Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
Tuesday, October 19, 1999
By Smokey Briggs
Slim on respect:
mind your manners
I had a chance to chew the fat with Slim this weekend.
Now Slim is not exactly a spring chicken and he has seen some of the
world. To look at him leaning against the fence at the livestock auction
you'd figure he was just another cowboy looking to buy or sell a horse.
Like a lot of guys with weathered faces at horse auctions, the cover
of the book doesn't quite do Slim justice. Slim is sharp about a lot of
things other than horses and is possessed of a sense of logic and common
sense so sharp that it can cut.
Slim and I don't always agree with each other, but we enjoy each other's
company and thoughts.
The growing vulgarity of our popular culture came up somewhere in-between
cures for cold-backed horses and the smell of billy goats.
Like a kid coming home from school, I walked away with some new insights
on the subject.
Slim broke it down pretty quick with his usual ability to look past
the trees and see a forest.
"It comes down to respect," he said. "When you mind your manners around
someone, it is a sign of respect. And the opposite is true — when you curse
around someone, it is often a sign of disrespect."
"Not always," I said. "Soldiers cuss in a barracks and it isn't disrespectful."
"No, but when their sergeant or commanding officer walks in they don't,"
Slim said. "Cussing with your peers may not be disrespectful, but it isn't
exactly respectful either. Refraining from it can be a sign of respect
— of holding someone to be special _ of deserving better than average treatment."
"Like around here," he said, with a toss of his head, "a certain amount
of vulgarity is accepted, almost expected. But when certain people are
around, you'll hear the tone change. It's a sign of respect."
"The problem isn't bad language. That's just a symptom. The problem
is lack of respect," Slim said.
"What do you think happened to respect?" I asked.
"There probably isn't any one simple answer," Slim said. "But it starts
at home. Parents used to teach it — used to demand it."
Slim smiled and shook his head.
"I probably wouldn't be standing here today if I had talked to my mom
the way some kids do today. Dad would have jerked a knot in me that St.
Pete couldn't un-tie."
"But these days... Kids will always test their boundaries. It's human
nature. One day every kid is going to walk in and say something disrespectful
to his mom or dad, just like a horse is going to pitch every now and then.
You can't let them get away with it. If you do, they learn that such behavior
is okay and you end up with a useless horse or a disrespectful kid. Either
one is a shame."
"Kids used to have a lot more chances to learn respect too," he said.
"The draft was good for that. So were judges that gave bad kids a choice
of jail or enlisting. Two years in the army can teach a lot of respect.
"There was shame in a dishonorable discharge back then though. And sergeants
were very talented at teaching the finer points of respect," he said with
"Sergeants aren't allowed that much leeway these days, Slim," I said.
"That's called brutality."
"Too bad. It seemed to work."
"Hard times are good for teaching respect too," Slim continued. "At
least in the work place. Once upon a time, if you lost your job you went
hungry. You couldn't afford to be disrespectful to your employer or the
customer. There were too many people out there who needed your job. These
days, there are plenty of jobs. And even if you don't have one, you're
not going to starve. Hunger is a pretty good motivator."
"That's a pretty harsh system Slim. We've worked for a long time to
rid society of that kind of hardship and brutality. "
"Maybe. And I sure don't have all the answers. But people sure seemed
to be a lot more respectful of each other before we fixed everything."
EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the Editor and Publisher
of the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on Tuesdays. He can be e-mailed
Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty needed rejecting
It is easy to vote for something that sounds nice. A ban on nuclear testing
Nuclear weapons are ugly things capable of horrific destruction. It
might be nice if such things didn't exist.
Luckily for America, the U. S. Senate didn't take the easy road last
week and voted to reject the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty that
President Clinton signed in 1996.
The treaty (in theory) would prevent the United States and other signing
nations from testing nuclear weapons.
The treaty has been hyped by supporters as a general cure-all for the
ills of nuclear proliferation.
