some great memories,” said Wayne Ferguson, Tucumcari.

For the Golden Rattler luncheon, sponsored by the Class of 1959, only 10 members appeared.

“It was a little disappointing, but it was still an enjoyable event,” said Juanita Mitchell Curry, Class of ‘59 member.

Curry said she selected the guest speaker, Class of ‘59 president Dr. Ross Landess of Rancho Mirage, California.

“When Juanita Curry wrote me and asked if I would speak at this event I was very honored and happy say yes,” Landess said. “It was a short time later that I learned that I would be introduced by Jackie Parker Earnhart and I was overcome by fear and anxiety.”

Landess explained his joke by saying Earnhart knew about things that could potentially embarrass him.

“Though a third of you already know the dirt, a third of you wouldn’t be able to hear what she said and the other third wouldn’t even care,” Landess said.

Landess spoke about his experiences while growing up in Tucumcari, and compared life now to what things were like then.

“Everyone has a cell phone or cordless phone at home,” Landess said. “Growing up my number at home was 718.  The lady with the power was named Central, and she knew all the town’s secrets.”

Landess said that over the years he has been the guest speaker at many events and hoped his words had somehow sparked someone’s interest or were the source of inspiration. He said he hopes his classmates and those who attended the Golden Rattler Luncheon would bear with him if he got too emotional.

“I usually start a speech with thank you for having me,” Landess said. “I want each of you all too know I truly am honored to be here before you today speaking about Tucumcari.”

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