Serving the High Plains

Articles written by Lynn Moncus Qcs Columnist

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  • Comments from the Canyons: Hard to adjust to time change

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|Nov 6, 2012

    One more time, we have done as told and turned back our clocks in order to create confusion. We will now be on standard time just long enough to begin to get used to it before returning to daylight savings time. If we could just figure out a real purpose for these time changes, we might be more relaxed as we try to reset all our clocks. Prissy, the black lab who owns this corner, is sure I am plotting against her. Not only does she have to wait an extra hour to go outdoors of a morning, but even worse, she has to wait an extra hour for her... Full story

  • Comments from the Canyons: College memories remain pleasant

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|Oct 30, 2012

    Last weekend was a great one for this old Aggie. One more time I drove to Las Cruces to attend homecoming at New Mexico State University — my 57th — and to visit with some friends. Of course, my first trip along University Avenue caused a major shock because of the heavy traffic, the many new buildings, and the thousands of students wandering around. Just inching my way down that avenue was a chore for the now small-town driver. As always, I was remembering the early years; the wide open spaces, the few cars, students and faculty, and the rel...

  • Comments from the Canyons: Buildings help make history vibrant

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|Oct 23, 2012

    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... Full story

  • Old friend's humor still strong

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|Oct 16, 2012

    Pat Schoonover Shockley of Liberal, Kan., called last week to do a little visiting and to catch up on some news of her hometown. She and John, her husband, graduated from THS in 1950 and have remained in contact with friends and relatives throughout the years. They have also attended many of the Rattler Reunions and have shared many of their memories as they have visited with other alumni. Pat and I first met in 1940 when we attended Central School, now Tucumcari Historical Museum. We talked about that long-ago time and laughed as we recalled...

  • Brother's friend was childhood hero

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|Oct 9, 2012

    Last week was made special by a visit with Roy Penix and his wife, Rita, of Linden, Utah. Roy was one of my brother's best friends and most definitely was a hero of mine. He moved to Tucumcari with his family, the Houston Penixes, from the Duran area when a number of families were transferred here by the Southern Pacific. They lived across the street from the courthouse, and his sister, Ida Ann, became a close friend as we played in those halls when we were just beginning school. Roy and Clough became good friends and remained so as long as...

  • Moncus: Traveling by train still preferred

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|Oct 2, 2012

    The phone rang bright and early Sunday morning and Mickey Page got my attention by saying she was calling from a dining car as she wended her way to the Midwest via train. She knew she would cause a major fit of jealousy by telling me she was having breakfast and just enjoying watching the scenery slip by. Actually, I had never received a call from anyone traveling by train. That in itself caused a few thoughts about the past and about how much the early travelers would have enjoyed hearing from friends and relatives as they rode along. Of...

  • We all deserve our titles

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|Sep 25, 2012

    Last week, several of us in the over-the-hill gang discussed manners, especially the ones we were taught in our childhoods. We recalled the importance our parents and teachers placed on our polite behavior, sometimes rewarding us for practicing it and definitely disciplining us for failing to use our best manners. Among the first words we were taught to use frequently were please and thank you. We used them within our families as well as when we were in public. Of course, we heard those words used by our parents. We heard them often during our...

  • Ima better for Shoemaker's presence

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|Sep 18, 2012

    Last week, the Ima community lost an outstanding member: Hazel Shoemaker. Funeral services were held for her in Clovis, a family meal was held in House at noon, and graveside services were then held at the Hassell Cemetery. A large group of relatives and friends gathered at the cemetery for the services and for some quiet visiting. Standing there amid the group, I was much aware of my heritage and of my great good fortune at having discovered the world at lma. Memories of times spent with Shoemaker and her family surely came to the surface and...

  • Comments from the Canyons: Correct grammar still important

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|Sep 11, 2012

    During the many years in which I taught English, I worked hard to avoid making grammatical errors in order to set an example for the students and to avoid ridicule from my colleagues. I also paid strict attention to correct pronunciation, again to allow students to hear the difference between the correct and incorrect pronunciations. Of course, I have now relaxed much, but I still hear and read mistakes, especially those made by the media. My teeth get on edge easily when I see and hear so many mistakes while reading newspapers and listening...

