Daily Newspaper and Travel
for Pecos Country of West Texas
By Peggy McCracken
December 15, 1998
McMurtry far out
Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Larry McMurtry has donated his manuscripts
to Rice University's Fondren Library. That is, some of his manuscripts.
"Lonesome Dove" is not included in the list released by the university
on time and distance
"Lonesome Dove" is my all-time favorite book and movie. But I found
some other McMurtry works less than palatable.
First, I tried to watch "Streets of Laredo" on TV and found it dull
as dishwater, compared to "Lonesome Dove." Then I borrowed the book from
Reeves County Library, hoping it would be better. It was worse.
My sister, Gail, and I agreed that McMurtry's sense of time and distance
in West Texas was less than accurate, to put it kindly. I had noticed that
in "Lonesome Dove," because much of the action was around Quitaque and
Flomot, where I grew up. "Streets of Laredo" had some scenes around Quitaque
too, but most were closer to my adopted home in the desert and along the
Rio Grande. It was so far out I found myself wanting to give McMurtry some
geography lessons. He would have people traveling hundreds of miles in
a few hours - horseback or on foot. No way, Jose.
So I won't be going to Houston to read McMurtry's writings, which include
"Texasville," "Flim Flam: Essays on Hollywood," "Anything for Billy," "Some
Can Whistle," "Buffalo Girls," "The Evening Star," "The Late Child," "Dead
Man's Walk," "Comanche Moon," "Terms of Endearment" and an unpublished
work titled "The Dairy Queen."
McMurtry got some awards for his work before "Lonesome Dove," but I
don't think I will check out any of them. Now that I have gotten acquainted
with Willa Cather's work, I may stick with her for awhile.
It is so interesting to browse the shelves at Reeves County Library
on Saturday mornings. I have found some absorbing biographies, a few works
of fiction that kept me turning the pages, and some classics that I could
live without. Most of them hold my interest for awhile, but I have taken
more than one back long before I read to the end.
Except for Cather. I re-checked her and am just about finished with
the five or so works of fiction in this one volume. She writes about the
prairies of Nebraska, which I have never seen, but I can identify with
the country people and their ups and downs. And they all came from countries
that I have taken an interest in since visiting Europe and having friends
travel to Siberia.
Reading is so much more satisfying than watching television. With TV,
you have to take what you get, with commercials sandwiched in between.
Or little snippets of program sandwiched in between commercials. When I
read, I get into the story and lt nothing distract me for as long as I
It's really a pity that McMurtry's sequels and prequels to "Lonesome
Dove" do not live up to the promise of the Pulitzer winner. I could get
lost in my favorite era and location, living with the colorful characters
who settled this wild country. But I'll have to settle for such prosaic
tales as Patrick Dearen's "Cowboys of the Pecos," a collection of tales
by real cowboys, some of whom I met or read about. Their descriptions of
the Pecos River and the desert it cuts through are realistic and totally
"The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like
firmly embedded nails — given by one shepherd." Eccl. 12:11, NIV.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Peggy McCracken is the webmaster of the Pecos
Enterprise. She can be e-mailed at: email@example.com
Computer donation to schools wonderful gift
Newsweek magazine recently did a cover story on the increasing volume of
Christmas gifts being purchased on-line via the internet.
The story pointed out that more and more Americans are avoiding mall
mania by sitting at home and pecking away at their computers. Scores of
companies offer complete selections.
Without leaving home, the consumer can order and have delivered gifts
as simple as a toy or as complicated as an automobile.
We don't think we are ready for "www.christmas.com" to replace "Merry
Christmas," but the on-line shopping trend puts an exclamation point on
the fact that computers are becoming more and more important to our lives.
With that in mind, we heartily congratulate Texas-New Mexico Power Company
for its recent donation of eight desktop computers to the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
Getting kids computer-friendly is no longer a luxury. It is essential
to their education, every bit as necessary as pencil and notebook. Trouble
is, most homes can afford to provide their kids with pencil and notebook,
but many cannot provide computers. It stands to reason, then, that if kids
are to have an even chance to compete in life, our schools have to provide
ample computer education.
To Texas-New Mexico Power and others who have aided in this effort,
the community offers its thanks. We hope others will join in the program
to make all our students computer literate.
Education dilemma needs to be resolved
To The Editor,
Everyday, we read about our education dilemma. No one in charge, however,
defines the problem, except to blame a lack of money.
Let's get serious - money cannot improve education until public education
has a clear purpose. It doesn't. This absence of clarity causes many students
to suffer despair, drop out and turn to crime. Consequently, our greatest
education problem is crime - not grades.
Regarding dropouts: why does our education system have only one diploma
- one chance: the `high school diploma?' Many students cannot fulfill those
requirements. Instead of offering an alternative, such as a `customer service
diploma' or an `office skills diploma,' society kicks them out the door
and hopes they disappear.
They don't. Many return to fill our prisons - most prisoners are school
According to the "World Almanac and Book of Facts," ten states with
the highest graduation rates, averaging 85 percent, have a burglary-robbery
incidence of 688 per hundred thousand population. Ten states with the lowest
graduation rates, averaging 60 percent, have a burglary-robbery incidence
of 1530 per hundred thousand. Texas's graduation rate is shown as 59.7
Can education results be improved? Certainly - easily - if we focus
on the right target.
Will education be improved? Absolutely not! Not until education and
political leaders design an education system with a purpose for all students.
History suggests they will not - voluntarily. Why? Bureaucracies are
more inclined to defend their positions than to adjust to new ideas. Education
is one of those defensive bureaucracies.
63772 Diamondhead Dr., N.
Former coach apologizes to boxers
To The Editor:
My name is Jaime Marquez, former coach and trainer of the Pecos Rattle
Snake Boxing Club. I would like to apologize to my club members and their
parents for letting them down.
We had a very good season and I was and am still proud of all my kids.
They worked hard and showed lots of spirit. I hope you all don't think
any less of me, because of my current situation. Again, I would like to
apologize and say to them "always think positive, never give up." Try your
best in school and always try to be the best you can be.
I would like to express a special thanks to my assistant coach, Fernando
Nunez, for all his work and time he put into the club. And to all those
who donated to the club. Also I would like to thank Roy Juarez and Fred
Martin from the Pecos War Birds for their help. And againd I would like
to apologize if I did let anyone down.
Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
God Bless you all!
Former Pecosite seeks reunion information
I attended Pecos High School in 1966-1968 I would have graduated in 1970
but I married and moved away. I would like to get information on the H.S.
reunion for the 1970 class if I could. My name is Kathy (Lukins) Stringer.
Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
or I can be reached at 915/677-2888 (work #) from 8 am to 5pm - Mon - Fri.
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Ned Cantwell, Publisher
Peggy McCracken, Webmaster
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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