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Tuesday, July 15, 1997


Peggy McCracken

World sits at door
within easy reach

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Sue Lee complained to me the other day that the paper has nothing in it
but "Internet," which doesn't interest her in the least. We should write
more about projects like the Modern Study Club's paintings on abandoned
buildings, she said. It just happened I had a column on that subject
running in the Enterprise that very day. And I put a photo of Cathy
Travland doing the painting on the Internet to complement it.

Lots of people are tired of hearing about the Internet, but folks, it's
here. What computer people have been forecasting for years is coming to
pass faster than you can blink an eye. Pretty soon you can buy a
television set that will surf the web, send E-mail and keep you in touch
with the whole wide world. "Interactive" is what they call the new

Haven't you often wished you could reply to some of the dodos on
television? Well, now you can. Immediately.

Immediacy is important in the news business, and the Associated Press
is trying to put technology to work for them and member newspapers, like
the Enterprise. They use digital cameras now for nearly all their work.
In a recent publication, they showed a photo taken at the Republic of
Texas standoff near Fort Davis. That was taken with a digital camera,
loaded into a laptop computer, cropped and "tweaked," then transmitted
by telephone lines to the Dallas office. From there it went out to
member newspapers around the world in minutes.

The photographer who shot that photo was in our offices the day seven
ROT members were arrested at Flying J, aborting their rescue attempt of
Rick McLaren from the "embassy." Jon Fulbright, our astute managing
editor, was right on top of that story, snapping photos of the men lying
handcuffed on the ground
in the Flying J parking lot. AP wanted those photos, so Jon scanned them
into the computer and sent them by E-mail to Dallas.

For that effort, John Lumpkin, chief of AP's Texas bureau in Dallas,
wrote Jon a letter thanking him for his help and noting that history was
created in the process.

"Actually, we created a little bit of history, too, by showing others
we could use new technology like e-mail to obtain pictures in an
unlikely manner," John said.

I also sent a couple of photos to the San Angelo Standard-Times by
e-mail that day. One I had taken with my digital camera and one of Jon's
that was scanned in. They used both of them and were pleased with our
quick response.

Just last week a reporter with the Del Rio paper called to ask about
downloading rodeo photos from our Internet pages. That was not really an
option, because images I put on the Internet look good on the screen but
not on paper. That's because I reduce the number of colors to make a
small file size that will load quickly into the viewer's browser.

Instead, I offered to scan in one of Jon's black-and-white photos and
e-mail it to him, which he eagerly accepted. Haven't heard how it came
out, but I'm sure it worked fine. We receive photos and advertising
layouts by e-mail, and they print out perfectly.

Although the new technology makes everything easier and quicker, it
also puts more pressure on all of us because we feel we have to rush to
keep up or be left behind.

Editor's Note: Peggy McCracken is an Enterprise writer and website manager whose column appears each Tuesday.


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EDITOR'S NOTE: From the "Better late than never dept.", I submit to you
a rebuttal to a Mr. Juan Rodriguez's letter that stated, "Cinco de Mayo
is not an American Holiday." I apologize for the delay in responding to
that particular piece, however, I am currently in the middle of a
six-month deployment on board the USS Vickburg (CG-69) out on the
Mediterranean Sea. My family in Pecos was kind enough to send me a copy
of our Enterprise, and that's how I've come to you with my reply.

Use holidays to celebrate life

Cinco de Mayo, or Diez y Seis de Septiembre for that matter, are not
American holidays. They will always remain, however, Mexican-American
holidays. But why don't we take any holiday, federal or cultural and
strip it of all it's pomp and pageantry? For at the heart of any
holiday, you'll find that quirky human need,... to celebrate life.

Do we really offend your sense of patriotism with our celebration of
non-standard holidays. As children, did we not all pledge allegiance to
the flag of the U.S.A.? Personally, I took that a step further and am
presently enjoying my eleventh year of serving my country as a member of
the U.S. Navy. Oh, by the way, I make it my mission in life to celebrate
the likes of St. Patrick's Day, the American Indian harvest season, and
yes, Cinco de Mayo, with equal amount of passion.

Now, can you forgive us then, for having the pride to be seen and
heard, or the audacity to impose these annual celebrations upon you?
Here's a wonderful idea, if I may be so bold,... let us join together
and exercise our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as
we celebrate any and all holidays. After all, doesn't "variety" hold
true to form as "the spice of life" in the Great American Melting Pot?

Respectfully yours,
Frank S. Rodriguez, III
GSM2 United States Navy

Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP Materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use. The AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing.

Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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