Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Women in Business
October 22, 1998
Prewit has new companion at work
Robin Prewit has had a traveling companion to work for the
past four months, since returning to her job as secretary
for the Red Bluff Water Power Control District after
"I get to bring Sam to work," Prewit said of her five-month
old boy. "I have the most wonderful board and boss in the
world to let me bring the baby to work. He's been coming to
work since he was six weeks old."
Sam was born on May 21, and Robin returned to her job with
Red Bluff General Manager Jim Ed Miller six weeks later. "He
can yell pretty good at times. Lloyd (Goodrich, Red Bluff
board member) comes in just about once a week to visit Sam.
Prewit had been working as Red Bluff's secretary for over
eight years before Sam arrived, starting in December, 1989.
She said her job "is more bookkeeping than anything --
taking care of meetings and other stuff, accounts payable
and receivable and the minutes."
Red Bluff's Pecos office oversees the release of water and
operations at Red Bluff Lake, which provides water for seven
districts in four counties. "We also have some recreation
activities at the lake," she said, along with the cottages
that are leased at the lake through the Pecos office.
Prewit keeps track of those payments, and well as handling
the district's in-town investments "I keep up with the CDs
(certificated of deposit), and oversee the operating
accounts," she said.
"I came to work here because of Jim Ed. When I came here I
didn't have the foggiest idea what Red Bluff was," said
Since coming to work at Red Bluff, she said the district
has put more of it's records, which date back over 60 years,
onto computers. "We did have one computer when I got here.
It was an old one," she said. "The district's record were on
cards, and the computer he was used very, very little.
"Eventually, we want to put the minutes all on CDs (compact
disks, in this case), but we haven't gotten that far yet,
and we've got minutes going as far back, I think, as 1939."
Kesey saw craft shop grow into western store
Pecos Emporium owner Pat Kesey said the western wear
business was one she gradually grew into.
After having started a craft shop at her former location at
123 S. Oak, Kesey said she started stocking western shirts
and jeans at the downtown site. She said she started adding
various western wear items until she was completely keeping
an entire inventory of popular name brands and items of the
popular West Texas style.
"I've got boots, jeans, hats, billfolds, women's wear,
belts..." Kesey said, of various brands and popular labels.
"I started with Roper brand men's and women's shirts and
jeans and had Justin and Tony Llama boots at first," she
said when she saw the need to expand.
Now at her new location on West Third Street, Kesey carries
Rough Rider, Circle T, Jewels Classics, "out of El Paso,"
she said, "plus I do a lot of special ordering...especially
in hats and boots."
"Wrangler makes so many things," Kesey said, adding to her
list of stock items.
A Pecos resident for over 40 years, Kesey said she started
her business, "after my three kids were grown."
Until that time, she said, "I was a busy housewife," having
been a member of various organizations, including the
Hospital Auxiliary Club and local Art Club. She also
attended various pageants with daughter, former Golden Girl
Kristi Kesey, and school related activities with all three
With children grown and gone, Kesey said, "I liked the idea
of owning my own business," and opened up her shop in 1990.
Eight years later, Kesey relocated to the former Bozeman's
Pharmacy building, at 800 W. Third St.
"I'm enjoying my new location," she said. "It's more visible
and I get a lot more customers...more people coming in."
"It's nearly a full time job now," said the local business
woman, who identifies rodeo season as, "better than
"We sell a lot at Christmas time too," added Kesey, who
claimed local dances and concerts boost her business as well.
"I enjoy meeting people," she said, adding, "I really
appreciate everyone that walks in here."
Bobbitt tracks stocks' ups and downs
Cheryl Bobbitt watches the changing screen on her computer
at Edward Jones investment counselors. Microsoft stocks are
down today, she notes, because they are in an anti-trust
trial in Washington, D.C.
What she's reading is a complete list of stocks, their
current price and status. Stocks that have dropped in value
stand out, because they are listed in red while all others
Bobbitt is branch office administrator for Edward Jones, a
position she has held for 15 months. She is not licensed to
give investment advice, but she does give out lots of
information on stocks and mutual funds.
