Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
Tuesday, July 18, 2000
By Smokey Briggs
Put a little adventure
in your life
I took the family camping over the weekend.
Camping is good for the soul.
For starters, it provides excellent opportunities for contemplation.
Saturday night I got plenty of contemplating done. My beautiful bride
and perfect offspring had already retired to the tent so I climbed up a
nearby hill and plopped my contemplation muscle down on a big rock.
There was a breeze on top of that rock in direct contrast to the small
cactus-free zone the tent was pitched on so contemplating looked pretty
good. A nearly full moon gave enough light to read by and the overall beauty
and magnificence of Big Bend was staggering. So was the temperature.
So I sat and contemplated.
It occurred to me, there on that rock, that one of the big problems
we face as a species is one we have created _ a pure lack of adventure.
Adventure, of one sort or another, has always been mankind's companion.
Somewhere, deep inside our hearts and minds, there is a need for adventure.
Kids might not be so captivated by crime, and drugs, and other things
illegal, if the rest of their life was not boring.
Whether we like it or not, crime does provide a certain amount of adventure.
If you fail (get caught), there is a very real penalty. There is a thrill
involved in doing something while others try to keep you from doing it.
Much of the adventure God packed into this world has been banished by
Even before man was man (if you subscribe to Darwin's theory in some
form) his life was adventurous. Of course back then, the threat of being
eaten by all the well-equipped predators was the source of adventure.
A couple of near misses by lions, wolves and giant snakes would probably
take care of the most adventurous soul's need for excitement. Even a generation
or two back survival required more skill, more luck, and more work. Life
simply demanded more, and in the process, adventure was abundant.
I am convinced that man has an innate need for adventure of some kind.
For a challenge. For something that makes success uncertain when success
matters. To some degree, that challenge must be physical.
The challenge of a spreadsheet, no matter how fraught with peril and
evil, just doesn't cut it.
Walking up a rattlesnake, four hours from any medical attention, in
the middle of the Big Bend
well, that's adventure. It is also good for
your aerobic conditioning all though I'm not sure how to categorize that
little bit of exercise in my workout journal.
"Five minutes sprinting while screaming," is the best I've come up with.
When I fell in a heap into the thorny arms of an ocotillo cactus with
my chest heaving for oxygen, I knew I had quenched my thirst for adventure.
At least for the time being. All that was left to do was stop the bleeding
and treat for shock.
As I sat on that rock and contemplated, and worked at picking the thorns
out of my hands, I realized that the world would be a better place if more
folks went camping.
There is no small amount of adventure packed into a good family camping
trip. You simply need to tailor the trip to the amount of adventure you
Here are a few guidelines:
Always take the family. Take cousins, aunts, and brother-in-laws
if possible. The more relatives, the more adventure.
Take lots of shovels, rope and come-a-longs.
Always choose the roads marked _ 4-wheel-drive only.
Never take a 4-wheel-drive vehicle. 1973 Impala station wagons with
leaking radiator hoses add to the adventure aspect. Air conditioning is
another adventure-ruining luxury. So is soap.
Have your two youngest kids help you pitch the tent.
Never bring mosquito repellent. It ruins the atmosphere.
Camp during hunting season. Take a rifle and don't bring enough food.
Disable the wagon deep in the national forest and make your family depend
on your hunting skills, or their gathering skills, for food. The looks
on their faces on day 4 when you drag a deer carcass into camp will beat
any Christmas smile you have ever seen.
Camp the desert in the summer and Montana in the winter.
Only bring one roll of toilette paper.
By following these simple rules, you can have a very adventurous trip.
By the time you return to the mundane world of computers and air conditioning,
your body's natural desire for adventure will have been fulfilled for a
So will the kiddos.
School and homework will sound fine. And when hoodlums tease them for
being sissies when they won't use a little dope, they can pull up their
pants leg and show them where the rattler bit them, or where dad slipped
with the hammer while driving plastic tent stakes into pure rock.
Or, they might just jab the offending oaf with a sharp stick like they
learned to do while hunting lizards for breakfast.
So take the family camping. It's good for everybody.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the editor and publisher of the
Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on Tuesdays. He can be e-mailed at:
Tarzan visitor enjoyed Pecos hospitality
A few weeks ago, I set out from Tarzan, Texas to go to the big city
of Pecos. I was surprised at the courtesies afforded me especially at the
Oriental Musuem. I spent four hours in the place and can't remember when
I enjoyed anything any more that seeing the OLD WEST right before my eyes.
I had a good evening meal at the Truck Stop on 1 20 and then went to church
in the town.
You folks have a lot of history to be proud of and also some that a
church going feller would not like to see take place again.
This letter to the editor is just to say, thanks to all of you Pecosites
for putting up with a Tarzan resident.
lncidentally,our berg was named after the jungle character of Edgar
Rice Burroughs. Been left up to me it would have been called Weissmuller
cause he was the only real Tarzan. There are 11 souls in our city and we
generally always know when someone leaves.
I like it like that.
THE LITTLE DUTCHMAN
Unfortunate mistake is a girls worst nightmare
This unfortunate mistake has been a girls worst nightmare come true.
Being a believer in Our Lord Jesus Christ, I have drawn my strength and
healing to cope with this event in my life. The peace and understanding
God has given me has enabled me to forgive the "error" that was made and
the overcome and rise above.
I thank my loving family and friends for their unconditional love and
for supporting me through this experience.
Local sheriff's dept. deputy resigns
The intent of this letter is to inform you of some of the reasons for
my resignation from the Reeves County Sheriffs Office. I have been a loyal,
dependable employee for 7 1/2 years. I work with a department that is as
well trained and efficient as any in this area. The following are some
of the reasons why I must now leave not only this department, but also
1) The current Commissioner's Court has decided that only one department,
the Reeves County Detention Center, is worthy of their support and attention.
I believe that Commissioners Tarin and Rayos are concerned about the entire
county; they are consistently out-voted by the rest of the Commissioner's
2) The Reeves County Sheriffs Department has been consistently underpaid
and poorly equipped because of budget constraints from Commissioner's Court.
This department is necessary according to state law and is the only way
that the Detention Center even exists. The Detention Center is legally
only an extension of the County Jail. The two departments should have the
same pay scale. The employees of both departments are all working under
the authority of Sheriff Gomez.
3) The morale of every county department, with the exception of the
Detention Center, and Judge Galindo's office, is extremely low with employees
actively seeking jobs elsewhere. The last publicly announced pay increase
at the Detention Center caused four Reeves County Jailers to apply at the
Detention Center and also started most Deputy Sheriffs to start job searching
elsewhere. Conum'ssioner's Court has repeatedly stated that they must pay
good salaries at the Detention Center to retain qualified personnel. However,
they refuse to pay adequate salaries to keep qualified Sheriff s Department
personnel. I hope that the citizens of Reeves County are aware that their
Conunissioner's Court places a priority on Federal prisoners and is not
concerned about the life, safety, and property of its citizens.
In conclusion, I wish to say that I am saddened that a county with so
many good people are led by leaders with only one vision. The Detention
Center is a wonderful achievement, but should not be the expense of the
rest of the county. Commissioner's Court must wake up, select other visions,
and help this count retain its skilled people in every department. The
employees of the Reeves County Detention Center are deserving of their
salaries, but other county employees deserve to be paid well also.
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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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