Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
By Peggy McCracken
Tuesday, August 1, 2000
Summer vacation with family enjoyed
Rattlesnakes are still alive and kicking in the Pecos Valley. Well, not
kicking, maybe, but at least wagging their tails.
Dana, my beautiful and talented 11-year-old granddaughter, wanted to
go rattlesnake hunting last night, so we piled into my little Sunfire and
headed for the cotton patch. Jerry Workman, the bug scout, told me that
they are thick around the old concrete irrigation ditches, especially where
they are broken up to allow them to crawl underneath.
Scott, who last was my snake-hunting companion, drove south and west
until he spotted a likely-looking ditch, parked, got out and walked across
the road. Before I could get out the door, he was back. "There's one lying
right there," he said, grabbing the snake stick and heading back to the
ditch. Sure enough, a juvenile snake was curled up amongst the dried-out
tumbleweeds piled in the ditch.
Using the noose his granddaddy attached to one end of the stick a half
century ago, Scott eased it over the snake's head and lifted her from the
ditch. I know it was a female, because she kicked and screamed about having
her nap disturbed. Just as I would.
Dana took the stick and displayed the rattler for videotaping by her
mother. You remember Peggy Lynn, who once worked as a reporter here at
the Enterprise. She is a much better writer than I am, and she should be
writing this column.
Peggy Lynn and Scott took AMTRAK from St. Louis to Alpine last Saturday
and drove on up in a rental car. It was sort of a trip back in time, because
they had come to Pecos on AMTRAK from Wyoming when he was 5 years old.
Now he's 24, two heads taller than me, wears earrings, a tattoo and a goatee.
And I love him just like he is.
You've missed my grandchildren/vacation stories since I moved into the
business office, I know. So while Smokey is off vacationing, I thought
I would bring you up to date.
Dana flew down by herself from St. Louis and I picked her up at the
airport to start my vacation. We also picked up great-granddaughter Jasmine
in Midland and the two entertained me royally for a week. I directed Vacation
Bible School at West Park Baptist Church while they attended their respective
classes. Both had a ball and learned a lot, I am sure. It was the best
vacation ever for all three of us. Jasmine said she was never going home
(she did), and Dana said she could stay in Texas forever.
We attended the first movie at the State Theatre, swam in the city pool
and Balmorhea State Park, worked jigsaw puzzles, played music (I bought
them French Harps), took evening walks and gardened.
Scott fixed my garden tractor so it will run, and he and Peggy Lynn
will take it back to St. Louis to use in their landscape business. Dana
says she will mow the big lawn at their new country home now that she has
something to ride.
Oh yes, don't let me forget the biggie. I showed Dana how to write HTML
and construct her own web page. She posted it at www.pecos.net/news/pages/dana.htm
where you can view it.
It's been nice chatting with you again. We must do this again soon.
In the meantime, don't forget me, buried in this office under piles of
outgoing statements and incoming bills. Ask God to give me the patience
and perseverance to keep on keeping on.
"My help comes from the LORD, the Make of heaven and earth. He will
not let your foot slip-he who watches over you will not slumber." Psalm
EDITOR'S NOTE: Peggy McCracken is business manager and webmaster.
Send her an email at email@example.com.
Good, bad news for Pecos
It's good news, bad news for Pecos.
The good news is that after many years the State Theatre (picture show
to me) has been revived thanks to the hard work, dedication and big bucks
of the Creasy, Lillian and Richard. They deserve heartiest congratulations
What a treat to watch a movie on wide screen in air-conditioned comfort.
When the Creasys first began work on the theatre, I promised to be there
everytime the marquee changed, and I intend to keep that promise.
More good news. The dedication of the Pecos Technical Training Center
of Odessa College, which I attended last Saturday. And to which I can only
say, "Wow!" What a marvelous facility and one in which Pecos people should
feel great pride. Maybe there really is a new day dawning here.
And now for the bad news.
Like the State theatre, it too is located on Oak Street _ at the other
end. I am referring, of course, to the Tom and Evelyn Linebery building,
the windows of which have been broken three times in nearly as many weeks.
It is/was such an attractive display with the cowboy chuck box and western
setting but which now is boarded up to protect against further vandalism.