"I take care of all the customer accounts, when they call
asking questions," she said. "I answer the telephone, take
care of all the necessary paperwork and keep people updated
on stock market reports."
Her computer is connected by satellite directly to Wall
Street's NASDAC and New York Stock Exchanges, and any
changes are automatically posted to her screen.
"Jones has a unique program dealing with investments," she
said. "It will tell you anything about mutual funds, stocks,
bonds, annuities, life insurance. It is upgraded constantly."
Bobbitt said she had to undergo extensive training and pass
a final test with a grade of 85 or above to operate the
computer and understand its database.
"Once you have that knowledge, it is priceless," she said,
noting that the information she has is also available on the
Internet, but "that one-on-one phone conversation and coming
into the office is much more personable than looking it up.
"People call me constantly. We haven't had an investment
representative since July, but no problem. There's plenty to
Brandi Owen, the new investment representative, is in St.
Louis, Mo. this week getting her securities license. The two
make up the office staff of the local branch.
Before coming to Edward Jones, Bobbitt worked for Bob Curry
at Battery Conservation Technology Inc. for seven years.
"I hadn't done much office work, but as people left the
company, much of it came to me. I fell right into it," she
Bobbitt and her husband, Steven, have just bought a new
home and plan to stay in Pecos. He is manager for Kett
Engineering at the Firestone Test Track in Fort Stockton.
Their 18-year-old granddaughter, Heather Uptergrove, lives
with the couple. They enjoy golf in their leisure time.
Three grown children, six grandchildren and two
step-grandchildren back home in California complete the
"We lived in Fort Stockton two years before we moved to
Pecos," Bobbitt said. "The people here are so unique. We
have more close friends. It is wonderful."
Tijerina is area's lone female probation officer
Keeping up with the local federal court docket can be a
chore, according to federal probation officer Diana Tijerina.
Completing the team of three and being the only female,
U.S. Probation Officer housed in Pecos' federal building,
Tijerina said they are responsible for, "supervising
releases," throughout the Western District of Texas. The
district includes Reeves, Pecos, Ward, Brewster, Jeff Davis,
Loving, Culberson and Presidio Counties.
"There are very few probationers at the federal level,"
said the San Antonio native. "We supervise people released
from prison," thus the name, "releases," which she said are
supervised as probationers.
"It's still the same principle."
The supervision is a minor task, averaging between 20 and
30 cases, compared to the U.S. probation officer's chore of
preparing pre-sentence reports. This part of the job, "is
tremendous," Tijerina claimed.
"The docket in Pecos is one of the largest," Tijerina said,
and consists of, "mostly immigration and drug related
cases," although they do handle an array of cases.
During a recent swearing in ceremony for a fellow probation
officer, U.D. District Judge Lucius D. Bunton said federal
probation officers assigned to this area wear many hats,
including the, "Crocodile Dundee hat," because many times
probation officers have to, "go down under (Mexico)," to
complete such pre-sentencing reports.
A lot of the cases presented in the local, federal
building, are "transient cases," accounting for the low
number of supervision cases. "We're a big county, but the
population is not that big."
Before joining the Pecos team in January 5, 1998, Tijerina
worked her way through San Antonio courts, beginning January
She holds a Masters degree in Social Work from Our Lady of
the Lake in San Antonio, and a Bachelor of Arts in
Psychology, with a minor in English Literature from St.
Mary's University, San Antonio.
Tijerina held a job as a social worker before completing
her Masters. "I gave out cheese, paid utility bills, drove
the elderly to the doctor's office..."
She said with the encouragement from a friend in the Bexar
County Probation Office she became a county probation
officer and was introduced to the field. "I was a state
parole officer for 2½ years," she added.
"I always knew I would do something with my masters,"
Tijerina said. "It was something I had to get used to,"
regarding the transition from social worker to probation
"I really enjoy what I'm doing," nonetheless, said Tijerina
from behind her desk.
