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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

The Great War Bond prize controversy of 1943

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., June 19, 2002 -- It all started in 1943. Or maybe 1944. Memories have faded a little.  Pecos was at war along with the rest of the United States. 

We were fighting to save the world from the plague of the National Socialist Party (Nazis) in Europe and the empire building barbarism of Japan.

It was the good fight in every way.

But it still cost money. No country in the history of man, before or since, has mobilized so totally for war. The home front in the U.S.A. in 1943 really was a third front that ground away at the Axis powers as surely as our sailors, airmen, soldiers and Marines, did in the Pacific, in Italy, and in Western Europe.

During the war the United States disgorged amounts of equipment that astonished the world, Allies and enemies alike.

That took money. It took investments from everyday citizens.

War bonds financed World War II and the destruction of the largest organized evil to visit the face of the earth.

It was in the forge of the War Bond effort that the Great War Bond Winner controversy was born.

I learned about it drinking my ritual cup of coffee with the Coffee Bunch more than a year ago.

It was 1943. Or maybe '44. Bill Hubbs and Bill Cooksey were in grammar school or maybe junior high.

"We were in 4th or 5th grade," Cooksey said.

"I think it was 6th," Hubbs said who is a year younger than Cooksey although they share the same birthday.

War Bonds were part of everyday life those days.

"Once a week we would take a quarter to school to buy a war bond stamp," Cooksey remembers.

"When your book was full, I think it came to $18.75, then you sent it in for a $25 war bond that matured in ten years."

There were also War Bond drives. Vintage editions of the Pecos Enterprise report that Pecos surpassed the goal set by the War Department every year.

It was one of these drives that spawned the controversy that has graced the conversation regularly at coffee as only a fifty-year-old event that was lived by the rememberers can.

Both men, boys then, sold a lot of War Bonds that year.

"You would get people to pledge to buy a $25 or $50 bond," Cooksey said.

"Whoever got the most pledges won the contest," Hubbs said.

First and second prize for the contest is the heart of the controversy.

One prize was a used propeller off a military training plane. The other was a box of replica lead ships that the Navy used to train pilots and sailors to identify U.S. ships from the enemy.

Hubbs wanted the propeller. Cooksey wanted the ships.

When the winners were announced at assembly in 4th, 5th or 6th grade, Cooksey got the propeller and Hubbs got the ships. Both boys were disappointed but neither knew the other coveted their prize.

It was not until a year or so ago when the conversation came up at coffee that the two found out about their conflicting desires.

Of course at coffee, there was also some discussion as to whether the box of lead replicas held ships or airplanes.

The mystery of the box was solved this week when Hubbs found it in a storage shed.

The box held a dozen model ships painted gray.

Today Cooksey brought his propeller to coffee, now also known as show and tell.

Hubbs brought the ships.

Both items have been in long-term storage. Hubbs said the ships have been secreted away in the shed since 1948 or at least since he left for the Navy in 1953. Cooksey had already left for the Navy the year before Hubbs.

Cooksey said the propeller has been upstairs at Fonnville Jewelers since 1956 when he first went to work there.

It would make a good story if they had traded and finally got the prize they wanted but neither man was so obliging. After nearly 60 years it seems that they have grown attached to their second prizes. Or maybe both are just very stubborn.

Both men are still convinced that the other won the contest.

"I still think you won," Cooksey said.

"I don't think so," Hubbs said.

No matter which man won, there was one sure winner that day and many more in thousands of small towns across the country _ America.

Head Start headed for new home

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., June 19, 2002 -- Children who will be attending Pecos Headstart  next school year, will do so at a new location.

The group had previously been housed at the Carver campus, located at 300 W. 12th, but they requested a new location for the following year.

"They had been having their classes at the Carver campus, but now they want to move their operations to Pecos Elementary," said Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Superintendent Don Love.

School board officials chose to close Pecos Elementary school last year where third grade students were attending, because of financial reasons.

"Since we haven't been using that campus they requested that we lease it to them," said Love.

Greater Opportunities of the Permian Basin officials, who oversee the Headstart Program, were on hand for the most recent school board meeting to make the request.

"They feel like they just need more room," said Love.

Love said the group had requested the south end of the school with the library.

Linda Briceno, director of the Pecos Headstart program told school board members that they had more children enrolled and needed the extra space. "We also have more equipment and things," she said.

Love said that his only concern was that the board had approved opening the street that runs by the school. "They could put up a fence or something or go back to the city to request to close it again," said Love.

Briceno told the group that another reason they needed more space, was because they wanted to enroll younger children.

In the lease agreement, the Head Start will assume the responsibility of maintenance and upkeep of the facility along with a payment of $3,930 as payment for lease of the facility.

The Head Start Agency agrees to provide, at its own expense, building custodial and housekeeping services on a basis comparable to the quality these services are provided at other PBT-ISD facilities. The Head Start Agency will provide for all cleaning and housekeeping materials necessary for maintenance of the facility under this lease as well.

Also, the utilities of the facility, including telephone, will be paid by Head Start Agency during the lease period.

"They haven't asked us for a thing," said Love.

