I got to meet Dr. Scherer’s wife, Joyce, this morning. They were on their way to Tucumcari to pick up groceries when they saw Joey and me outside, hanging out the sheets, and stopped to say hello.
Joyce — a very funny, down-to-earth woman who absolutely refuses to let anyone over the age of 17 call her “Mrs. Scherer” — grew up in Coldwater and actually worked part-time as a maid at the Tumbleweed when she was 16. She said Miss Shirley was as good a boss as you’d expect, and she remembered Joey (who is about four or five years her senior) as the “big kid” who’d rescued her from impending doom at the hands of a playground bully when she was in first grade.
We had a really nice conversation. Joyce wanted to see some of the rooms I’d remodeled, and we discussed my plans for the sign, the restoration of which is the next item on my to-do list. She and Dr. Scherer were amused — and pleased — to discover signs, printed in red magic marker on six-inch-high pieces of cardstock, labeling every object in the lobby as part of my effort to improve Joey’s reading skills.
Joyce told me some great stories about her own experiences at the Tumbleweed. She said Joey would always help her hang the sheets and towels out to dry after she’d washed them in Miss Shirley’s old Speed Queen. You can imagine the look on her face when I told her that the sheets we were hanging out this morning had just been through the same wringer she’d used in 1974.
Dr. Scherer has been the superintendent in Coldwater for almost six years. He’s originally from Las Cruces, met Joyce in college (they both went to NMSU), and spent most of his career in Albuquerque, but after a couple of decades amid the stress and hassles of an urban school district, he was more than happy to take Joyce’s suggestion and apply for a job as superintendent of Coldwater Public Schools. He said the lack of amenities in a town this size took some adjustment, but the slower pace, lower cost of living, and vast, open skies more than make up for the little inconveniences.
I couldn’t agree more.