Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, October 8, 1998
City agrees to solve family's water woes
By ROSIE FLORES
A Pecos family is finally going to get water after three
weeks of having to haul it from a nearby park, following
action at this morning's Town of Pecos City Council meeting.
Ed and Sarah DeLaRosa have been having problems getting
water to their home when the water line between the city's
meter and their house broke.
Replacing the broken water line posed just one of their
problems because the city's meter is about one-third of a
mile from the DelaRosa house, located on the north edge of
Pecos at 1110 N. Cedar St.
DelaRosa stated that she had requested that the city move
the meter into their property, but they refused.
The property was connected to the city's water line years
ago, when someone paid for the city to extend service to a
ball park in that area. Later, the then-owner of the house
got permission to extend his own water line from the meter
to the house, explained water superintendent Octavio Garcia.
About three weeks ago the water to the DelaRosa's home
suddenly ceased. Garcia went to the site to inspect and
found that the water line had broken and there was a leak.
"She wanted me to move the meter, but I told her I didn't
have the authority to do that," Garcia told the council
DeLaRosa explained that she was told to get a plumber to
work on her line, when another problem arose. "The plumbers
were working on digging up the line when the state walked in
and told us we couldn't do that, because it was on state
property and we would need permission," said DeLaRosa.
City attorney Scott Johnson said the whole thing was very
confusing, but could be worked out. "I understand from
Octavio that they now have the permit and can continue with
the work," he said.
After being briefed on the problem, the council voted to
have Garcia oversee getting a new water line installed with
the owners, Ed and Sarah DeLaRosa, financing the project.
"I'll draw up a written contract between them and the city,"
"We're sorry for that inconvenience," council member Ricky
Herrera told the DelaRosas.
"Something like this shouldn't have to happen to anybody, to
be without water for so long," said mayor Dot Stafford. "And
we're really sorry it took so long to sort the mess out."
In other business, the council approved helping out with a
community project that would involved cleanup later this
National Make A Difference Day, Saturday, Oct. 24, will be
observed by Crockett Middle School. Eighth graders at the
school were on hand requesting help from the city with their
"We looked at the community and decided what needs to be
done," said teacher Cindy Duke, who explained that the group
decided that Fairview Cemetery, located across the street
from the Pecos High School, was in dire need of a sprucing
up, since it is located on a heavily traveled street.
The eighth graders provided council members with a list of
things they can do and a list of things they will need to
accomplish their goal.
Improvements the group will work on will be pulling weeds,
level ground, hauling dirt, pruning trees, removing dead
trees and plant trees and shrubs.
"The Tree Board has stated that they will be donating some
trees and we can plant those," said Duke.
She asked council members if the city could help by
providing the use of shovels, hoes, weed eaters, rakes,
pruning shears/cutters and gloves.
"We may also need some manpower help," said Duke.
City Parks Director Armando Gil said he would be glad to
assist the group with their project and would request the
help of his two park employees.
The city insurance committee reported to council members
that they had been advised to retain New Era as the city's
insurance company. "They had told us about another one which
might be a few dollars cheaper but only for one year and
then it could go up, so we opted to stick to the one we
already have," said city manager Kenneth Neal.
Council members also approved a contract written up by
Johnson for the city's part-time grant writer position. The
grant writer(s) will have a one year contract which will
have to be renewed thereafter.
City Secretary and Youth Advisory Committee Sponsor, Geneva
Martinez reported to the council that the city Youth
Advisory Committee would be participating in the Heart Walk
scheduled for this Saturday.
"They're very enthusiastic about it," said Martinez. "The
group was sworn in recently," she said.
Officers for the group were also elected for the 1998-99
school year. Chairperson is Jonathan Fuentes;
vice-chairperson, Sara Matta; secretary, Jessica Caballero;
treasurer, Freddy Caballero and reporter, Noel Ybarra.
During the younger group's meeting they talked about
continuing their curb painting and about the upcoming heart
walk. They also decided to meet the first and third
Thursday's of the month at 7 p.m., according to Martinez.
Police add to recent drug busts
By ROSIE FLORES
Local law enforcement teams were busy again Wednesday night,
arresting two alleged drug dealers in separate incidents.
In the first incident, officers from the Reeves County
Sheriff's Department and the Pecos Police Department
executed a narcotics search warrant last night at 817 S.