  • Comments from the Canyons: County fairs remain important

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|Aug 21, 2012

    Let's thank all those people who participated in the Quay County Fair. Their efforts and talents are most definitely appreciated. Although the drought adversely affected the produce exhibits, we did get to see some results of major efforts to have gardens in the area. Fairs have been popular in our county since the days before statehood, and we can but hope they will remain so. In those early days, many of the communities had their own fairs before the county fair got under way. They even had their parades to celebrate the occasion. Although...

  • Comments from the Canyons: Exhibit features Rattler spirit

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|Aug 14, 2012

    If you didn't have time during Rattler Reunion to visit the special Rattler Exhibit at Tucumcari Historical Museum, you still have until the end of the month to enjoy it. Thanks to Elizabeth Morris, secretary of the Tucumcari Historical Institute Board, this exhibit was placed in the annex and contains an overview of school history often focusing on some of the decade classes that celebrated their special years at the reunion. She collected memorabilia from a number of people to represent the Rattler spirit. That collection includes rings,... Full story

  • Comments from the Canyons: Meeting former students, classmates touching

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|Aug 7, 2012

    Thanks to the Rattler Alumni Board of Directors and the many people who helped them, we had one more great Rattler Reunion! Seeing so many classmates, friends, and former students was a major thrill for this aging Rattler Alumna and former teacher. Our great class of 1952 celebrated our 60th anniversary of graduation as 14 of us gathered to reminisce about our wonderful years in the Tucumcari Public Schools. As we talked, we had a bit of a problem counting to 60 and realizing we had been out of school for that many years. The love and warmth am... Full story

  • Comments from the Canyons: Reunion offers chance to relive memories

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|Jul 31, 2012

    Welcome home, Rattler alumni! This first weekend in August has been a special time for 50 years as we have celebrated our education from the Tucumcari Public Schools. From many parts of the world, former Rattlers have returned to Tucumcari to be with friends and families to remember our school years and to renew friendships. Obviously, we are proud of the education we received here and are pleased to gather each year to honor and share our memories. As we wander from group to group, we hear much laughter as people recall their experiences at...

  • Comments from the Canyons: Dog will only write for own amusement

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|Jul 24, 2012

    Several of you have asked about the black lab, Priscilla Alden, who came to live on this corner last August. You have even asked if she is going to write some of these columns as did her predecessor, Aggie. Although Prissy has been here a little less than a year, she is in complete charge of life around here and has me doing whatever she demands. Her size alone would cause me to move when she gives orders. When she comes racing toward me, I just hope I'll be standing when she finishes that run. Thus far, she hasn't caused me to lose balance, bu...

  • Moncus: Hard to give up writing letters by hand

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|Jul 17, 2012

    Through the years, we have visited much about writing letters as well as the joy of receiving such missives. Although such correspondence has been taken over by various electronic inventions, some of us in the over-the-hill gang still like to use real paper, to walk to the mail box, and to retrieve letters from our friends at the end of that walk. Recently, an Aggie friend called to do a bit of visiting and began to complain about lack of personal letters in his life. He asked when I had last written such a letter. He seemed a little surprised...

  • Comments from the Canyons: Reunion annual offers memories of high school years

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|Jul 10, 2012

    Shortly after receiving THE GOLDEN RATTLER DIRECTORY, the Rattler Alumni received the TUCUMCARI HIGH SCHOOL 2012 RATTLER REUNION ANNUAL. Its colorful cover lets us know that the Class of 1982 will be hosting the reunion Aug. 2-4. After capturing our attention that way, the editor leads us directly to the schedule of events, major announcements, and provides a map of the parade route. The reader then meets the Class of 1982 as they appeared in the Tucumcari High School YUCCA in 1982. Seeing all those young faces is a real treat and reminds us... Full story

  • Moncus: Former students still kids to me

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|Jul 3, 2012

    We Golden Rattlers have now received our "2012 Golden Rattler Directory" and have gone through it carefully searching for names of old friends. Although many of them are missing, some of them may still be alive. Their names could have been purged from the last directory because they had not sent in contributions or registered at the reunion for several years. We can look at last year's directory and call some of those we might be concerned about to see if they are still around. According to the new directory, the two remaining members of the...

