Murals of Tucumcari

pattern stories
Written by:
Ed Domain

I had some time before my next appointment, so I was slowly exploring the town, seeing what there was to see, and I noticed a mural.

A minute later, I saw another, and then I saw  another.

It was Wednesday during my week in Tucumcari, New Mexico. I was getting out to explore the state and Tucumcari called to me.

It wasn’t my first time in Tucumcari. As it happens, back a few years  I moved from Chicago to San Francisco. My girlfriend and I drove Route 66 to L.A.

Along the way, we made a few stops in New Mexico. I definitely remember seeing the motels and different restaurants, and we remember thinking Tucumcari was cool for all its “Route 66 heyday” vibe.

Now that I was getting the chance to spend some time here, I had to admit: Tucumcari is easy to like. Everyone here is friendly, and when you stop moving, put down the phone and really listen, the place feels timeless.

I had some time before my next appointment, so I was slowly exploring the town, seeing what there was to see, and I noticed a mural.

A minute later, I saw another, and then I saw  another.

WQAY.

I should have asked someone, but I had a pretty tight schedule. I forgot to ask when I was interviewing people, and so for now the murals and all their stories are a mystery to me, with an exception.

Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.

The mural on one side of KQAY’s building shows a famous moment in time from Tucumcari’s history. Two local reporters were kept out of a game in the 30s, so they climbed a tree and reported on the game from there.

WQAY.

There were more murals than these- after I left town and was reviewing my pictures, I did some googling and found The Tucumcari Mural Map for when I’m in town next.

Tucumcari is full of surprises, and all the murals were one of them.

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