Almond St. Investigators Ernest Lozano and Paul Deishler had
received information that Daniel Natividad Fuentez was
selling a controlled substance (heroin), from the stated
Fuentez was also wanted on a felony warrant out of Reeves
When officers arrived at the residence, they said Fuentez
was inside the bathroom. When he heard the officers inside
the residence he climbed out the bathroom window and climbed
on top of the roof of the residence.
Once officers removed Fuentez from the roof he was taken
back into the house and secured inside with the rest of the
Officers then proceeded to search the residence and found a
liquid substance believed to be heroin, inside a syringe in
the bathroom, where Fuentez had just been. Also found was
more substance believed to be heroin and other drug
paraphernalia commonly used for cooking, packaging and
injecting heroin, according to police.
Fuentez, 38, was placed in the Reeves County Jail and
charged with felony possession of a controlled substance
(heroin) and the fugitive felony warrant. He is still at the
Reeves County Jail awaiting arraignment.
Other charges are pending and the investigation is
continuing, police said.
In the second incident, Deishler and Lozano received
information that Rowdy Curry was in possession of a
controlled substance at the Suavecito Bar, located in the
900 block of South Cedar Street.
Uniform officers from the Pecos Police Department and the
Reeves County Sheriff's Department went to the Suavecito
Club and located Curry who appeared to be highly intoxicated.
He was placed under arrest for the offense of public
intoxication by officer Billy Hull and taken to Reeves
County Jail. Officer Hull then searched Curry and reported
finding a substance believed to be heroin.
Curry, 34, was booked into the Reeves County Jail on both
the initial charge of public intoxication as well as for
possession of a controlled substance, believed to be heroin.
He is also currently in the Reeves County Jail, waiting
Both incidents occurred shortly before midnight and are the
latest in a series of drug arrests carried out by police
during the past month.
Female WWII pilots recall Pecos training
EDITOR'S NOTE: These are the final two of four stories on
last weekend Pecos Army Air Field reunion.
CLAUDE W. PORTER
"I gave some fuel to a WASP or two and never got stung. They
were excellent pilots," said Robert Coe, Flight Instructor
at Pecos Army Air Field during World War II.
Three of the 200 women who trained to fly twin-engine
aircraft at Pecos returned for the third reunion of base
personnel. They were dressed in their full-dress WW II
uniforms. The reunion was held in Pecos on October 1, 2, and
The WASPS who served during World War II did not receive the
military recognition (militarization) promised to them until
1979. Throughout the United States, though, they flew cargo,
top secret weapons and personnel. They tested planes to be
certain they were safe for use by instructors and students.
They flew for the weather wing. Whatever their assignment,
WASPS performed with a willingness, zest, and expertise that
won them acceptance and praise.
As the urgent needs of the Air Force increased, so did the
duties to which women graduates were assigned. By September
1943 they were reporting, not only to ferry aircraft, but to
tow-target training, to four-engine bomber school, and to
B-25 and B-26 (twin engine bombers) school, from which they
were assigned to other bases.
Bee Falk Haydu, one of the returning visitors, was stationed
at PAAF in 1944. As a WASP, she trained with the Class of
44-7. Her flying experience was with the UC-78 twin-engine
aircraft, and the AT6 single-engine fighter plane.
Haydu continued to work for militarization for the women who
served in WW II. It was partly through her influence that
President Jimmy Carter signed the necessary law to accord
military status to that segment of the war effort which was
so long deserving.
With residence in Riviera Beach, Florida, Haydu is now
retired with her husband, Joe Haydu.
Graduating with the Class of 44-W-5 was WASP Lorraine Nelson
Bain. Her tenure at Pecos Army Air Field was in 1943 and
1944. At various times her duties included many aspects of
the base operation.
Bain is retired, and she and her husband, Jim Bain, reside
in Chireno, Texas.
The Class of 44-6 saw WASP Mary Retick Wells among their
graduates. She flew single-engine and multi-engine aircraft
and served in several theaters of operation during the war.
Now retired, she holds the rank of Captain with the United
States Air Force Reserve. She and her husband, Jim Wells,
live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
As the final strains of "Good Night, Sweetheart" were played
at the end of World War II, and the WASPS were sent home,
they were, without a doubt, on hand and ready for the next
dance. They were not only women, but aviators of the highest
Reunion stirs memories of Air Field vets
CLAUDE W. PORTER
Sitting around the campfire in the world West of the Pecos
is likely to bring forth tales that began innocently enough.
