Have you noticed that as we grow older, our memories tend to jump around
rather randomly and can land on subjects we haven't thought of in years? For no known reason, I landed in the early '40's and relived a sort of frightening experience.
A local woman asked Mother to accompany her to lma so she could speak to the extension club about some government project. For some reason, the woman didn't choose to take the local home extension agent. Because the meeting was to be held at Grandmother's home in the canyons, Mother asked it I could go along so I could enjoy a few hours of freedom.
As we approached that steep road into the canyon, Mother asked the woman if
she would rather leave the car on top and just walk down the hill. The woman replied that she could drive anywhere on any kind of road and was more than a little indignant as we began the descent. We had gone no more than a few yards when the woman opened her door and stepped out of the moving car which she was driving.
Mother moved faster than I had ever seen her as she stomped on the brake and grabbed the steering wheel. The woman had found a rock on which to perch and to be a bit sick.
Mother was muttering under her breath as she put the car into reverse and backed up the hill. I had never seen her shaking so hard before, nor had I seen her so angry.
She told me to get out of the car, and we began to walk toward the woman.
By the time we reached her, Mother had worked up a real head of steam and explained that the person could have killed us had we rolled to the bottom of the canyon. I do recall that Mother raised her voice more than usual and that her eyes were just about to bore a couple of holes in that woman's head.
We walked down to the house and were greeted warmly by the women of the community. Mother and I went out to the spring for a few minutes so she could relax and avoid further confrontation. Grandmother came out to see what was wrong because she had noted Mother's expression as we entered. She was ready to go back to the house to do some bodily harm, but Mother told her to consider the source and to go on with the meeting.
The drive back to town was not really pleasant, but it surely was quiet.
The woman tried to make conversation but received few words from either of us. As we got out of the car upon arrival at home, Mother made a few quiet remarks and let her know what she thought of her.
Had Mother not been a good driver and a calm person under pressure, you wouldn't be reading these weekly comments. She saved my life more than once, but that was one of the first really memorable experiences. I can still get a tad nervous as I think about that morning.
Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident and can be contacted through the Quay County Sun by calling 575-461-1952