Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
Wednesday, January 22, 2003
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Museum planning events to mark 40th anniversary
By ROSIE FLORES
West of the Pecos Museum is celebrating its
40th Anniversary this year, and museum officials
have planned several events to mark the special occasion.
"We'll be having different exhibits and events throughout
this year," said West of the Pecos Museum Curator Dorinda Millan.
The museum is located in the 99-year-old Orient Hotel building,
which also includes the neighboring No. 11 saloon, which opened in 1896.
The Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a party for
the museum on April 12. "That's the same day the museum held an
open house in 1963," said Millan.
Millan said that community members hosted an open house
at the museum when it first opened in the hotel building, which had
been sitting idle at the corner of First and Cedar streets since the mid-1950s.
"Since the year it opened was 1963, we will center our
activities and exhibits around that time,"
said Millan, who is currently working on an exhibit on John F. Kennedy,
who was president at the time the museum was opened.
"We will have a little bit on Lyndon Johnson, because he was
our president in November and December of that year,"
after Kennedy's assassination in Dallas, Millan said.
A photograph exhibit will feature black and white photos and
some colored photographs of JFK, his family and other memorabilia. "We'll
also have a video about his life and the speeches he made," she added.
Millan said that the exhibit and the video were free of charge to the
public and everyone was invited to attend.
Newspapers, magazines and other items, featuring Kennedy and
the 1960's will also be available to the public, according to Millan.
"We'll have that exhibit throughout the month of February," she said.
Millan is also planning to feature some of the businesses that were
in operation at that time.
The Rotary Club and the Pecos Chamber of Commerce originated
the Golden Girl Revue in 1963. The Revue, which is held annually in
late June, before the start of the West of the Pecos Rodeo, was a way to
raise funds for the newly opened museum. Forty years later this great
"It not only supports the West of the Pecos Museum, but provides
a most unique and entertaining show for the community," said Millan.
In 1963, the Golden Girl Pageant admission was 50 cents for kids
and students and $1 for adults. Today the admission for the pageant is $8
Some of the events planned at the museum include: in February a
1963 Presidency Photographic exhibit; in March _ a photographic exhibit
West of the Pecos Museum first 40 years; April _ Student Art
Festival: Decorating Easter eggs and egg hunt; April 12: Reception for museum's
40th anniversary hosted by the Pecos Chamber of Commerce, theme
the 1960's; July _ West of the Pecos Rodeo Parade theme: "Salute the
40 years of the West of the Pecos Museum; July 2: the
39th Annual Old Timer's Reunion 9:30-noon; August
_ Living History Day, including old fashion games, camp fire
gathering, horse shoeing, etc.; September _ Folk artist at museum and school;
October _ 40 "Eagle" students (advanced students) will release balloons
with messages; November _ museum and school time capsule and December
_ Christmas tree them "museum rooms."
PEDC to focus on attracting
ag-related businesses to area
By JON FULBRIGHT
The Pecos Economic Development Corporation's board of
directors discussed plans for the grand opening of the Leche Farms Dairy in
March, and discussed attracting other agriculture-related businesses to
the area this morning, during the board meeting on the second floor of
the Security State Bank building.
Board members also went over the PEDC's current financial
statement and the corporation's marketing strategy with President Gari
Ward during the 45 minute meeting, and were briefed by Ward on a possible new
use for the idle automobile test track east of Pecos.
Ward gave board members a list of invitees to the March 6
dedication, which will include Texas Agriculture Secretary Susan Combs. She'll be
the keynote speaker for the one hour dedication ceremony, which Ward
said would also involve city, county and school officials and the
Pecos Chamber of Commerce.
The 6,000 head dairy is one of two that has opened in Reeves County
in the past year, but while the PEDC is hoping to attract more dairies
and related businesses to the Pecos area, Ward said it's tough to attract
new businesses right now due to low milk prices.
"I was going to go to California to a dairy show, but because the
prices are so low we just decided to advertise in the California dairy magazine,"
He added that the PEDC also has cut down its advertising for now in
the Texas Dairy Review to four times a year, but will take out a full page ad
to announce the Leche Farms opening.
"It seems to me that we can go to other trade shows and conventions
and it might be better than an ad," said board member John Grant, but
board president Oscar Saenz said he went to a recent economic
development meeting in Austin, "and there
wasn't much there because of the way the economy is. It was just crying
on everybody's shoulders."
The comments came during discussion of the financial report
by auditor Randy Graham. Ward said PEDC had $28,000 in the bank
and $1.6 million in assets. "The budget is similar to what we had last year,"
Liabilities for the PEDC were listed at $20,000, which Ward said was
now down to $18,000 due to a recent payment on a note by the corporation.
Board member Johnny Terrazas said the Town of Pecos City
Council has not voiced any complaints with the PEDC's revised reports to the
city. The corporation was created in part by the city, and received one-sixth
of Pecos' monthly sales tax receipts.
"At this point in time, I don't think there are any questions,"
said Terrazas, who is a member of the city council.
Saenz said in terms of marketing strategy, "We've put out feelers
and made calls, and are concentrating on the dairies," while adding that
a Mennonite group has been in town looking at starting a cheese
production facility here.
"There's a cheese plant locating in New Mexico, but we don't have
near enough cattle here to support that kind of operation," said Grant, while
Saenz replied that the Mennonites were planning a smaller start-up.
"The Mennonites would put in their own equipment and sell their
own cheese," he said.
"It was out first meeting and that's our marketing strategy; to
concentrate on dairies and with the supporting businesses around it," Saenz said.
"We know we're not going to bring General Motors or other big guys in, but
people like that are calling and Gari's talking to them and following up."
Board member Frank Spencer also told the board they should attempt
to use some existing federal programs to try and start up new local
businesses, including those that would supply the U.S. Department of Defense.
"The way things are with the economy, the funds are not out there
to do what we want," said Spencer. "But there are funds in the DOD right
now that are not in other programs."
He said something like a palate manufacturing company could
be started under the government's 8A program. "Agencies like the Navy
need things like palates," he said. "If
we spend a little time getting a feel for what's out there, we might be able
to get some people here who can do that kind of stuff."
Spencer also said the city was eligible to have local
businesses considered under the federal "hub program," which helps businesses
in economically distressed areas that employ 35 percent of their
workers from those areas. He also talked about a "mentor-protégé" program, in
which larger companies are paid up to $3 million by the federal government
to help smaller businesses develop as subcontractors.
Ward also said that the Texas Corvette Club would be in Pecos
this coming Saturday, and that officials from the Houston and Dallas chapters of
the Sports Car Club of America have been looking at the former
Smithers Automotive Testing Center track for possible use by their club members.
"They're the largest sports car club in America, and they're looking to
see if they can do something with the track," Ward said. The track has
been closed since the middle of 2001, when Smithers entered into an
agreement with Dahlmer/Chrysler to conduct tests at their facility in the Laredo area.
PECOS, Jan. 22, 2003 - High Tuesday 74. Low this morning 36. Forecast for tonight: Partly
cloudy. Lows in the upper 20s. East winds 5 to 15 mph. Thursday: Partly
cloudy. Highs in the upper 40s. East winds 5 to 15 mph. Thursday night:
Mostly cloudy. Lows in the upper 20s. Friday: Mostly cloudy. Highs in the mid
50s. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Lows near 30. Highs in the mid 60s.
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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Copyright 2003 by Pecos Enterprise