Most have been embellished at roughly the annual rate of
Seated around tables in the Swiss Clock Inn Hospitality
Room, the alumni of the long deactivated Pecos Army Air
Field, which was truly West of the Pecos, engaged in a bit
of nostalgia of their own.
Bill Pitts, the coordinator of this year's reunion, held
last weekend in Pecos, tells this story of his experiences
with Pecos Army Air Field.
Pitts enlisted for military service at Fort Smith, Arkansas,
at age 17. He wanted to be a pilot, so he volunteered for
the Army Air Corps. When he took his physical, he was told
that he was five pounds underweight to qualify. In the
ensuing 30 days before he had to report for duty, his
Mother, knowing of his plight, put him on a crash diet of
peanut butter, malts, home-made ice cream, and large
helpings of food at the table. He gained the necessary five
pounds - proof that you can crash up as well as down.
William Paluzzi of New York served as a parachute rigger and
later worked on the ground crew at the base. "There were
lots of nice guys at Pecos," said Paluzzi. "There were also
lots of dust and rattlesnakes."
Harold Le Mere - Class of 44-E: "I remember Pecos as being a
dry area, like Tucson, Arizona, where I had been in primary
"One evening I went to a theater downtown and they played a
song called, `Mairsy Doats and Dozy Doats' with everybody
singing along. I probably sang the loudest because I was so
happy. Graduation was only a couple of days away.
"I remember a sad time also, as my flying instructor was
killed flying formation in a UC-78." The student, however,
Wilbur L. "Wib" Clingan - Class of 43-A: "Clearing brush and
killing rattlesnakes in lieu of our physical training
classes. There was a lot of both.
"Crashing a plane that I flew from an auxiliary field back
to Pecos during a thunderstorm. I bounced down the runway
like a rubber ball, but managed to miss other planes parked
alongside the runway.
"Hovelands crashed and died at our auxiliary field. I had
just touched down and when I looked around after reaching
the end of the taxi strip, I saw a great mass of fire. I was
apprehensive and thought that I had come in too low and
started a grass fire. When I parked and got out of the plane
I was flying, I learned the sad truth.
"He was a fine young man ... or was this at Fort Stockton?
Primary or Basic? Memory is only one of many things to go at
age 76. Of course, I do remember many, many classmates as
Charles M. Girvan - Class of 45-A: "I arrived in Pecos,
Texas, late in the evening of 29 December, 1944, by train
and rented a room at the hotel across the street from the
depot for 50 cents for the night. It was one large room
upstairs with numerous cots and lots of snoring cowboys, so
I spent most of the night sitting on the curb waiting for
transportation out to Pecos Army Air Field."
Arthur Howarth - Class of 44-D: "One day while flying the
special UC-78 set aside for instrument training, we were
doing range let-downs on WINK Radio Range. We were having
the bumpy weather typical of a Pecos summer and the run was
taking longer than usual. While making the approach, the
left low-fuel light came on and I reached to switch to the
other tank but my instructor said to wait until the engines
coughed. In a few minutes they did and I switched tanks and
continued my approach. As I passed low station, the right
low-fuel light came on. We headed back to the base and made
a straight-in approach. As we pulled into the parking spot,
the engine died."
Pete Bullock - Class of 44-G: "My memories of PAAF are
mainly fond memories of the people I served with. Except, a
few times the heat and dust got to me."
Ariel S. Bean - Class of 44-F: "PAAF is where I slept on the
first colored sheets I ever saw. The laundry got lost
somewhere and we didn't get any replacement sheets for six
to eight weeks. In the meantime, the wind blew from the
southeast, dusted everything in the barracks, stopped for a
day, allowing us to shovel out, and then came from the
opposite direction for another three days. The combination
of red Texas dust and body sweat turned the sheets red."
Richard (Dick) Kuhlman - Mechanic/Crew Chief: "Arrived Pecos
about Thanksgiving day, 1942. First meal in the Mess Hall we
had meringue pie for dessert. It was soon coated with sand
which came in from the windows.
"I was there when asphalt sidewalks were put in and grass
was planted. How wonderful that was and what a difference it
Stan Brown - Class Unknown: "I well remember the dust
storms. Sitting on my bunk I could just faintly see the
doors at the end of the barracks. Get a glass of water in
the Mess Hall and by the time you got to the table to sit
down it would have a thin coat of mud on the top."
Elza H. Kennedy - Class of 44-E/ Instructor: "We, the class
of 44-E were unloading from the train from the West Coast.
