Teamwork marks eventful week

By Steve Hansen
Local columnist

The eventful week for Tucumcari and Quay County that ended Saturday had a focus on teams.

The Tucumcari City Commission marked the end of a two-year streak of teaming up for unanimous votes to direct city business.

Newly elected Commissioner Ralph Moya cast the first “no” vote in two years on a new ordinance that clamps down on property owners whose parcels host eyesores or dilapidated buildings.

Moya said the ordinance’s penalties are too harsh and that the new law does not give property owners enough time to make corrections.

The ordinance passed, 4-1. Moya abstained on one other matter but voted with the rest of the commission on other items. He issued lengthy challenges and questions, however, on matters that usually receive brief discussion, then a vote.

Moya’s debut was a splash of cold water to other commissioners, and it was plain they prefer their accustomed teamwork to the ice-bucket challenge.

On a much more harmonious note, Mesalands Community College last week hosted its 18th annual Iron Pour, hosting about 40 artists and students from as far away as Georgia and Alaska.

They paid for the privilege of working like galley slaves day and night to craft wax sculptures that would be melted but replaced with iron, prepare molds, and break up scrap iron for the melting furnace.

On Friday, they held tongue-in-cheek rituals and donned safety gear for the week’s signature event. Some stoked and maintained the melting furnace while others filled ladles with glowing molten iron, then carried the ladles to pour glowing red streams into the sculpture molds.

The Iron Pour had the atmosphere of a happy family reunion. Everyone pitched in cheerfully for a week of teamwork.

Mesalands faculty members D’Jean Jawrunner, who has presided over all 18 of the iron pours; Robert Moreau, and Joel Kiser, put in the same hours as artists and students.

The team stories that riveted the county’s attention last week, however, were the state championship hopes of the Tucumcari High School Rattlers and the Logan High School Lady Longhorns.

Those hopes ended in the final championship games in their divisions.

The final scores, however, do not begin to measure the conditioning, the drills, the discipline and the tenacity that brought these teams to the state’s ultimate contests.

They won by being there, and the lessons and memories will last a lifetime.

The same can be said for teams that produce art or guide city policies. Teams that can stay together and work together win, no matter what the score.

Steve Hansen writes about our life and times from his perspective of a retired Tucumcari journalist. Contact him at:

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