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Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Smokey Briggs


By Smokey Briggs

The pictorial literature

of deer camp

The New Mexico Service Rifle Championships were held last weekend in Capitan.

For the record, Service Rifle shooting consists of taking one of the three semi-automatic rifles that have seen service with our armed forces and shooting at little-bitty targets.

Myself and four other accuracy-challenged individuals road tripped into the cool mountains to prove that there are more than a few people in New Mexico who can shoot straighter than we can.

But hey, the joy in life is in the doing.

Here we were, five guys, loaded in two pickups, free from overbearing wives, heartless bosses, bills and questions like, "Did you remember to get milk?"

Best yet, we were off to do something manly.

The trucks were weighted down with enough munitions and artillery to equip two South American armies.

Coolers were stocked with beverages made from the finest malted hops and stuff like boiled eggs, hunks of red meat, and peanut butter.

Containers for the byproduct of masticated tobacco laced with molasses filled cup holders.

In short, heaven was close by and two truckloads of men were heading for the gates.

It was deer camp in July.

There are rituals and customs that must be observed when men gather.

Stories must be yarned. Fires must be lit. Forts must be built. Generally, something mildly edible needs to die. Those are the things men were put here to do.

One such custom at such manly gatherings is the mandatory sharing of magazines and videos. The kind of literature normally frowned upon by decent people in public and especially wives.

Once gathered at the cabin that was to be our fort for the weekend, the discussion turned to the secret literature stowed in our duffels.

"I brought a couple of magazines."

"Yeah, me too."

"I brought two new issues."

And so on.

Personally, I had three magazines and a video stowed in my bags — secretly packed when She-who-must-be-obeyed was out of the house.

Slick stacks of full color paper slapped on the table followed by the thunk of a video cassette.

Sighs of appreciation escaped the lips of my comrades as beverages were poured and pages turned.

It has been my experience that you can tell much about a person's character by the quality of such literature he packs to deer camp and such expeditions.

As we perused and shared I realized I was in the company of true men — creatures at the pinnacle of evolution of the male species.

This was high-class stuff.

On the table and in our hands were three recent issues of American Rifleman, a Shotgun News, two old Guns and Ammo magazines, a book on knot tying, and assorted other publications sporting pictures of beautiful creatures both accessorized to the hilt, and stripped down to the bare essentials given them before they leave the factories of Winchester, Springfield Armory, Remington and Marlin.

Best of all was the video — Service Rifle Competition Basics, by Jim Hill, a former member of the United States Marine Corps Rifle Team and holder of a half-dozen world and national shooting titles.

Yep, this was a camp for high caliber men.

Or maybe we are just getting old.

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:

Our View

How about a dash of common sense in the Homeland Security recipe

Homeland security?

Common sense would be a good place to start.

So far, the bulk of our federal government's reaction to the September 11 attacks appears to be a series of meaningless gestures meant to make people feel good.

Common sense has not been a part of the equation.

First we have the moronic notion that banning pocketknives on commercial air flights will deter a terrorist.

Then there is the belief that by making baggage screeners federal employees will somehow create a more effective hurdle for men bent on committing suicide at our expense.

Common sense says that racial profiling is smart in these circumstances. Our enemies in this particular war are generally men of Middle-Eastern decent. Searching redheaded grandmothers in wheelchairs while ignoring three young guys speaking Arabic who look Arabic defies common sense.

Common sense says that cockpit crew armed with firearms would make it darned tough to highjack an airplane and fly it into a building.

Common sense says that only American citizens should be afforded the full protections of the Constitution.

Common sense says that there has to be a better way of combating terrorism than creating another mammoth government bureaucracy.

Common sense says that tough questions deserve tough answers rather than silly responses designed to play well with the media and the public.

Your View

City hall door not an important issue

Letter to the Editor:
The doors at City Hall have been more of a nuisance  to the public than support. There are much more  problems that we would like our so-called protectors to battle  for us. I have lived in Pecos all my life. I care what  happens here in our town, I care how we are taken care of, but  not just in words, "ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS"! I too can do a lot to help care for  our community, and I do all I can, but if I am going to  become an outspoken citizen, I better do much more to show  that I stand behind what I say. The citizens who came to  our aide at the city council meeting were only a few who  are so concerned about having some stupid doors  removed to benefit US, the community. I would like to see  my protectors help with meals on wheels, work with  Christmas in April, provide air conditions for the elderly and  help install them, provide heaters in the winter for the  elderly, provide jobs for the unemployed, provide homes for  the homeless, and yes, Peggy McCracken has a  wonderful idea, help keep Pecos beautiful, I have never seen or  heard of any of the concerned citizens who went to city hall  to fight over the stupid doors, concerned themselves  with any of the above assignments, or it could be that  the paper has failed to print it and the town has not  been informed.

The mayor or should I say Smokey Briggs used the doors as a platform for Ms. Stafford's campaign. The battle continues on and on, until who knows when. I should hope the mayor knows better than to be used for news in order to profit the Enterprise. As mayor I truly hope she represents ALL the town as a whole, not only a few. Mayor, you did get the majority of votes, these are people who believe in you to take care of them, not the doors at city hall. Smokey Briggs said at the council meeting that the Main Street Project was not as important as the doors at city hall, doesn't this tell you a lot about the man.

As for the council, we have a good council at this time. Each one has the ability to represent us fairly, if they would only do so, and not let them be influence by other individuals. I hope each council member stands on their own benefits and not on what another council member says, or to try to look good for self-satisfaction. That's not why you were elected!

We have been told that City Hall belongs to tax payers in our town. What about the schools, the county offices, the hospital? I don't believe you are allowed to enter at your pleasure in any office without permission just because you pay taxes in this town, yet at city hall you want to run the offices as you please. Some of us pay taxes, not everybody that pays their water bill pay taxes. They too go to city hall where the famous doors have been placed. Mr. Briggs do you pay taxes? Or maybe you're just here for a while making money, since you don't care to help better this town. Oh yes, except to help blow up some doors.

I for one am sick of hearing about city hall doors, people in town just laugh about it when there is a comment made because we all know the doors are not such a important issue in the town, only to those who want to win a battle!

I, as a concerned citizen also, checked with the city hall Utility department to see how often these people who want the doors out at city hall utilized services through these "DOORS", and surprise, surprise, surprise, THEY NEVER DO! I was informed that these people pay their water bill through the drive-up window, which by the way, we need a new one, this would be a better issue to fight about "the doors" which she never sees!! What is really going on here? Is there really concerned for our community, or is the mayor trying to keep her promise to her voters. The mayor herself does not utilize the use of these doors, only to take pictures for the paper, or twice a month for council meetings. I understand she makes a show for special citizens who want to see her at her office to complaint about the doors.

Please stop bickering about the doors and get your name in the paper because you did something good for out town, not to show POWER! This is the new era we are supposed to be more united, what happened in Pecos, Texas, why does unity work in New York City, but not in our community? What are we doing wrong? Let's take a good look at ourselves and see if we are the problem, before we start pointing fingers. And Mr. Ron Garcia, as a pastor of his community it should begin with you. You can close the door on me anytime, but don't shut me out of your community when I need help. These doors don't feed me, protect my family, cloth me, or even talk to me when I need a friend, but you can and you could make a difference in my life. Start by being understanding with public servants and working together for the benefit of all, not only to meet your satisfaction. Sow the seed and it will grow.

I know after reading this letter, these concerned citizens will interpret my letter as asking for pity on the poor and lowly, but it was not I who asked for this, scriptures pretty much take care of that, isn't that right Mr. Garcia.

A citizen for over 50 years

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Pecos Enterprise
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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