Memories on tap for Rattler Reunion
Published: Sunday, August 1st, 2004
In just a few days, the major event of the year in our town will occur when Tucumcari High School Alumni gather to celebrate our school days. For over thirty years, this all-school Rattler Reunion has been drawing hundreds of people home to visit about the good, bad, and indifferent times we had while growing up and receiving our diplomas. For the most part, we spent time talking about the good times of the past instead of bragging or complaining about our current status, our wealth or lack of it, or about our accomplishments. We just begin talking to each other as if we were in school only yesterday and are on our way to the next class. At the drop of a hat, we are in biology class with Mrs. Babcock letting tarantulas crawl up and down her arms or speaking severely to girls just because we were girls. We may then proceed to the auditorium in the old high school to recall the fun we had in band and some of the tricks we played on Mr. Stephenson just to watch him walk off the stage to let the culprits correct their errors before his return. Some of us will enter Mrs. Wedel‘s shorthand class to entertain ourselves by wearing our glasses upside down and causing major attacks of giggles while Mrs. Wedel assigned even more homework than she had the last time we pulled that stunt. Others will wander into the English class taught by Mr. Chew and have further seizures as he gets out his Vicks bottle to clear his sinuses. Still others will amble into Mrs. Dyke’s history class to keep an accurate count of the number of “uh’s” she uses in her lecture and to hope she will merely send us to the library to get rid of the trouble makers. As we recount our memories, we become those kids of so long ago and add a few more details to our stories each year. We can still be seized with those same fits of laughter and can then shed a tear or two as we recall serious times in which we lost classmates or teachers. We were one big family then and felt both joy and sadness as we grew and learned. We are one big family now as we sit around remembering and enjoying those memories. The men of today become the boys of yesterday as they discuss their athletic activities and replay the outstanding games as if they had played them only the day before. They tell many tales about the coaches, including Jim Rudd and Ray Paulson and express their respect for all those men did for them by making their lives better for having taught them sportsmanship and good manners. We recall the hours we spent in “dragging” the highway or drinking cokes at the drug stores on Main Street. We remember the snake dances we had before the first football game and the Junior-Senior banquets and proms that let us test the manners we had been taught at school and at home. We recall painting the “T” and the long climb up the mountain to throw that white wash about. We reminisce about the summers and the great fun we had at Metropolitan Park in the huge swimming pool, or the wiener roasts we had in the nearby grove of trees around the picnic tables. Most of us express our appreciation for having had the opportunity to attend Tucumcari High School and for having received a very good background for college or for going to work immediately. We also spend much time complimenting the Rattler Reunion Board for all they do to make these reunions possible. Let’s just sing “Hail to the Rattlers” and have a good time!
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