  • Being remembered by former students a treat

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|Jun 26, 2012

    Last week, I mentioned I had been a graduate assistant at New Mexico State University in 1963. At the same time, I taught a class in American history at Madonna High School, a Catholic girls school in Mesilla Park. That short chapter in my life was very active, but one that stands out because of the collection of memories amassed in such a brief period. An assistant's salary was barely enough to pay the rent and buy a bean or two', thus when I was offered that teaching position for an extra $30 a month, I jumped at the chance and learned far mo... Full story

  • Moncus: Letter takes writer on sentimental journey

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|Jun 19, 2012

    While Janie Stith and her relatives were going through items left to them by Mrs. Sue Tucek, they found a letter I had written to Mrs. Tucek in 1952. As a graduating senior, I was applying for a Delta Kappa Gamma scholarship. The letter was most definitely from a teenager who was dreaming of the future. At that time, neither of us even imagined I would be teaching Business Writing at New Mexico State University a few years later. As I look at this letter, I see one which would not have received a very high grade in that class. Although the... Full story

  • Comments from the canyons: Canyons rich with 'pretty rocks'

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|Jun 12, 2012

    We often visit about the beauty of our county, especially about the plants, flowers, and trees. That does not mean we don't appreciate the beauty of that which lies beneath that growth: dirt, rocks, fossils, and artifacts. Growing up in those canyons at lma gave me the best opportunity any child could have to learn a lot about geology without even trying. In those days, children were not kept from playing in the dirt. In fact, we spent more time checking out various shades of dirt than we did in noting the patterns in the drapes. Those canyons...

  • Hope children rediscover fun of playing outside

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|Jun 5, 2012

    Last week while driving around town, I nearly wrecked the car when I saw a couple of young children playing softball on a vacant lot. The ball and bat were much in use, and a lot of running was going on. Laughter was most pleasant to hear as the batter would miss the ball or hit it over the pitcher's head so he would have to run a distance to retrieve it. I rolled down the window in order to hear that laughter and the shouts between the two as they were having such fun. As I drove on by, I considered the scene and thought about how usual such...

  • Tragedy brings people together

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|May 29, 2012

    Those of us who live in rural areas suffer much when any of our friends are hurting. This past week, when the Tucumcari Animal Hospital was burned, and 50 helpless animals were killed, we became more aware than ever of just how precious our pets are and how much we sympathize with the people who are in great pain as they mourn their loss. While visiting with Dr. Jean Corey, a veterinarian, I could see the shock and pain she was enduring as she worked in the disaster area. She was exhausted but was not about to leave the scene because she had so...

  • Graduation frightening, exciting

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|May 22, 2012

    This is a special time for the graduating seniors in our town and county. It is both a happy and a frightening time, one filled with decisions and much planning. For some of us in this over-the-hill group, it was and remains one of the major highlights of our lives. One minute, we were high school students, and the next, we were entering the adult world. Although I had the opportunities to go through several commencement exercises, that one from THS was the most exciting and most emotional. I was not eager to graduate because I had so loved... Full story

  • Rain can brighten day

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|May 15, 2012

    Last week, Elizabeth Morris asked if I would like to do something special on Sunday. Well, of course, I thought of a trip to lma, and she seemed to be willing to ride along with Prissy and me. Little did we know what kind of day we would be spending out there or how little time we would walking. We decided to take a round-about way to reach those canyons by going to McAlister, House, and Hassell. I hadn't taken that trip in several years and was eager to see what had changed on those plains. As usual, so many memories flooded the mind that I wa...

  • Life in small town most rewarding

    Lynn Moncus QCS columnist|May 8, 2012

    Some people think that life in a small town or in a rural area is rather dull. Well, those people should try to live this live life to learn that it is anything but dull. Instead it is most rewarding! We have but to look outside or answer the phone to have many lively and unique experiences. Last week, for instance, when I walked into KIX on 66 and was seated for morning coffee, I looked up to see a young man approaching the table. As most of you know if you are in my age group, you may have a hard time remembering names even though we usually...

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