According to supporters it is a big step toward worldwide nuclear disarmament,
and would prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
The question that has not been answered satisfactorily by supporters
is how these nice objectives would be accomplished by this treaty.
This is where the treaty fails miserably.
There is simply no way to enforce the treaty even among the nations
that sign it, much less the hundreds of nations that are not parties to
It is the equivalent of agreeing to throw down your club in a street
brawl. While some fool may actually drop his weapon, his aggressors will
not. The outcome is not hard to forecast.
There is no doubt that America would abide by the terms of the treaty.
Just as certainly there will be nations that do not.
The end result is to hamstring the United States' defensive posture
with no net gain in return.
It is a poor trade and foolish foreign policy.
Just for the record: most of the support for this treaty is based on
the concept that nuclear weapons are terrible things that the world would
be better off without.
However, since the dawning of the nuclear age, we have not seen the
type of unlimited warfare that devoured men, material and whole nations
during the first half of this century. One reason is that with nuclear
weapons, such warfare is less feasible. Total destruction begets no winners.
And for the hundreds of thousands of men who were preparing to invade
Japan at the end of World War II, the atomic bomb was a Godsend that saved
countless American lives.
Gang activity affecting everyone in Pecos
What is happening to our town of Pecos? We really can't believe what this
so-called "Brown Pride Gang" is doing to this town. It has come to the
point that we can't even enjoy ourselves at the Fiestas or any other activities
in Pecos. As parents, we need to get our town back. Personally, we think
that it is really pathetic that our children and us, as adults are not
safe around these little kids anywhere, not even in the schools. We know
for a fact that there are many families moving from Pecos because of BPG.
Some families related to us, because of the encounters with BPG.
To the gang members of BPG, someday you will be adults, have jobs, have
a family of your own, or be in prison. Your actions of what you do now
will follow you wherever you might go in life. What will your children
think knowing that their father or mother was terrorizing the town, knowing
how much pain and anguish you all have caused the families you have victimized?
Remember that someday you will have children of your own, and maybe it
might be your child getting beaten up and then maybe you'll feel our pain,
as when you all go out and hurt our children now. Always remember, what
goes around, comes around!
To the judges and prosecutors that let these delinquents go free or
put them only on probation, we hope you realize that that's only a slap
on the hand. Soon they are on the streets again doing the same thing as
they were doing before. If possible, send them to boot camp for 3-6 months,
and if one of them comes back a changed person, then it was worth it.
To Pecos in general, let's make our town safe for our children again?
Sometimes police officers can't do it all alone; we the community and police
officers should get together as a team. We know we can get our town back,
We're that confident. So, let's have P.I.P. "Pride In Pecos."
We need a solution to all these problems. We suggest that the parents
of these gang members be held more liable for their children's actions.
Maybe come down harder on the parents.
As we close this letter, we want all the parents in Pecos to know that
there will be a meeting on how to deal with these problem children please
start by attending this meeting. They will be announcing when and where
this meeting will be held soon. Thank you for your time.
& HEATHER GARCIA
Ice chest brigade may
have to be formed
After listening to all the controversy surrounding our local grocery stores
I have decided that what we need now is an ice chest brigade.
Since I retired we have been going to Odessa and Midland on the average
of 2 to 3 times a week and we have noticed that almost every time we run
into someone from Pecos doing their grocery shopping in Odessa and Midland.
Most everyone going to see the doctors carry an ice chest with them. We
have one in all our vehicles. And most everyone we run into is always comparing
prices. Or calling on someone who is not going to see if they need anything.
We have found out in the last couple of years that we are saving between
22 to 28% every time we shop out of town.
And that about pays for gasoline and a meal for two. And we get better
quality and more variety.
You know the way things are going we might need to form brigades on
other products and services. Tires, furniture, carpet, appliances to name
DORA T. PINEDA
Fair concert needs good headliners for next year
I want to respond to your article on the Fall Fair from Friday's, Oct.
