Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, June 19, 2001
Clean-up planned in downtown area for 'Night' event
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Tuesday, June 19, 2001 -- Night in Old Pecos is right around the corner
and volunteers are gearing up to make the area cleaner and brighter
for the big event.
A Pre-Night in Old Pecos cleanup has been set for this Saturday, and more
volunteers are always welcome to help out, according to organizers of the
"We always need volunteers and welcome everyone that can to come out and
help," said Michael Benavides with the Keep Pecos Beautiful Committee.
The group will meet at 7:30 a.m., at the corner of Third and Cedar streets,
across the street from Uncle's Convenience Store.
"We'll meet at the old gas station there and clean up the area behind
it," said Benavides. "Then we'll start cleaning up and down Oak Street, along
Benavides said the group will pick up trash, debris and sweep up the area
to spruce it up in time for the big Night in Old Pecos scheduled for the
following Saturday, June 30.
Groups that are planning to help out include Keep Pecos Beautiful Committee,
Pecos Lion's Club members, members of Knights of Columbus, employees from
the Texas Workforce Commission, individuals doing community service from
Municipal Court, Wal-Mart employees, along with Duncan Disposals and it's
"I want to plan one big project and have that project done every year,"
said Benavides. "I'm going to talk to the members of my committee about this
Benavides said that he wants to talk to the committee about the big project
and that following it he wants to organize a big barbecue or hamburger cookout.
"I want to see if the committee agrees on the big project and having something
after that project, such as a hamburger or barbecue cookout to thank all
of our volunteers," he said.
The Keep Texas Beautiful will be having a convention from June 26-29.
After the convention the regional governors will travel to the individual
cities to pass out signs to be placed in the cities, designating them as
part of the Keep Texas Beautiful.
"This is the official confirmation that we are part of the Keep Texas
Beautiful Committee," said Benavides.
The signs will be placed at the entrances to Pecos and will be awarded
during a city council meeting, according to Benavides.
"It'll be a big deal, because it will make it official," said Benavides.
"We'll be certified as a Keep Pecos Beautiful Committee."
Those who will be handing out the signs in Pecos will be Keith Floyd of
El Paso and Sharla Hotchkiss of Midland. Both are part of the Keep Texas
Beautiful Committee, and are regional governors in their respective cities.
Pilots, ranchers given RTBI update
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Tuesday, June 19, 2001 -- Local ranchers and pilots were offered an
aviation safety promotion through education and training at the Pecos
Municipal Airport Monday evening, and were told U.S. Air Force flight
paths through the area have changed only slightly due to the implementation
of the Realistic Bomber Training Initiative bomber flights through
John Boatright, Principal Operations Instructor with the Federal Aviation
Administration, was one of the instructors at the seminar. Other instructors
at the seminar were Dwight Williams of the Civil Service Aerospace Management
and pilots from the Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Lt. Col. Clinton Taylor,
Chief of Safety and Lt. Col. Tim Stocking.
The focus of the meeting was to let the ranchers, pilots and residents
of Pecos know what the FAA is doing in the West Texas area, Williams said,
though he added "We are not doing anything different," than in recent years.
The RTBI project is designed to train B-1 and B-52 pilots and crews along
a flight path closer to their home bases at Dyess and Barksdale AFB in Shreveport,
La. Although two lawsuits seeking to block the project have been filed in
federal court, construction on an electronic scoring site is proceeding about
17 miles southwest of Pecos.
Boatright said that the area in which they are focusing on for RTBI is
not anything new or different, but rather it is the same route that they
have had for years. "We have been doing this same route for some years now,"
Boatright also said that this route offers the Air Force pilots a realistic
training in an area in which the least amount of people will be affected.
Stocking said that when the Air Force first started the training exercise
in 1976 they practiced with B-52's and since 1986 with B-1's.
However, the only difference in the route that exists today is that some
areas on the route were extended and a new route was added which will run
across Reeves, Ward and Loving counties north of Pecos.
The current bomber routes loop through southern Reeves County, coming
from northeastern Pecos County and from northeastern Culberson County and
through the Big Bend area and Lea County in southeastern New Mexico. The
new route will have planes flying over the Pyote area of central Ward County,
near Mentone in Loving County and near Orla in northern Reeves County.
"We have added some space in certain areas," Stocking said. "In most areas
we cannot fly lower than 500-feet above ground."
