Each year as Rattler Reunion approaches, excitement builds in those of us who are proud of our heritage in the Tucumcari Public Schools. Some of us are fortunate enough to be doubly proud because we graduated from T.H.S. and also were privileged to teach there.
For some reason, this former teacher has received more letters than usual fromformer students. Each has been a delightful treat, and each has reminded me of what a pleasure it was to have had the opportunity to sit on both sides of the desk. To receive letters from students who were in my classes at least 50 years ago has certainly caused me to pause on occasion while wondering where all that time has gone. The fact that those students even remember their high school English teacher after all these years is a bit overpowering. When they begin to recount details of specific incidents that occurred in class, I am doubly overwhelmed. Obviously, we both made some kind of impression on each other because I often remember the same incidents.
To have those students take the time to write such priceless letters humbles memore than they can ever know and makes me prouder than ever to have known them in their youth. Most of them are well aware that they will always be young to this teacher and know that I will treasure each of them as "one of my kids." In those letters, some mention their concern about making grammatical errors or misspelling words. They should realize that after all these years, I have retired my red pen and am just delighted to receive letters, none of which do I read critically. Just reading the words is a major thrill as is remembering the writers of those words. I am most definitely not so meager as to criticize them after all ofthese years.
Several have mentioned that they are planning to attend the Reunion next week and are hoping to find time to do some extra visiting with me. I am certainly looking forward to seeing each one and to learning more about their accomplishments. As we greet each other, we may have to pause for a while in order to be able to recognize each other. After all, we have changed more than a little in fifty or more years. I note that several have changed their hair color to gray and have added a few character lines. More than that I note how distinguished they now look and how pleased they are to be at home with their friends and relatives.
Naturally, I am just as delighted to see my own classmates and the many friendsfrom other classes at THS. Because ours is an all-school gathering, we are privileged to know people in all age groups and certainly don't meet any strangers as we amble through the halls at the Convention Center.
As I look back over the last 39 years, I realize how much pleasure hundreds of ushave had at these gatherings and how much we owe to those who began this major tradition. We can never repay them, but we can continue to thank them and to hope that they and others won't let this tradition die. Continuity caused most of us to be so close to our alma mater and later to enjoy Rattler Reunion. During rather trying times, we should most definitely avoid breaking that chain of continuity. We can continue to meet and greet each other if we really put our minds to it. Let's do some thinking!