8, issue. Good article by the way!! I personally did not make the trip
down there, for many reasons. Tom Rivera needs to stop blaming the community
and start blaming himself and the committee for organizing such a "pathetic"
event. (Quoting his word). Most of the attendance that is produced comes
from out-of-towner's like myself, and I didn't attend nor did my family
and friends. One major reasons there was a low attendance was the concert.
Pete "The Heat" as the headliner?? Pete "The Heat" is not a TOP ENTERTAINER!
He will always be Selena's sidekick and no more. I laughed when I read
he was headlining. I only paid $5 bucks last time he was here and still
felt that I didn't get my money's worth.
Did ya'll forget about Emilio, Shelly Lares, David Lee Garza, Eddie
Gonzales, Little Joe, Jay Perez, Ram Herrera. I can go on and on. Those
are TOP ENTERTAINERS!!! I would go to Pecos to see them, and pay more than
In closing, this so called committee needs to re-define what the word
COMMITTEE means and start researching what the community wants. If the
committee wants to be successful, they need to know what it means to be
RAY G. FUENTEZ
Ill students received prompt attention
I wish to bring to light the terrible incident that occurred the Friday
before last. The band, while traveling to Fabens for a football game, stopped
off in Van Horn. One bus stopped at Dairy queen. Several students ate chicken
strips and hot dogs. Those students became gravely ill with food poisoning.
Many of the students needed to be transported to the hospital. Two ambulances
and sheriff's vehicles were used while many suffered it out at the stadium.
I would like to thank the school officials that were there at the game.
They were on the ball notifying the parents who were not at the game, myself
included. They also comforted the students who were sick and calmed the
parents at home. My daughter was very sick and she was never left alone.
Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Hernandez, Mr. Dutchover and Mrs. Alexander, need to
be congratulated for their commitment to the students.
Thank you so much,
Mother of Tabitha Montanez
Children learn by the examples of adults
I am appalled at the activity that has been going on in our town the past
several weeks. I do hope that these perpetrators are caught and brought
to justice. However, I am concerned about the other perpetrators who have
allowed these things to happen. We adults have put forth many damaging
examples in front of children.
To name a few: a parent stating that "the teacher/coach/principal doesn't
know what he/she is talking about." A fan yelling at the coach during a
game "Get that player off the field."
A grandfather badmouthing a 5-year-old first time soccer player. Able
bodied customers leaving their shopping baskets in the handicap parking
spaces with the idea of, "It's not my job to keep the parking lot clear."
Good citizens begin at home. Good sportsmanship begins at home. Respect
for authority, other peoples' property begins at home. We, parents need
to be home and involved with our children in a POSITIVE way. We, parents
need to take our responsibility seriously. By our examples, be they good
or bad, our children are watching us and they are learning. I challenge
all parents to consider: WHAT AM I TEACHING MY CHILD?
Other bands should be Considered for concert
I would like to comment on what Mr. Rivera had to say about the concert
and also give my opinion.
Yes, maybe we do complain about nothing to do around here, and when
something like this comes around we don't help (as he stated.) It's true,
but we want to pay a good price and get our money's worth. The price was
cheap, but we weren't going out there to listen to bands we didn't like.
Mr. Rivera should know by now what kind of music gathers people around,
that is mostly Norteno music.
He mentioned of a possibility of not having a concert next year, well
that's wrong, instead he should consider better bands, there's really good
bands out there.
No complaints were heard when the Rieleros and Super Odisea were here
some couple of years ago or so, cause that was great music. Mr. Rivera
could consider mixed groups, such as country western. To name a few good
bands, hope Mr. Rivera can take into consideration. Eddie Gonzales, Michael
Salgado, Super Odisea, Rieleros, Primavera, plus country western bands.
There's many out there, with high prices to pay, but they will get their
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York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Peggy McCracken, Webmaster
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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