The Head Start group had also leased the Barstow campus, when it was closed down by the school district, prior to moving to Pecos. "When we were in Barstow, we even had to replace a gas line," said Briceno.

"These are local children that attend that school and I feel it's only right to help them out," said Love.

School board training scheduled

PECOS, Wed., June 19, 2002 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD will have school board training from 6-9 p.m., Thursday, June 20, at the Technology Center, 1301 S. Eddy Street.

The group will have a new board member orientation, Level I Training, three hours credit Distance Learning.

Volunteer training scheduled

PECOS, Wed., June 19, 2002 -- Volunteer training for advocates from the community will be held from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., in Kermit at Winkler Memorial Hospital conference room.

Lunch will be provided.

The focus of this training will be crisis intervention for sexual assault and domestic violence.

For more information call Susie Saenz at 915-447-6600.

Local computer guru comments on suit

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., June 19, 2002 -- As lawyers for the nine states suing Microsoft for its antitrust  violations made their closing arguments yesterday, local computer business  owner Danny Fleming, of Computer Solutions had mixed feelings about the  whole issue.

"Microsoft built an empire and now other companies can't get into the market," Fleming said. "Now we have companies like Linux and other developers that want to jump on the band wagon with Microsoft." The states that are suing are basically doing so on behalf of these other developers that reside in their state, he said.

Fleming explains that what the lawyers of the nine states are trying to do is get Microsoft to release certain codes so that any third party developer could write programs that work with Microsoft operating systems. Currently, unless Microsoft gives a developer certain codes, the developer cannot write programs that work with Microsoft's signature operating system, Windows, Fleming said.

Fleming said that though Microsoft is not perfect it does try to make its programs user friendly.

"I am afraid because when you start adding to what has been a user friendly program you will only confuse people," Fleming said. "Microsoft is the biggest because they have put out the most solid program, while not being perfect."

Fleming said that you now could buy computers with other operating systems that do not contain Microsoft code.

"There are computers that come with Internet Explorer, but you don't have to use it," Fleming said. "Netscape works fine with Windows." Explorer is the Microsoft Internet browser while Netscape is the creation of a non-Microsoft company.

Though Fleming thinks that this may go on for years to come he does not think it will have a major effect on the entire industry.

"Without Microsoft we would not be in computers where we are today," Fleming said. "Everyone has their own opinion. There are people who do not like Microsoft but face the facts, Microsoft is everywhere we go."

No burn ban in county but caution urged

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., June 19, 2002 -- Despite the severe drought conditions in this area Reeves  County does not have a burn ban in effect this year. Therefore those wishing  to celebrate the upcoming Fourth of July holiday may still use fireworks.

Reeves, Culberson, Hudspeth and El Paso Counties are the only counties in this area that are not under a fire ban at this time, according to the Texas Forest Service.

Fire Suppression Specialist for the service Ronnie Perry said that the individual county judges and county commissioners are the persons that decide whether or not a burn ban should come into effect.

As of June 17, there are 37 counties throughout the state of Texas that currently have a burn ban including Ward, Loving, Jeff Davis, Presidio, Pecos and Winkler Counties, according to Perry.

"They decide based on drought severity whether or not they want to bring a burn ban into effect," Perry said.

Perry explained that the commissioners' courts discuss problems with human caused fires in their counties with the fire departments as well as taking a look at the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) to determine if a burn ban is needed.

The KBDI is a tool that shows the severity of a drought in numbers, according to Perry.

"Above 500 is moderate to severe drought," he said.

The KBDI scale begins at zero and runs through 800. Reeves County is projected to score 700-800 points on the scale during the week of July 4 th.

The only other counties in the state that are expected to be at the highest level are El Paso, Loving, Ward and Winkler counties.

Even though Reeves County does not have a burn ban in effect there are still laws that prohibits several fire uses through the Texas National Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC), according to Perry.

Perry explained that the TNRCC has a stipulation concerning outdoor burning, which only allows agricultural burning, burning household trash in a barrel and fire department training.

"Pretty much all other burning is banned unless you have approval from the TNRCC," he said.

Even though there is not a burn ban for Reeves County at this time Pecos Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire said that county residents should still be careful when using fireworks during the 4th of July holiday.

Brookshire wants to remind the community that there is a city ordinance that bans fireworks within city limits.

"Any fireworks they discharge must be outside city limits," he said.

He also stated that it is against the law to discharge fireworks from any interstate or state highway and anyone wishing to shoot fireworks in the county must gain permission from the landowners.

"No fireworks will be allowed in the parking lot of the Reeves County Civic Center," Brookshire said.

He explained that despite what was allowed in years before, there would not be any fireworks allowed in the parking lots around the rodeo arena due to complaints from rodeo goers and cowboys.

The only area designated by the county for use by the public would be Martinez Field located on south of Interstate 20.

The Reeves-Loving County Extension Agents Service hopes county and city residents would be careful not only during the upcoming holiday but also year round.

"As an agency we want everybody to be extremely careful when using fireworks," he said.

He asks that those who decide to celebrate with fireworks would have a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher with them when shooting the fireworks, just in case.

"So they can take care of a fire when it's small," he said.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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