Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
Tuesday, January 4, 2000
By Smokey Briggs
Y2K - a
Well, Y2K struck out at the plate when the clocks rolled over and nothing
Eastern Europe didn't explode. The lights stayed on in China. Food riots
didn't erupt in New York.
The lack of disruption made for a boring New Year's Eve.
Personally, I think everything worked out perfect.
Y2K was probably a scam, and if it was, my hat is off to the inventor.
All I know about the guy is that he is a man.
Why, must he be a man, you ask?
Simple _ only a guy would come up with such a self-serving scam for
himself and all of his brothers in masculinity.
Y2K was a man's dream scenario in a modern world practically empty of
anything remotely like adventure.
Who else would come up with a scenario where for more than a year, a
man could buy anything in a hardware store, gun store, or surplus store
and explain it to she-who-must-be-obeyed as Y2K preparation?
Millions of conversations like the following have probably taken place
over the last 12 months:
"Jimmy! What are these charges on the MasterCard? $2,321 at Joe's Gun
World? $856 at Big Ed's Four Wheel Drive Heaven? $300 for MRE's? What is
an MRE? A chain saw? We live in an apartment!"
"Now sweetheart," he-who-usually-obeys, answers. "I'm just playing it
safe. Just like you always say we should do. Remember when you had me take
out all that life insurance? Just in case? Well, this is just like that.
Just a little insurance in case all these Y2K things really happen. No
cost is too great when it comes to you and the kids' safety My Love," he
says with all honesty.
"By the way. I've got to go down to the surplus store and pick up the
new tent and matching camouflage for the truck. Oh, and I almost forgot.
I had to move all your mother's antiques out of the hall closet to make
room for the machine gun ammunition. See ya in a little while."
What a great scam.
I got Christmas cards this year from dozens of new found friends at
hardware stores, gun stores and mail-order four-wheel drive shops. Me and
Mr. MasterCard made a lot of friends.
And now I get to keep all the great stuff.
This was better than joining the Boy Scouts when I was 10. All I really
wanted was an excuse to get a backpack, self-contained frying pan/plate,
and a really cool knife.
Now if we can just keep the ball rolling _ we can turn this into a man's
world again _ a world where wealth is measured by the size of the knobs
on your truck tires, the bullets in the closet, and the length of the bar
on your chainsaw.
My thought is that since 1/1/00 isn't really the end of the millennium,
then we'll have to wait until 1/1/01 to really be sure.
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. Come on guys, this is too good
an opportunity to waste.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the Editor and Publisher
of the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on Tuesdays. He can be e-mailed
Off-road ban just one more battle between elitist and regular folks
There is a petition in the works to ban off-road driving in National Parks.
According to the Associated Press, more than 70 environmental groups have
signed the petition.
In last week's associated press story a spokesman for one of the groups
claims that off-road vehicles are, "killing wildlife, disturbing the peace
and quiet, polluting the air and water, and endangering visitor safety."
Now our national park lands are one of our greatest treasures and certainly
But some common sense has to come into play.
A complete ban of off-road travel will completely isolate most of the
public from a large portion of these very lands.
In many cases, you just can't get there from here _ not without putting
a truck in four-wheel-drive and slogging down a forgotten logging road.
On the other hand, turning a national park into a baja race course is
stupid as well.
Surely there is a common sense solution that does not require a totalitarian
decree banning all four-wheel-drives and still protects the park from becoming
a monster truck playground.
Our national seashore on North Padre Island is a good example of how
common sense can maximize use and access to a national park.
There are miles and miles of the national seashore that are only accessible
Campers, fishermen and sightseers have taken advantage of this 60-mile
stretch of beach for decades without doing damage to it.
And while you can wade through the sand in a four-wheel-drive, driving
in the dunes and other sensitive areas is prohibited. The park rangers
readily and effectively enforce this restriction.
The result is that people still have access to the fairly wild wonders
of the island, and it does not get torn up in the process.
Such "access" driving does not destroy the park, kill wildlife, disturb
the peace, or endanger other visitors.
And it also allows people to do something more at a multi-million acre
national park than pull off at a scenic view, pull out a granola bar, and
wonder at the beauty off in the distance.
The off-road ban is a bad idea, and one more battle in the war between
the tree-hugging elitist and regular people _ a war fought over whether
national parks and other federal lands ought to be utilized and enjoyed,
or simply roped off from the public with big signs that say, "keep off
Reader disturbed by letter to editor
I just got through reading a very disturbing letter to the editor from
Mr. Rick Bracey, AST. I grew up in Pecos and graduated from PHS in 1968.
I am along with Mr. Bracey.
I only wish there were many more people in this world like Bailey. Mr.
Wheeless was, next to my father, my mentor. He taught me things about life
that at the time I wondered why should I be listening to him or my dad.
During the 60's many issues were confronting young people. Many ideas
out of the normal were in front of us all the time, just as the same problems
we see today, not to mention the draft and Vietnam. It's not much different
today when you get right down to it. His guidance has certainly helped
me raise my children in a way to be proud of them.
Bailey was one of the very few teachers at that time that had any time
for young people. He took the time to get to know his students, their families
and who you ran around with. He was concerned if you were running with
the wrong crowd. He took a genuine interest in his ag classes, he strived
to have a good program. In my book, he did. He honored you with compliments
or a job well done. And I would dare say that most of his ag students went
on later in life to make something of themselves. Bailey was dedicated
to the school district. I missed a show in El Paso because my grades weren't
passing. He didn't pull strings. You always knew where you stood with this
man because he followed the rules.
So, though I have not spoken with Mr. Wheeless in many years, I can
say without a doubt that Bailey knows who I am. I know Bailey. And I know
if I called him and needed a hand, he would find a way to help. And if
Mr. Bailey Wheeless needed to borrow a trailer, it was for good reason.
Bailey, if you ever need a trailer, let me know. I have one you can use
for as long as you need. I know it will come back to me in better shape
than when you pick it up. God knows I built enough of them in Ag class.
Graduating Class of 1968
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York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Peggy McCracken, Webmaster
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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