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PECOS, January 27, 1997 - Dr. Won Joo Bang accepted both the Pecos
Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year award and a standing ovation
Friday night with the same quiet dignity in which he goes about his
daily work and community service.
Dick Alligood presented the award, which each year honors one person who
has exemplified the spirit of our community through diligent work and
dedication toward making Pecos a better place for all.
Dr. Bang is a true classical music buff, who also enjoys playing the
piano, Alligood said. In his spare time, his hobbies include monitoring
the stock market via the Internet and catching the boxing matches on
He and his wife have two children, graduates of Yale and Cornell, who
are eligible for their Ph.D degrees.
After receiving his medical degree from Chon-Nam National University in
Kwan Joo, Korea, Dr. Bang served in the army's medical corps, then
served his internship and residency in general surgery in Illinois and
at Scott & White in Temple.
Board eligible in general surgery, he and his family moved to Pecos in
1974 from Houston. He has served Reeves County Hospital as chief of
staff for eight years, chaired its quality assurance committee and is
now clinical medical coordinator for the laboratory, emergency room and
He has served the community as county health officer for over 10 years,
medical director for the Pecos Ambulance Service and has provided
invaluable assistance with the West of the Pecos Regional Golden Gloves
In 1989 he led the fight for the creation of a hospital district and
spearheaded the movement for creating a united county road system in
Reeves County, both of which were successful.
He is serving his second term as Reeves County Commissioner for Precinct
Ann Hicks also received a standing ovation as she accepted the "Hidden
Hero Award" from Mayor Dot Stafford.
"The purpose of this award is to honor an individual who has given
selflessly to our community without any thought of personal gain or
recognition," Stafford said.
Hicks came to Pecos from Fort Worth during the Great Depression in
search of a job and found one at Camp Hospital as head nurse.
After devoting 17 years to Camp Hospital, Hicks found her services
needed at the schools, where she was head nurse for 30 years.
"I challenge you to find a grown child who was not in some way comforted
by her during their school years," Stafford said.
"When she decided to retire, it really was a contradiction in terms. She
began delivering meals-on-wheels 14 years ago on every Monday - unless
she's needed another day also.
"Her daily visits to the Pecos Nursing Home have touched countless
people who were in desperate need of some tender loving care," the mayor
"In her spare time, she has devoted countless hours to the First Baptist
Church, either leading adult classes or delivering Bibles to the young
people of the community. All that she has done for Pecos has been out of
the love in her heart. We are tremendously blessed and privileged to
have such a person in our community," Stafford said.
PECOS, January 27, 1997 - David Alba threw away his notes Friday and
reminisced before a packed house at the Pecos Chamber of Commerce awards
banquet about his childhood in Pecos, which helped launch his career in
Now head of the El Paso region of the FBI, Alba credits his education in
Pecos schools, hard physical labor on the farm and encouragement to
attend college through law school for his successes.
Difficult situations through the years only spurred him on to higher
achievement, he said.
"Pecos was an interesting experience, and I value it tremendously,
because this is where I developed my character; this was my foundation,"
Alba said he visits his mother here frequently, but the banquet was only
his second time here on business. The first involved an undercover drug
operation, he said.
It was illegal drugs that got Alba involved in law enforcement when, as
a college student, he contacted the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous
Drugs for information to make a report.
Hearing his Spanish accent, the man he was interviewing invited him to
apply for a job with the bureau. Three weeks after graduation, he
accepted the job and was assigned to Albuquerque, N.M.
Undercover work took too much time away from the family, and Alba
decided to go back to school and become a lawyer. That career also took
too much family time, and an invitation to join the FBI got him back in
Assigned to Puerto Rico, the young man from Pecos found the humidity
hard to take. But his experience on the farm, his ability to work with
information and his experience with drug investigations made him
valuable in the FBI's new drug enforcement role.
"I just want young kids to know that...education and drive is what can
make things happen for you," he said.
Pecos is a tremendous place to grow up, he said.
"You don't only grow great cantaloupes here; you can grow great talent.