We were really impressed with the number of caskets at the
loading platform. The officer in charge said, `If you're not
careful, that's the way you'll go home.' We later learned
they were single wall tar-paper quarters.
"After being commissioned, I was returned to Pecos as an
Instructor. Housing was hard to find, and we were expecting
our first child. I received orders for combat in Europe, and
nothing could change that at that time. I left my wife to
deliver a stillborn child. Memories of Pecos for us is not
Gene Leatherwood - Class Unknown: "I don't believe anyone
who was an enlisted man at PAAF, that did K.P. at the
enlisted men's mess hall, cadet mess, officer's mess and
also took a turn at guard duty could tell someone of their
experiences and be brief."
Robert Coe - Instructor: "I believe it was Colonel Fisher
who had a jackass for his youngsters to ride. One morning
after an enjoyable night at the officer's club, the chaplain
awoke to exchange stares with the jackass. It was put in his
room by some unknowns.
"I enjoyed instructing in the old Bamboo Bomber and never a
pink slip. I also gave some duel to a WASP or two and never
got stung. They were excellent pilots."
Howard Johnson - Instructor: "It is interesting to me that
my tour of duty at Pecos was, roughly, about the same as the
active duty time for the Pecos air base. Our time together
was interesting and meaningful."
Merritt E. Derr - Class of 43-F: "Remember the noon bus from
Pecos to El Paso and how we would greet it if we were flying
John Morse, Maj. USAF, Ret.: "I was an instructor at PAAF
for the first flying cadet class of 43-A. Later, I, along
with 7 other B-17 crew-members, were shot down by over 200
88mm. flak guns over Cologne, Germany, on February 22, 1944,
at 20,000 feet. It was my eighth mission."
L.M. "Mac" McDonald - Instructor: "We launched a student
cross-country flight west from Pecos. Cadets were briefed
not to cross the line of oil well flares running through
Wink. We got a call that one of our cadets was in Big
Spring. The cadet had a logical explanation. He knew he was
in Carlsbad. He had flown low over town and saw the Crawford
Hotel sign. It happened that there were more than one
Crawford Hotel. He never explained crossing the flares."
Al Crites - Class of 44-C: "My truly claim to fame was being
the recipient of the Outstanding Athlete Award for our
class. To look at me now, you would not believe the above."
William F. Clutterham -Class of 44-E/Instructor: "I
purchased my first motorcycle there. It was a 1940 Harley
and had been owned by a State Trooper. It had a big 74 flat
head. After a day of reckless riding down to a resort area,
I parked the bike and walked a few steps and heard a loud
bang. The front tire had blown out. The Lord's hand was upon
me the whole time. I am now a born again Christian, and have
been for 28 years.
"I remember seasoned combat pilots returning to Pecos as
instructors. Many put in to return to combat. They said it
James G. Turner - Class Unknown: "I remember the cages with
live rattlesnakes. They were placed around the base with
signs attached, `Be sure when you pull the chocks you have
hold of a rope.'"
Leslie Kleeb - Class of 44-B: "I remember during instrument
training it was a hot afternoon, and the Instructor said he
would like to have a malt. I said I didn't know how to get
one. He said he did, and flew to Van Horn, landed on Main
Street, taxied up to a malt shop, and I got out and got him
a malt. We took off on Main Street."
Stan Yost - Class of 44-J: "A lot of the cadets liked to
listen to a Mexican radio station. Instead of doing their
cross-country, they would fly around in circles listening to
Bee Falk Haydu - WAAC: "I remember the eternal wind. Pecos
was also a large facility to me."
(Haydu flew the twin-engine UC-78, and the single-engine
AT6. Also, she was influential in persuading President Jimmy
Carter to sign the bill according military status to women
who had served during WW II, Korea, and Vietnam.)
Mary Retick Wells - Captain, USAF, Ret.: "When the War in
Europe ended, many pilots lacked enough points to rotate out
of the service. I flew a bunch of them in the back of my
plane, so they could get enough flying hours to get their
points. A lot of us did that. They were such nice boys."
Lorraine Nelson Bain - WAAC/WASP: Served at Pecos Army Air
Field in 1943 and 1944. "The last tune played at every dance
was the immortal tune of World War II, `Good Night
Sweetheart.' This, and other music of the Big Band era, was
furnished by local resident, Bill Davenport, for the
enjoyment of the reunion guests."
Judge accepts pleas from "group of Hippy's"
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
The alleged leader of a drug-smuggling operation and several
of his co-defendants pleaded guilty before U.S. District
Judge Royal Furgeson in Midland this week, and a jury was
selected to try one defendant.