Campbell hopes to boost McDonald's
Community involvement is very important to one restaurant
manager and something she plans to work on in the future.
Irma Campbell, manager of McDonald's, hasn't been in Pecos
for very long, but states that she plans to get more
involved in community events and plans to get her staff to
Campbell came to Pecos in January of 1997 and has worked
for McDonald's in different aspects of the business for the
past nine years.
She started working in the kitchen in an El Paso
McDonald's, moved her way up to crew chief, something she
did for two years. She was an assistant manager for four
years and has been store manager for two years.
"I started working at McDonald's at night, that was my
shift because during the day I was attending school studying
industrial engineering," said Campbell.
She explained that being manager of the store is a
full-time, round-the-clock job. "If someone doesn't show up
for their shift, I have to fill in, or find someone who
will," she said.
"Basically, we want to stress quality, service and
cleanliness, something we are working hard to achieve," she
Campbell states that she plans to talk to the principal at
Pecos Kindergarten and hopefully get something set up that
will allow her employees to read to the youngsters. "That's
one of the things I want to do, but I have other plans of
getting involved in the community," she said.
Campbell is in charge of 33 employees, with three different
shifts. "In our business we have to do everything and know
how to do it," said Campbell.
"We have to be on top of the employees make sure they
follow every procedure and not skip steps, or it might hurt
the customers," said Campbell. "Our customers come first."
When not at the store Campbell enjoys going to movies or
renting movies. "I love going to the movies, but I also like
to cook and bake," she said.
Her family in Pecos includes her husband, George Campbell,
whom she met at the Pecos McDonald's. "He's originally from
New York, but is a border patrol and the greatest thing is I
met him right here," she said, smiling.
The rest of her close family lives in El Paso. Her dad,
Armando Benavides is swing manager at a McDonald's in El
Paso, while her sister, Virginia also works there.
Her mother, Irma, runs a daycare in the home and her
brother, Armando is a priest in Juarez, Mexico.
Lujan turns fashion hobby by into business
Keeping up with the latest fashion trends and fashions is
not always easy, but one local shop owner has managed to
make her favorite hobby into a full-time job.
Nancy Lujan, owner of Hollywood Boulevard, located 311 S.
Eddy St., said that keeping up with the ever-changing
fashion trends can be a challenge, but when it's something
you've done all your life can be easy.
Lujan, along with her mother and co-owner Maria Elena Lujan
opened the shop in April of 1990.
"Our first priority is quality style and fashion and of
course, best prices," said Lujan.
"I also do some of the designing," said Lujan, who has a
degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and
Merchandising in Los Angeles.
"We create packages for every occasion and work with the
customer's individuality to satisfy their budgets and
needs," said Lujan.
She said that their number one goal is to have the best
price for the best quality and latest fashions.
Lujan grew up in Pecos, coming here from California and
later returned there to attend school in fashion design in
"I get a lot of my ideas from traveling, I travel a lot and
I am always looking at different cultures and styles," said
Lately, Lujan has been in Mexico, Acapulco and Cancun,
where she says a lot of new ideas have come to her.
"Most of the fashion influence comes from Los Angeles,
however," said Lujan.
The boutique is open from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m., Monday
through Saturday and with special appointments will open on
The fashion boutique also offers packages for weddings and
quinceaneras and apparel for the young, including baptismal
and first Holy Communion outfits. They also carry tuxedo
rentals and shoes.
Her real start came years back when she started designing
clothing for groups and bands.
"I started by helping young bands with the coordination of
their clothing and some of these groups have made it big in
the entertainment business," she said.
Yearly, Lujan hosts a talent fashion show, titled Mr. and
Miss Mannequin, which she is currently taking applications
"This is something I truly enjoy doing and we are working
on this year's show already," said Lujan.
The idea for a fashion show came to her after seeing an
original desire for local talent to become involved in
"The show has been designed to see who is really serious
and who has the talent to get to their maximum potential in
the show business," Lujan said.
