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Peggy McCracken

Squarely Pegged

By Peggy McCracken

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Pecos could use a few

people like Mr. Dunagan

Even hot biscuits cooked in a Dutch oven over an open fire and a barbecue lunch couldn't tempt me away from my own fireside Saturday to attend the Permian Historical Society meeting in Monahans.

I wanted to go, I really did. The society's president, Ross McSwain, was state editor of the San Angelo Standard-Times when I was their Pecos/Monahans/area correspondent. He sent me all over the place to gather up news, and encouraged me to submit something every day. My bookshelf boasts two of his hardback collections of "Out Yonder" columns he wrote for the Standard-Times. I've always admired Ross for his interest in people and history, and would have enjoyed visiting with him over barbecue and biscuits

It is interesting to note that the society honored an outstanding citizen of Monahans, one I have known only through the printed word. Kathlyn Dunagan and her late husband, Conrad Dunagan, helped establish the Monahans Sandhills State Park, which my children and grandchildren (and I) have enjoyed through the years.

I like a quote attributed to Mr. Dunagan that explains their considerable community involvement: "Those people who lived and prospered here ought to strive to make the community where they prospered a better place in which to live," he said.

Pecos could use a few people like that. These past 10-20 years, people who once prospered here have taken flight, leaving "the faithful few" to keep the home fires burning. Some went to live near their children when their health failed. One of those was a faithful West Park member, Ruth Clark, whose obituary appeared in Monday's Enterprise. That is easy to understand. But others just took off for greener pastures.

Do you gaze over that fence and yearn to fly away too? I have looked, but frankly, I don't see any place I'd rather be, except Heaven.

Pecos doesn't seem to have much of a future, but after 50 years, I consider it home. Maybe I can make some contribution before I fly away to my eternal home. Maybe I've already mentioned this, but I had a handicap shower and wheelchair ramp installed in my house. I don't expect to ever need a wheelchair, but the ramp has already been put to good use by a luncheon guest. It is good to know it will be there if I ever do need it.

And right next to the ramp is a porch swing just waiting for you to come and visit me. We will talk about old times and gaze into the future together.

"Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come?" Eccl. 8:7, NIV

EDITOR'S NOTE: Peggy McCracken is the business manager of the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on the third Tuesday of every month. She can be e-mailed at:

Your View

Questions asked for County Judge, Commissioners

Dear Editor:
I vowed not to continue being a regular, unpaid feature. However, a brave soldier has fallen. The Editor has been severely injured by a WMD (Weapon of Marxist Design - or - Weapon of Media Distraction.) Because he is white and he questioned the policies of local office-holders who are, largely, of a different ethnic group, he has been attached with a "Racist Rocket."

The effect of this missile on white males is immediate incontinence of bowel and dazed and confused reasoning. The victim is immediately distracted from the issues at hand and writes feeble attempts to persuade the folks who sent the rocket that he's not a racist. In his confused state, he doesn't realize the futility of his attempt. Fortunately, I was only grazed in the attack.

I write today on behalf of a number of taxpayers. There's the nice guy who washes my windows on my truck (The Yom Kippur Klipper) whilst I fill the gas tank. There's the sullen clerk at the grocery store that never thanks folks for their patronage. There's even the copy editor at the Pecos Enterprise who changes syntax, adds misspellings, and truncates sentences (or eliminates them altogether) to turn my mostly coherent letters into gibberish. These are the $7-8/hour workers who pay for errors of judgment by local officials. There's also, the county employees who face losing their jobs due to poor fiscal management. They need to know why they must sacrifice.

Why do our County Commissioners only read contracts AFTER they sign them? Why did Reeves County add on to an unfilled prison without a written contract from the BOP to send more inmates? Why, if we lose money (or make little money) on each inmate, is the county seeking to add more inmates? Why is the county continuing to hemorrhage money on a lobbyist who promises nothing, but has a contract that can only be exited by signing in yak blood on a moonless night on a Himalayan peak? Why did the county raise taxes without making commensurate spending cuts? How were the fiscal budget figures calculated? How is moving our sheriff to a new vacant multi-million dollar prison facility from a facility needing upgrading "saving money?" Why, according to Mr. Galindo, is the county "entitled to make a profit" when Reeves County families and small businesses have no such entitlement to make a profit? How can families and small businesses profit from their labors when they are taxed to extinction? Why do local officials tout the added "tax value" of new businesses rather than the benefits of the jobs they will provide? Why does the Court of Commissioners bluster and rant when a vendor demands COD payment of charges? Asking why makes one a racist? No, it makes one a citizen.

A 2.63 cent county tax increase is a big deal to low income earners. On a very modest home with a taxable valuation of $20,000 these folks will pay an extra $5.25 per year in county taxes. That's about two home-cooked meals. Which family member will the Court of Commissioners ask to fast for a day? For a $7/hour worker, this amount represents about 45 minutes, a mom or dad could tell a bedtime story, help with homework, or just be with their kids. Some may say it's not much money. Let those who contend that position send extra money to local government. There's no rule of law that one cannot pay (contribute) more than their tax amount.

Get the word out. Tell every modest earner they must now labor an extra 45 minutes per year for the county. Tell them they must skip two meals a year. Tell them they can't spare five bucks for their house of worship. Tell them they just lost 3 gallons of gasoline. Tell them to vote.


Many Americans realize the degree

of incompetence and hypocrisy

Dear Editor:
Today, months after Bush's proclamation of "Victory" in the Iraqi War, many Americans are realizing the degree of incompetence and hypocrisy of this administration and the Republican Party.

Incompetence? All one needs to do is review recent history to get the point. We entered the war, according to Bush, because of the "imminent" threat of WMD. Where are they? We "dis" the U.N. and alienate ourselves from nations whose help we now desperately need, and will spend billions to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure and economy when our own is in shambles. We neither had nor have a plan for post-war Iraq. This lack of planning and confusion will likely result in a "new Iraq" that is more militant, extreme and dangerous than Saddams, for our troops, our country and the world.

Hypocrisy? Remember the fervor over that immoral scoundrel Bill Clinton? Well, thankfully we are now blessed with a Republican Administration and its supporters who will show us the road to the moral high ground. Like Bill Bennet, the moral lighthouse and mouthpiece for the right and righteous. So, he has a slight gambling problem, that's not the same ______, is it? Like the new Republican governor of California, ,Mr. Shwarzenegger. I wonder just how many women he did sexually harass and grope? But, of course, that's not the same ____, is it? (Don't expect any blue dress evidence on this one folks. He probably rips them off before he begins.) And yes, last but not least, "the God" of conservatism, the Republican Party and right-wing ideaology, Rush Limbaugh. You think he is clouding his judgement? "All drug dealers and users should be locked up in jail," he said. Amen Rush! But it's just not the same _____, is it?


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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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