Arnaldo "Hippy" Ramos-Hernandez, 26, a Mexican citizen from
Ojinaga, admitted conspiring to import marijuana and to
distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana
in a continuing enterprise that began in 1993.
He also admitted engaging in a continuing criminal
enterprise, which he organized and managed, and of
Victor Valles-Lujan, Andres Madrid Saucedo, 21, Carlos
Carrasco-Quiroz, 52, Scott Marker and Jesus Manuel Hernandez
pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting and possession with
intent to distribute marijuana.
Maria Villarreal Vasquez was indicted on one count of aiding
and abetting/marijuana possession and one count of managing
a storeroom for the marijuana.
She has pleaded "not guilty," and her trial begins Friday in
Midland. Prosecutors have said they intend to present
evidence of a prior conviction for possession of heroin in
Ector County "to prove intent, knowledge, willfulness and
absence of mistake or accident" in the current offense.
The 18 defendants allegedly smuggled marijuana across the
Rio Grande from Mexico at points inside Big Bend, including
Redford and Presidio, then hauled it to the Odessa-Midland
area for further distribution.
Carlsbad Caverns marks 75th anniversary
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Re-dedication ceremonies mark the beginning of a weekend of
celebration at Carlsbad Caverns National Park starting
Friday morning at 10.
It is the 75th anniversary of the proclamation of Carlsbad
Cave National Monument, and "a few dignitaries" will speak
at the ceremony, to be held in the natural entrance
amphitheater, said Aleta Knight, management assistant.
Special tours and programs continue throughout the weekend.
At 7 p.m. Friday, a Rock of Ages ceremony is offered to
visitors for an additional fee.
That tour begins with visitors carrying lanterns into the
darkened cave. At the formation called "Rock of Ages," they
will turn off the lanterns and sing "Rock of Ages" in the
Knight said the Rock of Ages ceremony is held only once a
New elevators have been installed, from the visitor's center
atop the ancient barrier reef to the caverns 750 feet below
and should be working at top speed for the weekend, Knight
In addition to the special visitor tours, an employee
reunion is expected to draw a big crowd to the Friday
afternoon picnic at Rattlesnake Springs and dinner at the
Country Club in Carslbad, N.M.
The caverns are located near White's City, west of Carlsbad
and 95 miles northwest of Pecos. Regular hours are 8 a.m. to
5:30 p.m., with the last tour through the natural entrance
beginning at 2 p.m., and to the Big Room at 3:30 p.m.
Josephine Bush, 81, died Monday, Oct. 4, 1998, in Baytown.
A graveside service was held this morning at Earthman Memory
Gardens Cemetery in Baytown.
She was born on Jan. 30, 1917, in Toyah, had been a resident
of Beach City for 54 years and was a member of First
She was preceded in death by her husband, W.D. "Bill" Bush.
Survivors include one son, John W. Bush of Beach City; one
daughter, Becky Bush Griffin of Beach City; one sister, Jean
O'Dell of El Paso; three grandchildren and three great-grand
Dorothy Martin Bywaters
Dorothy Martin Bywaters, died Wednesday, Oct. 7, 1998, in
Services will be at 2 p.m., Friday, Oct. 9, at St. Michael
and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas. A private
internment will be at Sparkman-Hillcrest Cemetery.
She was born in Fort Worth, where she spent her youth and
graduated from Southern Methodist University where she was a
member of the Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority. She worked for the
Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas for 10 years during which
time she authored five workbooks for people with dyslexia;
primarily for adolescent children. She was also a member of
the Triad Club, Comas Club, Mah-Jong Club, the Supper Club
and formerly the Carousel Club. She was on the Altar Guild
of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church for many
Survivors include her husband, David Walter Bywaters, Sr.,
of Dallas; three sons, David Walter Bywaters, II, Branson
Kelsey and William MacDonald Bywaters; one daughter,
Patricia Bywaters Waller; one sister, Thelma Martin
Dickerson of Fort Worth; five grandchildren and numerous
nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be
made to Children's Village, P.O. Box 6564, Tyler, Tx., 75711.
High Wednesday 81. Low last night 43. Tonight, clear. Low
in the lower 50s. South wind 5-15 mph. Friday, sunny. High
in the upper 80s. South to southwest wind 10-20 mph.
Mac McKinnon, 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 1998 by Pecos Enterprise