She has worked at Hollywood Boulevard designing and selling
different lines of clothes. She said that she wants people
to have a choice when it comes to choosing different styles
"I want people to see that there is a fashion choice in
Pecos," Lujan said.
"People in Pecos dress more fashionable than other towns.
This is why I started doing little fashion shows. Men and
women want to learn how to model and dance for the shows,"
For the show Lujan recruits people from out of town to
serve as judges during the event.
The fashion show includes people participating in talent
such as dancing and modelling.
Lujan said applications for the show are open to people
from 13 to 30 years-of-age and are currently being accepted
at the shop.
When she's not busy organizing fashion shows, designing
clothes and helping customers pick out selections, Lujan
enjoys spending time with her two children Alex Montana, 5
and Nirvana Marie, age 2½ years.
"I also enjoy photography and water sports, when I have the
time," said Lujan.
Rasberry's duties increase at FNB
Some new duties have been added on to Annis Rasberry's job
at First National Bank to go along with the new title she
received earlier this year.
Rasberry is in her fourth year with First National Bank,
and was named to her current job as assistant cashier in
July, though she said the title is a little misleading.
I don't have anything to do with actually being a cashier.
I don't handle any money," she explained. "Basically, I
consider myself a loan secretary to Bruce (Duston), Jim
(Holt) and Paul (Hinojos). My duties are loan documentation
and construction of loans.
"I meet with people who are closing out loans and deal with
the closing out loan papers," she said. "The job has changed
a little bit, especially when Dot (Stafford) retired. ...
Dot retired in February and I was made and officer in July,
and some of my duties did change after she retired. A lot of
the stuff I do now Dot did."
Before coming to FNB, Rasberry worked for the Pool Co. for
about nine years.
"When I worked for them I had to drive back and fourth to
Fort Stockton for four years, because they shut down their
yard here," she said. "I left pool in part because of the
drive back and forth and because of the job offer I got here
"I loved working in the oilfield. The banking business was
totally new to me, but banking has become an interesting
job. Banking is more of a public relations job. You're
meeting people all the time here, while at the Pool Co. I
was in an office by myself."
Before going to work for Pool, Rasberry served a couple of
years as 143rd District Court Clerk for Reeves County, and
she said she's currently working a second job with J.M.
Fowlkes along with her work at the bank.
"I also stay very active with the 4-H Saddle Club and with
(West of the Pecos) Rodeo Committee volunteer work," said
Rasberry, who has two children, Quint and Renea, competing
as members of their college rodeo teams at Western Texas and
Howard Junior College. "With both of them in college, I'd
probably work a third job, if I could," she said.
"As far as changed in the near future, our bank has
expanded with the purchase of the Kermit bank. It has become
a branch and other banks may become branches in the near
future, so there may be some changes here," she said.
Thomas finds new duties at Museum a full-time effort
She signs her checks Deborah Thomas, but everyone calls her
Debbie. Best known for her sewing skills in the drapery
business, Thomas is also elections coordinator for the city of
Pecos, Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD and the Reeves County
Since July, Thomas has been executive director for West of
the Pecos Museum, working with Curator Dorinda Millan,
maintenance man Frank Mendoza and four part-time employees.
Debbie's job description calls for her to be a part-timer,
as well, but she has not found that to be so. She is in the
museum most of the time it is open, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday through Saturday.
"I will quit doing my drapery business in January, because
this is so time consuming," Thomas said. "But I will still
be elections coordinator in the spring."
Special events at the museum have kept Thomas and the staff
hopping, with a wedding, birthday party, Hispanic Pioneer
Family and Pecos Air Field reunion.
"Events are continuous," she said. "Just about the time you
finish one, you are starting on the next one. It does take a
lot of time, but it is great."
Thomas interrupted the interview Tuesday to direct
volunteers as they cleaned windows and wiped fingerprints
from glass cases, prepared "thank you" notes for the mail
and directed visitors through exhibits.
