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Mac McKinnon


By MacMcKinnon
Enterprise Publisher

Aug. 4, 1998

Gorman still peanut capital

to some who remember fondly

I've been hearing reports that Seminole now claims to be
peanut capital of Texas.

For most people, that probably doesn't have any meaning. For
me, it's real personal.

I was born in what used to be the peanut capital of Texas.
Actually, it at one time was called peanut capital of the
world - or at least that's the way I remember it.

I was born in that town, Gorman, Texas. And I grew up in an
area that was considered the best and biggest peanut growing
area anywhere, that being Dublin-Comanche-DeLeon area. Some
people will tell you that distinction belongs to Georgia.

Things have changed in the past 30 to 40 years or so. My dad
sold our farms to people who planted pecans. The same is
true of many other farms in the area of the Leon River and
Cow Creek.

At this point I want to brag on my dad a little. He was one
of the first to ever try to irrigate peanuts. He did so at
the beginning of the 7-year drought of the 1950s when it
appeared that was the only way we could make a crop.

Everybody told him he was crazy and that irrigating peanuts
would ruin the land. Irrigation was only meant for other
kinds of crops such as cotton and things that produced hay.

But, it did work and other people soon joined in. Years
later, peanut farming was started in Seminole. With land
cheap at that time in Seminole, many people left Central
Texas or else they sold their allotment for peanut acreage.
Under government programs, farmers were provided with an
acreage allotment and that's all they could grow under price

Much of the land in Central Texas also gave out as peanuts
are rough on the soil. When I was growing up, we used a lot
of fertilizer and rotated crops so as to give the land time
to recover and also to prevent disease such as nimitodes -
something the government graded peanuts for as it was said
to cause cancer. I'm not real sure on the spelling of that

Farmers in Seminole began paying big bucks for peanut
allotments and before you knew it, most of the allotment was
gone from Central Texas although peanuts are still a big
crop in that area and the peanut processing plant in Gorman
is still going strong.

During the peanut havest time, the smells in the air around
Gorman makes you want to eat peanuts as it really smells
good, kind of like the area around bakeries.

As I understand it, there's about 62,000 acres of peanuts
now in Gaines County (Seminole) and the farmers there are
doing good although even with irrigation, rain is important
and they haven't had much of that this year just like the
rest of us.

Peanut farming as I have noted here several times, is one of
the few vocations where those involved have done well over
the years while farmers of other crops were struggling.
That's because of the world wide demand for peanuts. Most
years, prices were higher than government support programs.

That kind of farming isn't as good as it used to be, but the
crop was good to me and my family. And I still think of
Gorman as the peanut capital!


United Nations taking over most U.S. rivers

Concerning the continued loss of our independence, Al Gore
announced that the Rio Grande River has been given over to
the United Nations via the benevolent sounding American
Rivers Heritage. I called Congressman Henry Bonilla to find
out if this was true and a spokesperson in his Washington,
D.C. office confirmed it.

The Rio Grande now joins a number of other U.S. rivers and
more than 40 of our national parks, including
Carlsbad Caverns, that come under U.N. authority.

This spokesperson also informed me that Congressman Bonilla
is resisting the inevitable U.N. takeover by insisting that
his district, which runs the border from Laredo to El Paso,
not be included in the American Rivers Heritage. Bless his
heart. And I mean that.

According to the spokesperson, Texas ranchers along the
border are requesting military presence to protect their
property from looters coming across the river from Mexico.
Now, get this...some of the looting is being done by the
Mexican military. The economy in Mexico is bad and NAFTA has
not helped.

American Rivers Heritage and Biosphere Reserve are terms
that mean it has been turned over to the U.N. It is by fiat.

A member of the National Guard was disturbed to see that
some of their vehicles had been painted white with U.N. on
the sides. That was in June of this year at Ft. Hood.

Pecos, Texas

Big picture should be considered when voting

I'm writing this letter in regard to a recent article in the
Pecos Enterprise, that contained information on a recent
Reeves County Hospital Board meeting. In the meeting it
seems that the hospital board rejected the proposed tax
abatement for Anchor West.

With all the interest, efforts, and funds spent lately on
economic development in Reeves County and the city of Pecos,
it seems to me that our hospital board is cutting off its
nose, in spite of its face.

With Anchor West being the largest private employer in the
county, employing around 500 people, it seems to me
that every governmental body in this county would do
anything possible to see that Anchor thrives and grows. With
the recent shutdown of Freeport Sulphur Company, a recent
closing of a gasoline refinery, and Texas Instruments in
Odessa, there is no sure thing, when it comes to large
companies relocating or closing down completely.

I suggest that members of governing bodies consider these
things when casting your vote, which affects other peoples'
lives and prosperity. Furthermore, if this county and city
do not hold on to the employers we have, and do not bring in
more employers, it may come to a point that we don't need a
hospital, because of lack of people to use it. Please,
Hospital Baord, next time think about the big picture.


Our View

Money being wasted on unwanted projects

U.S. Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, the Senate majority
leader, recently made a statement that begs to be answered.

That statement was in regard to him getting additional
contracts for a shipyard in his state.

He asked, "What kind of Senator would I be if I didn't try
to help my state." That may not be exact but that was the
gist of what he said. House Speaker Newt Gingrich recently
did the same thing in getting additonal aircraft built in
his home state of Georgia.

The problem with both of these additions was that the
military did not ask for those additional ships and planes.
They didn't want them and the money spent for them will be
taken out of other projects they wanted.

The answer to Lott's questions is real simple: He would be a
responsible Senator, one who is looking out for the best
interest of his country and in the end, his state, by not
supporting projects that would seem to be beneficial to his

In the long run, everyone gets hurt by this kind of
politics. Money is wasted, the military is not served nor is
this nation.

Senator Lott needs to think about this long and hard.

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