According to Williams the total amount of area that was added to the old
route has been about three thousand feet, but also varies in some sections.
Approximately 15 percent of the route is new and 85 percent is the original.
City, county unemployment falls again
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Tuesday, June 19, 2001 -- Unemployment in Reeves County declined again
in May, according to figures released by the Texas Workforce Commission,
as the jobless numbers for both the county and the Town of Pecos
City continued to move closer to the statewide and national averages.
Reeves County's jobless rate fell to 5.6 percent in May, down one-tenth
of a percent from April's numbers and the lowest figure for the county since
the 1980s. The TWC said the county had a workforce of 7,497 people last month
with 417 unemployed, compared with April's numbers, when 427 people were
without jobs out of a labor force of 7,533 people.
The county's unemployment rate has dropped by over eight percent in the
past two years, due mainly to the rebound of the oil and gas industry in
the area. Higher natural gas prices have made Reeves County one of the busiest
counties for exploration in the Permian Basin, with 10 drilling rigs in operation
as of last week.
The 5.6 percent jobless rate is still above the statewide and national
averages, but is now far closer to figures for the rest of Texas and the
United States. The TWC said April's jobless rate for Texas was 4.2 percent,
while nationally unemployment last month was at 4.1 percent.
Unemployment numbers for the Town of Pecos City remain slightly higher
than those of Reeves County, but also continued the downward trend. The TWC
said Pecos' jobless rate last month was 6.4 percent, down from 6.5 percent
in April. There were 5,836 people in the city's workforce, with 373 people
Overall last month, unemployment in the Permian Basin was 4.1 percent,
up from 4.0 percent in April. Both Midland and Odessa reported increases
of one-tenth of a percent in their jobless figures, while the biggest increases
in jobless rates came from Pecos County and Ward County, which were up 0.6
and 0.8 percent respectively in May.
At 6.1 percent, Ward County's jobless rate is above Reeves County's total
for one of the rare times in recent years, while Pecos County's jobless rate
last month was 4.8 percent. Pecos County added jobs overall, but saw it
offset by an increase in the overall labor force, while Ward County's jump
was due to a slight rise in its workforce combined with a slight drop in
the total number of jobs in the county.
Senior cyclist traveling to raise cancer funds
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Tuesday, June 19, 2001 -- The love for others has brought many adventures
to a Florida woman over the years while journeying across the Western
Hemisphere on a motorcycle.
Catharine Rambeau has spent most of her adult life on motorcycles, and
continues to ride not only for her but also for children with cancer.
Before she began lengthy cycle trips, the 66-year-old Rambeau worked as
a writer and editor in a number of places, including the national music magazine
"I did it for years and years and years and I'm good at it," she said.
While working, Rambeau managed to save some money that helped her get
started in her future career on motorcycles.
"I finally had enough money not to do this (working) anymore," she said.
Rambeau said she still writes and edits and is currently working on an
author's mystery novel.
She said she would never write about anything or for anyone she doesn't
care about again.
"It feels like I just got out of jail," she said.
Since Rambeau began riding in her mid-30s, she said she has owned four
motorcycles including her newest one, which has yet to get a name.
"I'm not sure but I think her name is Nikita," she said.
One of her cycles is now housed in the American Motorcycle Museum because
it was the bike she used to journey through Mexico, Central America and South
Rambeau decided in 1988 to travel through South America by herself on
her trusty bike, "Mojo," not knowing that she would become the first American
woman to do so.
Rambeau said although she was scared about the South America trip at first,
she soon relaxed and said, "It was really fun."
While on the trip she found her favorite spot on Earth, the Valley of
the Moon in the southern part of the continent.
Rambeau said that this valley is in the desert where the land is shaped
by wind, which she compares to a Dali painting.
She said she got to the valley just as the sun was setting, and was able
to observe the phenomenon of the sun setting as the moon is rising.
Once night falls the moon shines bright and she explained with great excitement
that the sand sparkles so beautifully.
Rambeau said she loves that place so much that she wants at least some
of her ashes to be placed in a box and set out in the valley where the wind
will cover it up.
"I want my son to place some of my ashes there when I croak," she said.
Rambeau was born in Philadelphia and was greatly influenced by both her
parents. She said she remembers a very important lesson that her mother taught
her when she was 12 that is now a part of her today, though at the time she
did not realize its importance.