Thank you notes were for donors and volunteers who helped
with a "Friends of the Museum" bake sale held last Saturday
as a fund raiser. The next fund raiser will be "Chili &
Fixin's" on election day, then a Christmas party in December.
"Then it will slack off a little until February," Thomas
said. "I know I will be more involved in fund raising when I
learn more about it. I have just been trying to learn what's
been going on."
Millan has been a great help, Thomas said. As curator,
Millan is in charge of all the artifacts, displays and
inventory. Thomas is in charge of bookkeeping and employees.
Although a drop in tourist visits prompted the staff to
close the museum on Sunday and Monday, Thomas said that
local residents who have guests are encouraged to call and
make arrangements for a tour.
"We don't want that to discourage people who have company
coming in from seeing the museum," she said.
Anyone who has not visited the museum since the restoration
in 1994 should see the changes, she said. One big change is
the gift shop move from the Mesquite House into the former
office attached to the lobby. Soft blue walls make a
pleasing background for items depicting the Old West,
Christmas cards, books and T-shirts.
Thomas used her decorating skills on the gift shop, just as
she did as a volunteer when she made shades and curtains for
the 60 or so windows.
"They were going to have to pay someone to do it. I had the
time and skill and want-to," Thomas said.
Volunteers spend many hours in the museum, taking visitors
on tours, "giving them tidbits of information," Thomas said.
"They visit with our tourists."
Visitors come from countries such as Germany, England,
Italy, France, Australia, Mexico and Canada, plus all 50
"We had an Englishman in the other day who was in love with
the cowboy life. They stayed in here for hours," she said.
A minimum visit is 45 minutes, but to really enjoy the
exhibits, a person should take about 1½ hours, Thomas said.
Seniors who are unable to climb the stairs enjoy the first
floor exhibits, but "we need an elevator," Thomas said.
Because of the building's historical designation, an
elevator would have to be attached to new construction on
the back of the old hotel.
In her leisure time, which she has little of, Thomas and
her husband enjoy digging into their family history.
"I am taking a genealogy course, but haven't had time to
work on it," she said. "I was hoping to go with my husband
to Odessa College on Mondays and work there in the library,
but it hasn't happened yet."
Cemetery hopping is their favorite activity while on
vacation. They have also done research in the archives of
the Latter Day Saints and other locations.
"Most of the times when we were at really good archives, we
were so green we didn't know what we were doing," she said.
She would like to get a genealogy club started in Pecos.
Sewing is still her grand passion, though, one she has held
since third grade when her aunt taught her to sew.
"I always do Golden Girl period dresses," she said. "I did
two of the winners (Lindley Workman and Gail Taylor), and
they are pictured in the museum."
Her grandson, 10-year-old Jason, helps at the museum on
Saturday. Besides wielding a paint sponge on the gift-shop
walls, he figures out taxes on sales and "shows kids his
favorite things" among the exhibits.
"I love it," Thomas said of her job. "I have always loved
the museum. This just gets me closer into it. I can see me
in here as long as they will let me."
Palomino enjoys work in DQ country
Greeting customers with a smile for 18 years makes Dairy
Queen manager, Elsa Palomino's day.
"I love it all year round," said Palomino, who still is at
the store, "all different hours," and has worked for the
same employer, Mr. and Mrs. Larry Anderson of Odessa, for
all 18 years.
The long-time DQ employee said she started out in the
"fountain" and has been manager for eight years.
"I enjoy the people, the employees, the regulars...coffee
drinkers," said Palomino. "It's just like one big, happy
Of those working at the South Eddy Street store, one DQ
employee, her assistant manager, said Palomino, claims one
year seniority over her.
Palomino, who is both a wife and mother of three children,
has recognized over the years the restaurant's busiest days
are, "Wednesday, Sunday and Fridays."
She noted this summer things were interesting with
travelers, "from different places," stopping in for a meal,
"Since the other Dairy Queen (along Interstate 20) closed."
"I like working around people," Palomino said.
When asked if she's every thought of doing anything else,
Palomino answered, "it would have to be something with
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