You have it representing you in many places.
"Don't ever give up," he said to the students. "If you have a dream, it
doesn't have to be specifically planned out with every step.
"I had a dream I needed some education. This is an incredible country. I
have been in other countries and haven't seen the opportunities that
"The education I received in this town was exactly what I needed to give
me a foundation to be successful any place."
Alba said he has been well received in El Paso and across the river in
"Success is a journey. Whatever you may consider failure is just another
opportunity to be able to make it work out," he said.
Outgoing President Gerald Tellez Jr. invited him to speak, Alba said,
and "I quickly accepted. It is quite an honor to come home and visit."
Tellez gave highlights of his year as president and thanked those who
worked alongside him to make it a success. He presented the outstanding
director award to David Madril, citing his work with Pecos Kindergarten,
Kid City, establishing a recycling center and serving on the board of
the Community Council of Reeves County.
Accepting the gavel from Tellez, President Paul Hinojos in turn gave
Tellez the president's award.
"This gentleman always has a smile on his face, always goes out of his
way to shake your hand, always working up a sweat doing his job,"
Hinojos said. "You are a true asset of Pecos."
Hinojos said his top priority this year is to increase retail sales,
maintain current business and try to bring in new business.
"My other goal is to renovate the downtown area," he said "The buildings
are starting to look shabby, and I would like to get businesses in them
or make them look nicer.
"I want to clean up Pecos," he said. "I am sick and tired of seeing beer
bottles and trash scattered throughout the community, and there is no
need for that."
He introduced two new directors chosen from high school applicants:
Caris Carrasco and April Villanueva.
"We feel students are the future of our community, and we need to hear
what they are wanting to do with this community," Hinojos said.
"Hopefully, they will stay here or go off and get educated and come back.
"This community is a sweet little jewel in the west, and we need to
capitalize on our assets," he said.
Tourists would be intrigued to see a cowboy park his cattle truck behind
the bank and walk in with spurs on, he said.
"We have an excellent museum; we just need to figure out how to make
these people stop here. That's one of my goals."
Emcee Mac McKinnon noted that Hinojos' theme is "Dedication to Community
Progress." Hinojos and other youthful directors are graduates of
"That bodes well for our community," he said.
Women's Division President Brandy Owen presented the award of service to
outgoing president Jeannette Smallwood.
"Whether working on chamber banquet decorations, Golden Girl, Christmas
lighting contest, or trying to develop new projects like the Christmas
Home Tour, Jeannette is extremely generous with her time and talent,"
Eddie Vasquez voiced the invocation. McKinnon introduced out-of-town
guests and past presidents.
Members of the Reeves County Sheriff's Posse served barbecue, beans and
potato salad to more than 300 people in the Reeves County Civic Center.
Decorations by the Women's Division were purple and gold, highlighted by
PECOS, January 27, 1997 - Although only one student was selected, all
four nominees for the Pecos Chamber of Commerce's Student of the Year
say they value their being considered for the prestigious title.
Didio Martinez was named Student of the Year at Friday's night's chamber
banquet, but Thursday afternoon, all four Pecos High School seniors
shared their thoughts on their nomination.
"I'm glad that I was nominated. I've put a lot of effort into my
studies," and was glad to have them recognized.
Martinez said, "it feels great," while Mikel Parent shared, "I think
it's just an honor to be nominated and to be put in the same category as
these three people I'm with right now."
Leslie Armbruster stated, "I'm really honored to know I'm one of the
four chosen," out of the entire senior class.
A media consultant, district attorney, pharmacist, English professor.
Maybe. What plans do these four seniors plan for their future?
Parent said, even though he's heard no word on which schools have
accepted him, he will be going to college and pursue an English degree,
followed by grad school and, "become a professional."
Armbruster said she'll be attending Shriner University in Kerrville and
studying pre-law. "After law school," she said, "I plan to practice a
few years and go into politics." It's a plan, she added, which her
The University of Arizona is where Martinez has set his sights on, all
the while seeking a degree in microbiology. "I'll probably go to grad
school, maybe pharmacy," he said.