Rambeau said that it all started one day when her mother wanted to take
her and her brothers, George and James, to the dentist.
Rambeau said that her mother liked this particular dentist so much that
she took her children 40 miles on a road that was covered with a sheet of
She said that her mother was so determined to get to the dentist that
she crept along on the ice in attempt of reaching their destination.
At one point, Rambeau said that the car started spinning and all her mother
did was calmly turned off the engine and wait for the car to stop.
Once it stopped, Rambeau said that her mother asked if everyone was okay
and patiently maneuvered the car back on the right track and continued onto
the dentist's office.
Rambeau said that her mother's actions that day stayed with her forever
and taught her a lesson that she uses to this day.
"Don't panic, take a deep breath, make sure everyone's okay and go on,"
Rambeau said that is how she gets through everyday life.
Rambeau is currently traveling along the borders of Texas alone in hope
of gaining support for Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, and made a stop
here in Pecos last Friday.
Rambeau started her current trip on May 13 in Conroe, and since then has
traveled approximately 2,500 miles.
She said she averages approximately 100 miles per day and takes the ride
nice and easy.
"That's the purpose - seeing things," she said, though this is not the
first time the mother of one and grandmother of three has made this trip
She made a similar trip a year ago but this year has added on a few additional
stops, mainly in the Texas Panhandle, that she had to miss due to weather.
Rambeau said that she chose to ride in Texas not only because the children's
hospital is located in Houston but also because Texans are "real polite"
and the state has good roads.
"I picked Texas because in 1999 I knew when the millennium came along
I wanted to do something spectacular," she said.
Rambeau said she likes to travel around Texas along the borders because
all the big cities are in the middle, and the most amazing people live on
"The borders of Texas are where the heart is," she said.
During last year's trip, Rambeau said she remembers where she was the
day Vice-President Al Gore became President followed by George W. Bush.
She said that she was in Lubbock and ate at one restaurant where a lot
of regulars congregated, and most of the waitresses favored for Gore.
She said that she would talk to the waitresses and all of them knew she
was from Florida.
"When I walked in the morning Gore wasn't President anymore, all the waitresses
turned and said, `It's her fault,'" she said laughing.
Rambeau has accumulated many more stories with her adventures and has
met many people, who have inspired her. She remembers them fondly by name,
and visits them whenever she passes through.
"You meet these really terrific people," she said with tears in her eyes.
The people she gets most emotional talking about are the children she
helps when she raises the money.
She said that she has been able to meet two of the children that she and
the hospital call warriors.
"If there were only those two kids, it would be worth it," she said.
"They're little warriors, by God."
While on her journeys, Rambeau said she puts together a "warrior report"
for the little warriors at the hospital telling them what she has done and
Rambeau said that she chose to raise money for children with cancer because
everyone knows someone with, or who has died from the disease.
Rambeau said that the children at the hospital range in ages and sizes.
"All ages, all sizes, all backgrounds…It's a mean disease," she
Rambeau never takes money from anyone; all she does is hand a card with
the address of Texas Children's Hospital in Houston to anyone willing to
donate money to the children.
Anyone who would like to donate money to help children with cancer please
send it to the attention of the Motorcycle Ride; Texas Children's Hospital;
Development Office, MC 4-4483; P.O. Box 300630; Houston, Texas 77230-0630.
As for Rambeau, she'll continue to ride, always with a helmet and with
love, to inform people of the "little warriors" in Houston that need so many
people's love and kindness.
Heart attack suspected in death of Big Spring trucker on I-20
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Tuesday, June 19, 2001 -- A Big Spring man died on Interstate 20 Monday
afternoon in western Reeves County before Pecos Ambulance personnel
could arrive on the scene.
Justice of the Peace J.T. Marsh pronounced Hoyt Wayne Johnson, 65, of
Big Spring dead Monday afternoon at mile marker 10 on Interstate 20, about
12 miles west of Toyah
Pecos Police Department received the call at 2:15 p.m. and Reeves County
Sheriff's Deputies, Pecos Police Officers and an ambulance were dispatched
to the scene.
According to Reeves County Sheriff's Deputy Damon Compton, Johnson was
in a green Peterbilt tractor-trailer truck with two other drivers, Henry
Farquhar and Robert Forman.
Johnson was employed with Lonestar Transportation.
