Throughout all our years of visiting together, we have spent much time talking about our great good fortune of having so many wonderful friends. They are the people who make this area home and who give us reasons to enjoy each day.
Last week, I had the opportunity to have a phone visit with Mrs. Rachel Locklear Sparks, who now lives in Clovis, but who is a native of Quay County. Although we rarely see each other, we begin our visits as if we had been together just yesterday. I knew her first when I was a child at lma, and she had just married Elvin Sparks. Of course, then I was just a bratty kid under foot, but as years passed, we became fast friends because of our heritage.
Rachel is celebrating her 94th birthday today. We talked about the rapid passage of time and wondered how we each reached the ages we have. As we visited, those years receded, and we talked as if we were the young people of yesteryear. Her voice is just as strong, and her laughter is just as lively as ever.
She mentioned that their twins, Jerry and Jeneane, born in 1944, will be celebrating the seventh time they have had birthdays as they were born on February 29. I think they have made the most of that as the rest of their friends have had annual days and have added rather large numbers. Yes, they always had recognition of their birthdays, but they didn’t often have the real day on which to celebrate.
I remember when they were born and how happy Grandmother Moncus was to welcome a new set of twins to the lma community. She was something of an authority on twins because she had two sets and talked much about them through the years. Rachel has recalled visiting with Grandmother about the problems and joys of twins and said she always felt better after those visits.
Although Rachel was born in the Norton-Puerto area and graduated from Grady High School, she spent the majority of her life at Ima and was readily received there when she and Elvin married. She has kept me posted about news of that community through the years and still tells of happenings she hears about in that vicinity.
Just visiting with her for those few minutes last week made me more aware than ever of our heritage and of our great good fortunate to have such people as Rachel and all the Sparks and Locklear families as friends. Yes, I knew her parents and her brothers as well as all her husband’s relatives in the lma community. Such friends have made this life most pleasant and enjoyable. Aren’t we lucky to have this place to call home and these people to call friends?