Camarena said she plans major in telecommunications or computer science.
These teens live by persistence, they preach: never give up, be your own
person, get involved.
"Take every opportunity that they have and give it their all,"
Armbruster said she would tell younger students.
"Do your own thing and don't let people influence you." Parent said he
would advise his younger brother, "You can't let them run your life,
just help you along."
Camarena said she would tell kids, "Go the fullest and don't hesitate.
You're going to face consequences all their life." She said she'd tell
them "may as well start now."
"Follow your dreams," Camarena said she would recommend.
"Whatever you do, do it with your best effort and even though it might
be tough, stick with it and overcome (all obstacles)," Martinez said.
When asked what they would consider a significant moment in their
scholastic lives, all four nominees mentioned triumphant titles gained
for their efforts as students.
Martinez said he was moved by his being selected for the Bill Dean
Memorial Award, which he feels symbolizes his academic and athletic
recognition. "It shows I'm a true student," he said.
Armbruster said she will always remember her swim team accomplishments
as a freshman when the girl's swim team won the district title.
"Going to state contest in Current Events," Parent listed as, most
influential moments. He traveled to compete at the Austin competition
two years in row, winning fourth his first time and second last year.
Camarena points out her achievements as a UIL BPA participant, with
which she made it to state last year and traveled as an alternate before.
The senior also recalls her being part of the Pecos High School
volleyball team that "made it to the playoffs this year," and admitted
that Coach Nora Geron's coaching and commitment to the team influenced
her a great deal.
"Her coaching involved a lot of discipline," she said, "It influenced me
to be a better person."
She gives Geron credit for the achievements that lead to her being
recognized as a student.
PECOS, January 27, 1997 - Reeves County Hospital officials are unable to
release information on the condition of a mother and child struck by a
car while crossing Eddy Street Sunday evening.
Police reports show that Michele Galindo, 32, who was carrying her son,
Juan Carlos Galindo, 10 months, was struck by a car, driven by a
neighbor, Mary Moore. Both were taken to Reeves County Hospital after
RCH spokesperson Nadine Smith, said that information on the condition
of mother and son could not be released per the patient's request.
Michele and Juan are the wife and son of Reeves County Judge Jimmy
According to the police blotter, at 7:28 p.m. an ambulance was
dispatched to the 1900 block of South Eddy Street, where the caller
sought aid for a female who had fallen down.
That call was changed at 7:32 p.m. when ambulance attendants were told
that the female had been struck by a vehicle and this time called out to
the 2100 block of Eddy Street, where the Galindo family resides.
An official police report was incomplete and unavailable this morning.
The incident was investigated by Patrolman Michael Dominguez.
Funeral services are scheduled for 3 p.m. today at First Baptist Church
with Rev. Rick Moon of Toyahvale officiating. Burial will be at
Ott was born on May 26, 1906 in New Braunfels, had worked for several
ranches, later worked for Reeves County Water Improvement District #1,
retiring in 1972. He received several buckles for being the oldest man
on the trail ride, getting the last one at age 85. He was a member of
the First Baptist Church, Balmorhea and West Texas Trail Riders
He was preceded in death by one son, Cannon Cook, five brothers and
sisters and one great grandchild.
Survivors include his wife, Edna Cook of Big Spring; five daughters,
Juanita Rogers of Lubbock, Wanda Stanley of Odessa, Dolly Bryant and
Vera Martin of Big Spring, Linda Armstead of Levelland; two sons, Pecos
Cook of Balmorhea, Jack D. Cook of Odessa; one sister, Eva Pennington of
Comfort, Tx.; 24 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren and two
A rosary will be held today at 7:30 p.m. at Martinez Funeral Home Chapel.
Mass is scheduled for Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Santa Rosa Catholic Church
with burial at Greenwood Cemetery.
She was born April 10, 1936 in La Rosita Ranch, Tx., was a housewife, a
lifetime Pecos resident and a Catholic.
Survivors include her husband, Sebastian Martinez of Pecos.
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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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