I often wonder what kind of vicarious thrill (?) a person gets by hurling
a rock or brick through a big plate glass window.
This part of Oak Street with the caboose, depot, Linebery building and
museum nearly need to be preserved.
Please, Pecos, be as proud as I am of what we have and lets all help
take care of it.
Your very sincerely,
Questions asked on District Attorney
I have some questions about the District Attorney's race. I have repeatedly
heard that having the District Attorney's main office in Marfa will bring
substantial money into Marfa??? I don't understand this statement! It has
been traditional for the County who has the main office of the District
Attorney to pay the bulk of the 6 counties', which are, Reagan, Presidio,
Brewster, Upton, Jeff Davis, Pecos Counties, share of expenses.
Currently the State of Texas pays only the District Attorney's salary
and a small stipend towards office expenses. The operating budget of approximately
$250,000.00 is paid by the 6 counties in the 83rd Judicial District. Pecos
County has served as the District Attorney's main office location and as
a result has been paying about $185,000.00 of the operating budget. This
is as much as the other 5 counties combined pay. Presidio County budgeted
$18,500.00 in their 1999 budget toward the District Attorney's budget.
Presidio County's budget was amended later that year to $42,000 to include
an additional $24,000 to help fund the Assistant District Attorney in Marfa.
The 2000 budget again includes a sum of $20,000.00 above the $18,500 usually
budgeted for a total of $38,500.00. This additional amount of $20,000 is
not for helping to fund the Assistant District Attorney in Marfa since
that office is no longer in Marfa but is a sum asked for by the District
Attorney's office to allow them to request a matching fund grant for victims
assistance for the District. The 83rd Judicial District, which is our District
Attorney's District, does not follow county lines so that some counties
such as Pecos County are paying into more than one District Attorney's
budget - the 83rd and 112th Districts. This would seem to make it even
more unlikely they would agree to continue funding the 83rd at a high rate
if they do not have the local office.
Can Presidio County Afford to pay 4 or 5 times it's current budget and
if so where will this money come from? It is my understanding that there
is no Robinhood law that mandates counties to pay according to their income.
In any case the county that is home to the main District Attorney's office
would pay a greater sum. The added amount of revenue in Marfa due to additional
staff would seem to be more than offset by an increased share of expense
for the county. There is also the expense of moving the office. I understand
Frank Brown intends to keep the Main office in Ft. Stockton allowing Pecos
County to continue to pay the bulk of the operating expenses and would
have a small satellite office in the Brewster County Courthouse in Alpine
with an 800 number for residents of other areas to call toll free. Who
can answer these questions?
It may seem that eliminating one Assistant District Attorney (we currently
have two ADA) as mentioned at times by Mr. Spurgin may save money; but
since we now have two Judges instead of one for the District Attorney and
Assistant District Attorneys to appear before, I don't see that this is
a solution that would get the job done. I understand Mr. Jepson, current
ADA, during his campaign indicated the Job cannot be adequately done without
two Assistant District Attorneys.
It appears to me the current Assistant District Attorneys are underpaid
compared to other starting attorneys in the State and will also need their
salaries raised. Since the State pays only the District Attorney's salary,
not the Assistant District Attorneys I don't see how money can be saved
Since I am new to the area, perhaps I don't have a full understanding
of this issue. Although I have never run for office I have held several
appointed positions that are equivalent to elected positions here.
Who can answer these questions on the internet for all voters to see?
This letter was hand delivered to The Big Bend Sentinel and The International
this past Tuesday by 4 p.m, the deadline being 5 p.m...
Apparently, this concern was not printed or acknowledged in the paper
due to too many letters and paid articles for this week's paper...
Copies are now being sent to:
Big Bend Sentinel, Ft. Davis Dispatch, Alpine Avalanche, Alpine
Observer, Pecos Enterprise and The Ft. Stockton Pioneer
Ex-teacher enjoys Pecosgab site
I just recently discovered this site and must say that it is one of
the most enjoyable places I have ever visited on the internet. It is so
great to sit and read the names and experiences of old friends, students,
and fellow teachers. I taught Auto Mechanics at PHS for 18 years and must
say I have missed Pecos. I now live in Abilene and am self-employed. I
would love to be contacted by ex-students and friends at firstname.lastname@example.org
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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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