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July 31, 1997

Monahan's Well

By Jerry Curry

Monahans tomatoes go Western

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It's only appropriate this week in Monahans in Ward County in the
Permian Basin in the West Texas Desert, this week in Monahans at the
annual Butterfield Overland Stagecoach and Wagon bust out and party
time, that everything goes Western, which really is not all that hard
because everything around here is Western most of the time, including
the County Judge who is Sam G. Massey and who also writes poetry and
wears hats and boots and ranches a little from time to time so he can
remember what manual labor is all about. Sam Massey, I am certain, was
the model for the judge in that little wrought iron sign in front of the
Ward County Courthouse. You know the one that shows the booted,
10-gallon hat wearing judge pounding a gavel. .

Dressing Western is not that big a trick for most of the humans and none
of the horses or pickups. I don't know anyone around here who thinks
there is anything more appropriate for evening wear than a pair of old
Levi's and boots run down at the heel topped with a wide-brimmed
sombrero, felt or straw, which keeps the rain off (which there is not a
lot of) and shields heads from the sun (which there is a lot of).

But this week in Monahans, I met, courtesy of Pam Treadaway of the
Butterfield Overland Stagecoach and Wagon folks, The Sandhills Kid. The
Sandhills Kid's face is flushed from the West Texas sun. He (I assume it
is a he, might well be a she. You really can't tell all that much the
way things are going these days in the era of gender manipulation.) has
a nose that rivals Cyrano de Bergerac, who used to ride bulls out of
Amarillo but that was a few years ago. He doesn't have much of a neck
which means he might be my kin. But The Sandhills Kid probably isn't
because his mustache is black and his eyes are beady. Also he's kind of
diminutive; the Sandhills Kid, you know, is little but he's proud,
small but he's loud, as Jimmy Dickens would have said. Jimmy Dickens is
huge next to The Sandhills Kid.

One thing you can say about my family is that we're mostly normal sized
which means there is no way the Kid could be related despite that red
face. My mustache, once red, is now grey and my eyes never have been
beady because my glasses are so thick my eyes look like basketballs to
most people.

To return to our tale of Western Week and dressing Western.

Pam introduced me to The Sandhills Kid. I immediately fantasized this
tale about The Sandhills Kid always wanting to be a cowboy and how this
week in Monahans, thanks to Pam and son Jay, the Sandhills Kid made it.

And here's how it happened.

"My son and I grew some tomatoes. He and my husband really had fun with
this one. It was the nose (a real natural sun-ripened nose mentioned
earlier). We brought it (The Sandhills Kid) down here (to Billee Lou's
Flower & Gifts where Pam toils). First, we put on the mustache. Then we
found some eyes in a drawer and we just couldn't stop. The Sandhills Kid
was born."

And that's how it all happened - how a tomato became a West Texas legend
to rival John Wesley Hardin. That's The Kid's picture up there. He's
sitting on a Western Week bandanna.

Copyright 1997 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
Steve Patterson, Publisher
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314

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