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Tuesday, November 6, 2001

Smokey Briggs


By Smokey Briggs

I was American, when

American wasn't cool

I think I'm ready to start my new career as a country and western songwriter. I have got the hook-line ready — "I was American, when American wasn't cool," — set to the tune of Tanya Tucker's hit, "I was country, when country wasn't cool." (I think it was Tucker, anyway).

Tucker's song, produced around the time of the Urban Cowboy craze, made the point that country attitudes, music, attire, etc. had not always been the stuff of popular culture.

My new song makes a similar point regarding popular culture these days.

Since September 11 the American Flag has been fairly popular. So is our military.

So are many attitudes and beliefs that had been written off as outmoded, obsolete, old-fashioned, or just plain ignorant.

For the moment, enlisting in the armed forces is not a sign of unenlightened patriotism, or the last chance for those unable to find a real job.

For now, flying the flag does not mean you are over 65 or a rabid nationalist intent on electing statesmen who will oversee the bayoneting of starving babies in the Third-World.

For now, praying to a Christian God in public is not a sign that you are a simpleton too thickheaded to comprehend the wonders of scientific explanation.

For now, it's okay to be proud to be an American.

For now, it's okay to proclaim our free society to be better than all the rest that exist today or that have existed before.

For now, it is politically acceptable to extol the virtues of the founding fathers, despite the fact that they were Caucasian males with the silly belief that civilians armed with Christian values and rifles might actually deter both invasion and tyranny.

For now it is not political suicide to suggest that a man or woman should protect themselves against muggers, rapists, or even terrorists.

For now, it is almost okay to point out that if Americans had not been stripped of their right of self-defense at the boarding gate, the September 11 hijackings would never have been attempted, and 5,000 Americans would still be alive.

For now, it is all right to demand manhood of men and womanhood of women, and proclaim the virtues of each.

Many folks have been singing this tune for years in the face of a popular, media-driven culture that detests all things that do not kow-tow to the liberal-left's gender neutral, country neutral, value-neutral, I'm-okay-as-long-as-you-are-a-wimp, world view.

Those folks were American, when American wasn't cool.

I like that line. I hope it catches on. I hope it signals a new bravery amongst mainstream America to stick by what it knows to be right in its gut and a willingness to spit in the face of the sophomoric teachings of the left.

I'll let ya'll know when Nashville calls.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the editor and publisher of the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on Tuesdays. He can be e-mailed at:

Your View

Teacher thanks people for reading to students

Dear Editor:
Austin Elementary would like to thank all the  people from around the community who took time out of  their busy schedules to read to our students during our  reading carnival. You have helped to motivate our boys and  girls to become lifetime readers by setting an example.

It was a success because of you.

Keeping the city zoo clean is a tough job

Dear Editor:
This is in response to the letter written to you  in reference to the city zoo.

I am happy to say that I was born, raised and I still live here in Pecos, for twice as many years as that young lady has. I would like for her to know that the zoo has never looked cleaner than it does today. Yes, keeping up with the zoo is not an easy job, especially when you have one person to do all the duties of so many animals we now have, but the job does get done to a 100% plus. I should know, because my husband is the one that does those duties.

Yes, the water is changed every day and the animals are fed an individual food diet every day. It is just a shame that some people think otherwise. This is done first thing in the morning, I am sorry to say that this is not a circus and that these animals haven't been taught to keep up with their cages and to make sure they don't leave the water messy when they take a sip from it, so it can be of such a spectacular sight as to when everyone decides to visit the zoo at any time of day.

As far as the animals appearing sad, my husband wasn't sent to an entertainment school when he started working for the city, he was only told that he'd have to feed, water, and keep the cages clean, like they currently are.

The zoo is inspected annually by the U.S. Dept.  of Agriculture and needless to say has passed with  flying colors on every inspection.

Citizen grateful for stranger's good deed

Dear Editor:
From time to time, strangers ask we who live in  Pecos, Why? Here's one reason.

I was visiting my husband's grave at Mt. Evergreen and wondering how I was going to get his headstone straightened. It was somehow laid crooked.

A young man that is employed by Reeves County and drives a water truck asked me if I had a problem. When I told him he answered, "I will come on Sunday, my day off, and straighten it for you." I told him, "I would be forever grateful."

He not only straightened my husband's tumbstone, but I noticed several others that had also been straightened. What a good deed. I don't even know his name.

This is why it's the people in Pecos that make a difference. Thank you, young man from the bottom of my forever grateful heart.


Critic's Corner

God loves everyone

Del Sylver Bates found it hard to believe that God could love her until she read in His word that he loves everyone in spite of their sin.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God," she read in Romans 3:23. Then she found in John 3:16 that "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son" to save everyone who believes.

"Tantalized by this unbelievable news, my life began to grow in leaps and bounds," she said. Wanting to share her new-found joy with others, she began writing poems that express her relationship with God. The result is a slim, hard-back volume of poetry titled "Journey with the Lord." Look for it in your bookstore or at

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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