Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Mourn, then continue Mihm's work


January 4, 2017

I was visiting England last week when I learned that John Mihm had died.

His sudden and untimely passing leaves me with a sense of loss.

I was not one of John’s close friends, but I was well acquainted with John and admired him and his accomplishments. I had done a little work with John on economic development matters and bought eyeglasses from him.

I also covered the five-person race in which he won his Tucumcari City Commission seat and talked to him often about city business and economic development.

My sense of loss comes from what he had done for the city and his hopes for its future.

John put his money where his mouth was. He didn’t talk about bringing new businesses to Tucumcari. He put up pegboards and shelves, added some plumbing and installed lens-making machinery in an abandoned building on Route 66 and started a wholesale eyeglass-lens making operation.

He had customers in several states and was getting ready to expand his business.

He also installed display racks, desks, furniture and more equipment in the building next door and started selling glasses retail at incredibly low prices to local customers.

He succeeded. In Tucumcari.

John was also a leader among the elected officials, business owners, civil servants and others who would rather pave the way for success in Tucumcari than despair at the loss of past glory.

John was a regular at informal morning sessions at local restaurants and coffee shops where people shared news and information about local business.

He didn’t talk about how great things used to be but about how great they were going to be.

He worked and played hard, served with dedication and loved a good party, especially when he was the host.

He acted on his belief in the city with a lot of energy and spirit. He always had a smile and a contagious sense of humor.

His sudden passing leaves an empty space that will be hard to fill.

We need to pause to mourn John’s passing, but then we need to continue what he has done so much to get started in our city.

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




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