Bidding Tucumcari fond farewell
September 22, 2021
As of last weekend, one of the words that up until recently identified me for this column is a lie.
That word is “Tucumcari.” I have moved to Clovis with my wife for personal and professional reasons. Professionally, I will be doing steady part-time work for The Eastern New Mexico News, published by Clovis Media, which also publishes the Quay County Sun.
By writing my weekly column, I’m taking a break from staring at boxes and stuff stacked up in staging areas, then hauling portions of that stuff, often heavy, closer to their final resting places in our new house.
After 13 years of living in what I considered without seeking proof to be the nicest double-wide in Tucumcari, we have transferred into a spacious, “stick-built” house in Clovis in a quiet neighborhood where we are surrounded mostly by settled, well-established households like our own.
For the record, that “double-wide” in Tucumcari is actually a modular home, not a mere mobile home, that we firmly anchored to the ground with about 20 tons of stucco. It doesn’t look anything like “The Long, Long Trailer,” the titular prop of a Lucille Ball movie, which I am old enough to have enjoyed.
By leaving Tucumcari, we leave behind some great memories and some recollections of pain, as most people do when they leave any place where they lived for any length of time.
I held quite a few jobs in Tucumcari before I settled into a return to journalism after a 30-plus year absence from practicing the profession in its truest form - newspaper work.
In the meantime, I spent most of those years in corporate communications for a major Southern California electric utility. That included lots of reportorial research and writing, but the purpose was to persuade (adding an occasional whiff of gaslight), more than to inform.
That career ended a few years before we found ourselves in Tucumcari, attracted by its dinosaur museum, the random charm of its architecture and its low cost of living.
Before rediscovering journalism, I attempted teaching at both Tucumcari High School and at the prison in Santa Rosa (where I learned how to apply the firmer hand I needed for high schoolers), and coordinating for workforce and health programs.
None were close to being my ideal job.
Lately, however, I have been writing for the Quay County Sun and the Communicator in Santa Rosa, occasionally wielding a camera. Getting back to reporting has been like putting on a long-lost pair of old jeans that still move like I do, with some fading to be sure.
I will miss the Tucumcari Rotary Club, where I was serving as president until the opportunity in Clovis came along. I will miss the congregation at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, where I served as music director. I will also miss quite a few remarkable and resilient people I have met and worked with in quite a few capacities in Tucumcari.
Overall, however, we were ready to move on to a city where our needs are met locally.
As I bid Tucumcari a fond farewell, however, I only ask that Tucumcari residents do everything they can to make us sorry we left.
Steve Hansen writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at: