Weekly Newspaper and Tourism Guide for Ward County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas
October 22, 1998
By Jerry Curry
A half-century late but we are going to finally get this one
Vernon George was a linebacker on the 1948 Monahans High
School State Champion football team. It was not Veston,
which Vernon notes was his big brother who was off in
college when Vernon, not Veston, was helping the Loboes win
that state gridiron crown.
That year, Vernon says, the then editors of The Monahans
News persisted, for reasons known only to the Gods, in
calling him Veston. Vernon doesn't know but he does know he
tried and his father tried to get the name right but failed.
"I got to read my brother's name instead of mine," says
Vernon. "He graduated two years before and he was in college
when we won state. Every now and then someone would tell us
they would correct it but they never did."
Suffice it to say the George family surrendered after a
while and decided getting a correction, of any kind, was a
lost cause. A couple of times Vernon actually thought it was
resented his name was Vernon and not Veston.
Vernon made more than a few tackles from the backer's slots
he played. In those days they called linebackers defensive
centers. Tommy Longbotham , now a dentist, was the
Today, Vernon, like Longbotham, is a resident of Monahans.
He's 66 years old and at 185 is only about 20 pounds over
his playing weight that glorious championship year when the
sportswriters at The Monahans News persisted in calling him
Here's how Vernon George remembers that 14-0 victory over
New Braunfels in the sleet and snow to win the state
championship at Odessa on Christmas Day, 1948.
"It was cold. They were way larger than we were but they
didn't have anyone that was extremely fast. I was the
fastest on the team in uniform and that helped me get
tackles. They had a big line and they complained about it
being so cold. Neither of us had ever played in weather like
that. Coach was extremely superstitious and he wouldn't let
us wear anything more than what we had been wearing all year.
"Coach wore this same old top coat and hat to every game.
He drove the bus and he smoked a cigar coming home when we
won. We didn't lose a game. That was the only time he smoked
"It was a close game with New Braunfels. It wasn't no
runaway. It was extremely cold. We were underdogs, maybe by
Vernon knows it was a team game and a great victory but
sure does wish sometime that they would have gotten his
name right. The years rolled by. A television station, he
recalls, did a story on the championship team. Working with
clips from The Monahans News they called Vernon Veston. In
July of 1962, in the Monahans News Golden Jubilee edition,
Vernon was called Veston again when a team photograph was
run. Then last week, we did it again. In the picture we ran
of that team, working with identifications from earlier
years, we called Vernon George by his older brother's name.
"For one reason or another," says Vernon George, "The
Monahans News seems to always get it wrong."
Vernon getting your name wrong stops right here.
We already have consulted with Elizabeth Heath of the Ward
County Historical Archives. She is making corrections there
in those records. We are going to make corrections in the
This is a mistake that was compounded through the years and
we are heartily sorry for it.
We cannot promise it will never happen again.
We can promise we will make certain everything possible
that can be done will be done to remedy this 50-year-old
The Monahans News apologizes.
Joe Wright is right choice
From time to time, we realize there is a reason to be
deliberate and cautious in hiring a major manager of any
kind. Therefore we commend the Ward Memorial Hospital Board
of Managers for the way it, under the guidance of interim
Administrator Stephen Holmes, has proceeded in its search
for a permanent administrator of the county hospital which
operates under a management agreement with Covenant Health
Systems Inc. of Lubbock.
Holmes was assigned by Covenant to guide the hospital
through a transitional phase from what can only be termed
fiscal lunacy to a point where the hospital can actually be
said to have reached a plateau where, barring a major
cataclysm, it will survive no matter what the naysayers do.
One way in which to ensure the continued progress of Ward
Memorial Hospital into the 21st Century, perhaps beyond, is
the employment now of a respected, highly competent
administrator who understands that the purpose of a hospital
is to provide service without bankrupting the citizens it
We realize this is a major responsibility which rests on
the Hospital Board of Managers. At this time, they are
considering, we are told, four candidates for permanent
hospital administrator.. We do not know if Lt. Com. Joseph
Laban Wright, (U.S. Navy ret.) is one of those four. We do
know Joseph Laban Wright is the hospital's interim chief
financial officer. We do know Joseph Laban Wright wishes to
remain in Monahans and has applied for the position of
permanent chief financial officer of Ward Memorial Hospital.
One of the major problems in the past administration of this
hospital has been that fiscal officers and administrators
sometimes, it seems, did not speak the same language.
Would it not be advisable to hire an administrator who
speaks hospital accountant fluently, who at the same time
has a track record in administration few can match?
Joe Wright already has demonstrated his ability and his
commitment to this community. Why is everyone standing
around interviewing outside candidates for administrator.
This guy already is here and working for us. If necessary,
force Wright to become administrator. We plead with the
Hospital Board of Managers. Hire Joe Wright! Now!
Truth is truth
Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice says a
commissioned officer may not make "contemptuous" remarks
about the President of the United States. A Marine Corps
major said the president was an adulterer and a liar and
should be impeached. That Gyrene faces the brig. We wonder
if telling the truth can be defined as "contemptuous" under
Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
Joe Warren, Publisher
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314
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.
Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers Inc.