Last Sunday evening, Mr. Bill Kinder, owner of the Blue Swallow Motel, invited me to have dinner with a group of bicycle riders and to talk to them a little about the history of Tucumcari.
Of course, I was thinking about Mrs. Lillian Redman, the former owner, and of the times she would ask some of us to drop by to visit with various tour groups.
Mrs. Redman worked very hard to have the Blue Swallow recognized throughout the world and was very pleased to recount stories of the many people who had traveled Route 66 to stay in her establishment.
Well, Mr. and Mrs. Kinder are continuing her tradition of greeting travelers and showing them a good time in our town. They have been able to do much remodeling of the motel and have retained much of the history in their decor.
Mrs. Redman would be most pleased to see what has been done and to wish these owners the best of luck in their venture.
While talking to that group from all parts of the country and from other countries, I was much aware that they were traveling a bit as had our pioneer ancestors. Although riding a bicycle doesn’t give the rider the chance to gaze around at much but the pavement or ground, it does offer the opportunity to feel a little of that pioneer spirit of exploring new avenues and of being in the open for a number of hours a day.
Several mentioned their new found ability to fix flat tires a number of times a day, and others mentioned their upset at seeing snakes as they rode along.
Fortunately, they were accompanied by a van in case of an emergency and could seek shelter when needed. They indicated that they had done little riding on dirt roads until they arrived here, and then had a new experience. They didn’t seem to want to travel much farther unless on pavement.
Of course, most of us in the over-the-hill gang learned to ride on dirt roads and trails and could coast along at a pretty good clip on graded streets.
Listening to and watching that friendly collection of people was a most pleasant experience. Several had made the trip before, and others were already planning to make it again. As I listened to those in my age group, I realized that they were far more active than this Southwesterner, but they weren’t having any more fun than I.
As usual, I learned far more from them than they learned from me because I spent more time listening than talking. After all, the speech took but a brief time; whereas, the general visiting lasted for a couple of hours. They were eager to get on their way and planned to reach Vega the next day. I certainly admired their spirit and most definitely wished them well. Of course, as is our custom, I also invited them to return for another visit as we are always pleased to see travelers throughout the years.
Mr. Kinder had taken them on a bicycle tour of our town so they could see the murals and could also get a little flavor of our Southwestern town. They mentioned that they didn’t see much industry and wondered how we lived.
I guess I was able to fill in a few details and to explain that we always live in the hopes that some of the travelers will decide to settle here as did the pioneers and will help us to become an active area again. We never lose our hopes and dreams!