Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
Tuesday, July 10, 2001
By Smokey Briggs
Maybe we are too insulated
We do not run the air conditioner much at home. We really cannot afford
to, or at least we choose not to afford to.
Sometimes we give in. On a really miserable night, when the front porch
thermometer reads 91 degrees at midnight, I've been known to get up and turn
on the refrigerated air.
"About time you cheapskate," she-who-must-be-obeyed mutters from her side
of the bed on my return as though I am the ogre of the a/c and she but the
meek princess trapped in the ogre's sweltering lair.
The truth of the matter is that she is even cheaper than I am. I do not
think she can enjoy the cool refrigerated breeze unless somebody else turns
So most of the time we run the swamp cooler.
Honestly, we still have a healthy appreciation for the swamp cooler. We
lived in Lubbock for a year before we decided to afford one. But we had fans
and our little house was built in the 40s when houses were designed to take
advantage of a little breeze.
With just a ceiling fan we lived better than most of the world. I was
pretty proud of our rebuilt cooler that first August night as we lay in bed
and cool moist air blasted over our bodies.
A week or two ago, after a week of 100-plus high temperatures and lows
hovering around 90 a cool front blew through Pecos.
The cool air woke me early in the morning and it felt good with a capital
"G". I stepped outside to see if any weather was coming with the cool front
but the sky was clear and bright.
I stood there for a while in my pajamas, just enjoying the cool breeze
and the stars.
It dawned on me as I stood there that it had been a long time since I
had really appreciated something as simple as a cool breath of air.
That morning I was especially happy to be alive just because of the temperature.
I probably would not have noticed the change if the air conditioner had
I think we cheat ourselves out of a lot of small pleasures these days
with modern technology.
Climate controlled houses and cars prevent us from really being thankful
and enjoying the passing of summer and winter.
In general we shield ourselves from the world with technology more and
Technology is not all bad. I am not ready to give up toilet paper and
fire and live in the woods.
But at some point we may be cheating ourselves out of the little pleasures
that really are the good parts of life.
God did not put us here to be comfortable all the time. He did send us
a cool breeze every now and then.
It is a shame when we are so insulated from the world that we do not notice.
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:
It takes a lot of work but it's worth it
Well, it's over.
Golden Girl. Rodeo. Night in Old Pecos. Little Miss Cantaloupe. Fourth
of July. Fourth of July Parade. Rodeo Dances. The Melodrama.
There are not many groups or organizations in Pecos that do not contribute
to these events in one way or another. It takes a tremendous amount of work
to put on any one of these events on.
Stacking them all together like we do in one furious week triples the
If you see a member of the Rodeo Committee, the Women's Division of the
Chamber, the Chamber of Commerce, the Lions, the Sheriff's Posse, etc...,
give them a pat on the back. They earned it.
Every year, you hear the same lament — most of Pecos does not participate,
or certainly is not willing to help out and the same tired group of work
horses carries the burden to make sure that there will be another rodeo,
another Golden Girl, another....
This year, if you are not already involved with a civic group or one of
these sponsoring organizations, take a minute and see if you have time to
help a little.
And if you are already involved, invite someone who is not to join in.
Being involved with your community is one of the things that makes life
in a small town special.
It also makes sure that small town life continues being special.
PBT-ISD band director proud of students
I would like to thank the band members that marched in the rodeo parade
July the fourth and let the community know so they could thank them
also. These students gave up some of their summer to walk two miles
with a heavy instrument in the heat and all they received was a
school bus ride for their efforts. They did this to help
and support their community, which is sort of a refreshing attitude
in our cynical age. I want them to know that I was proud of their
efforts and impressed with their performance on short notice and little
rehearsal. I want to also thank Mr. Dutchover for helping me with transportation
MERLE E. LENFEST
Director of Bands PBT—ISD
Businessman, employees unhappy with policy change
What happened to our open door policy at City Hall?
The City Manager claims it is for security reasons. I was not aware that
we had security problems at City Hall, unless not wanting to be bothered
by the people that pay his wages is a security problem. If the police have
had to remove anyone from City Hall for security reasons, I have not heard
From what I hear, we have a lot of unhappy city employees because of this
policy change. I am a businessman and need access to our electrical inspectors
office sometimes several times a week and like most business people who need
access to our city officials, time to me is money so waiting to be buzzed
and can cost me money, and my time is just as important as the City Managers.
I think he needs to understand this is not El Paso, this is Pecos. All the
time I have lived here we have had an open door policy and I for one do not
like the change.
Smith Electrical Service
Veterans need to be recognized for serving their country
I strongly disagree with your article "The Army of One, AKA The Army
of The Self-Centered Whiners," published on July 3, 2001. Apparently,
you have no respect for the American people. You sound like a
whiner yourself. If you don't like the ads do something about it,
put your network contacts to change the ads.
You stated that "women have no more business in the military than prairie
dogs do." I resent your derogatory remarks; you are nothing but a male chauvinist-redneck,
who discriminates against women with the old attitude "women belong at home."
I am going to give you a short history lesson, because you failed to research
your information concerning women in the military. The WACs began as the
Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) on May 14, 1942. On August 1943 the
name was officially changed to the Women's Army Corp, when the WAC's became
a part of the U.S. Army. Congress made the WAC a permanent part of the active
and reserve Army in 1948. The waves, WAFS, and Women Marines were never
auxiliaries at anytime. The enlistment requirements for women in the military
were more strict than the regular G.I. Joe's that were drafted. Women volunteered
to serve their country during war and peace; performing defense duties both
in the U.S. and overseas. Basic training is the same as the men's—the
performance of their job duties have to be above and beyond the ordinary
soldier. Respect has to be earned! You sound like a female Marine out did
you; that's why you have a negative attitude.
If it had not been for the American women who enlisted in the Armed Forces
and those who joined the work force to perform all the jobs that men normally
did since WWII thru the present, this great nation would not exist and we
would be ruled by Russia, China, Germany, or Japan.
If you are planning to start buying flags from other countries, then you
must be anti-American.
I am proud to have served in the WACs from June 1958 to December 1960.
I served one year in the U.S. and 18 months in Japan with special assignment
to Seoul, Korea, as a communications specialist. We were trained to defend
our country just like any Army soldier if we had to; by the way rifles not
guns are issued to military personnel unless you are a military police officer
that carries a sidearm (gun).
Anyway, all veterans male and female alike need to be recognized for their
unselfishness in serving their country, "The United States of America: in
order to preserve all our freedoms including your bad attitude. We must
also honor those who are still in the military. Our country has had women
soldiers die in the line of duty.
The only thing I agree with you is with the Army's idea of issuing black
berets to everyone. The black beret was a symbol that was earned by only
the elite units.
DORA T. PINEDA
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York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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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