Compton said that the trio pulled over because Johnson was believed to
be having a heart attack.
After arriving on scene Compton said that when the ambulance personnel
arrived they couldn't find any "signs of life" on Johnson.
Compton did not find any signs of visible injury or foul play.
"Both drivers stated that Johnson had complained of chest pains while
in El Paso but refused to go see a doctor," Compton said in his report.
Marsh ordered an autopsy to determine the cause of death and the body
was transported to Pecos Funeral Home.
Farquhar drove the truck to Toyah where it will stay until it can be picked
Sheriff Andy Gomez said that there is no evidence that indicates any foul
play and that the investigation is pending due to the autopsy.
"Investigation will continue until the autopsy report comes in but for
now it's being considered a natural death," Gomez said.
Jackrabbit derby races held in '37
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is one in a continuing series of features
on historical locations and events in the Trans-Pecos region
By The Ghost Writer
PECOS, Tuesday, June 19, 2001 -- In the good ole days, before we became obsessed
with TV, people read and enjoyed playing jokes on their friends.
They enjoyed having games that they knew would be fun and they would
enjoy reading the comments in The Pecos Enterprise and, of course
the paper had a few comments to make also.
One such game was reported for several weeks starting May 28, 1937. A
front-page headline, "Good Will Trips To Boost Rodeo, Jackrabbit Derby."
They then stated that Pecos could be recognized as the home of the first
rodeo and also the originator of the "Jackrabbit Derby."
Anyone could enter a rabbit for a small fee that would go for prizes,
and tickets would be sold to cover more prizes. Barney Hubbs, owner and publisher
of the Enterprise, was named straw boss as they figured that he had
more time than anyone else. (That trait lingers in the Hubbs family to this
day.) Buck Jackson was to erect the tract in front of the rodeo grandstand.
Hubbs promised to be fair even though the Enterprise had an entry
named Man O'War. It later turned out that Man O'War was a female and they
changed the name to Sob Sister. Sob Sister crossed the finish line three
days after the race began.
Jack Simmons, the Enterprise chief of the jackrabbit-catching division,
caught several rabbits but had to release them as they were only two or three
feet tall. I couldn't say that in California, as the environmentalist would
shut down all activity in the area to preserve an endangered species. N.
F. Chapman, owner of Murder Inc., a manufacturer of ant poison, wrote a letter
to the editor complaining about the abuse he was receiving by the articles
in the paper. He stated that his rabbit was nursing five kittens and the
ballpark lights in the neighborhood bothered her. The rabbit took advantage
of the lights, as she would graze on the neighbor's brushes and flowers.
Keith Camp, owner of a grocery store, planned to catch rabbits and sell
them to less mobile people. The paper said that was a bad idea as most of
us got enough rabbit catching experience during the depression and running
down the long eared pest is still a cinch.
The fun game caught on and area newspapers got in the act and other towns
planed to enter a rabbit. It was a simpler way of life in 1937 and no one
said that there was nothing to do. They made something to do.
My "Mature" advisors have another problem. One of them heard of a book
that said monogamy was bad for your health and, if so, they thought, a little
playing around would lead to a long, healthy life. Each of these men has
enjoyed a long life and each is in good health. There was a time of silence
as they looked at one another with an accusing, suspecting or envious look.
I was unable to interpret their looks and the subject was changed.
Rec department signing-up kids for golf program
PECOS, Tuesday, June 19, 2001 -- Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation
Department is now enrolling children for its summer golf lessons class, which
will meet two days a week for six weeks.
Parents of children between the ages of five through 12 who are interested
may pick up enrollment forms at the recreation office during regular hours.
Entry deadline is July 13 and individuals need to bring the student's
birth certificate and both parents' signatures.
Cost is $10 per child and they will need to provide their own clubs.
For more information call 447-9776.
PECOS, Tuesday, June 19, 2001 -- High Monday 103. Low this morning 67.
Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear. Low in the upper 60s.
Southeast wind 5 to 15 mph. Wednesday: Mostly sunny. High in
the upper 90s. Southeast wind 10 to 20 mph. Wednesday night:
Partly cloudy. Low in the mid to upper 60s. Thursday and Friday:
Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms.
Lows in the mid 60s. Highs in the upper 80s to the mid 90s.
Ysidro Zermeno, Jr.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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 2000 by Pecos Enterprise