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July 30, 1997


By Rick Smith

Archives tell change
from turn of century

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You may have noticed that sometimes writers of weekly columns such as
this apparently run out of interesting things to write about and end up
writing on subjects that no one but themselves are interested in
reading. In an effort to avoid doing that myself I'm going to try
something different.

I enjoy reading the history of places where I live and work, especially
as it is recorded in the local newspaper. So, from time to time, I'm
going to dig into the Pecos Enterprise archives for interesting stories
from the past and expound on them here. That may not be interesting to
some readers but at least I won't be writing about things like tricks
that my dog does or something. This is the first such column.

One thing you notice when reading news articles from around the turn of
the century, often times the writer will make no pretense about being
objective, especially if the topic is one that is arousing people's
emotions at the time.

So it was in the articles I found written about prohibition in June of
1911. This particular article was written June 23, 1911 and appeared in
the Reeves County Recorder. Voters were due to go to the polls July 22
to determine if prohibition laws would be added to the Texas
Constitution, thereby banning alcoholic drink from the state.

The tone of the article was definitely in favor of prohibition and made
it clear that the Devil would take anyone that was of differing opinion.
The writer of this front page article said that it was a proven fact
that when all saloons are removed from a city that city would prosper.

"That's why every man in Texas, who thinks of the happiness of his home
and the future of his children, is going to cast his vote for Texas
Dry,'" the author wrote.

Not only did Texas go dry, but by 1920 the whole nation followed suit.
Whether the nation prospered as a result of prohibition is probably
debatable, but within a year it was clear that the "noble experiment"
was not going well. By 1933 prohibition was repealed.

Ironically, on June 13, 1911, the Pecos Daily Times reprinted a June 9
article from the Dallas Times reporting the death of Carrie Nation
January 22 that year. Of course, Nation was the woman who had promoted
prohibition by destroying saloons with a hatchet.

Nation died in Evergreen Sanitarium in Leavenworth, Kansas at the age
of 66 after suffering a nervous breakdown and spending five months in
seclusion in the sanitarium.

Much has changed since those times. Now in dry areas some progressive
minded people argue that the only way a city can prosper is to allow
liquor sales by the drink so big name restaurants will locate there.
Some even argue for the legalization of drugs for the same reasons
prohibition was repealed, saying it takes too much of the nation's
resources trying to stop the flow of drugs.

Looking back at news articles like this always makes it obvious how
much things have changed.

Editor's Note: Rick Smith is an Enterprise writer and city editor whose column appears each Monday.


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Toyah's ex- mayor wants to see progress

Dear Editor:

As of Friday I am no longer the mayor of Toyah.

I made a mistake several months ago, and it has caused me to resign. I
just ask that you, as individuals and as businesses, continue to support
the people and the city council of Toyah that my dream for the future of
Toyah not die, but continue to progress.

I remain a true Toyahite, Charlotte H. Waight


Client says council has gossipy staff

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Dear Editor:
Hello, I am writing to you on behalf of the community of Reeves County.
I am writing about a certain person working for Community Council of
Reeves County.

It is bad that we need, without being judged for not having money. There
is a certain person, (I will not name the person for the purpose of
keeping her identity a secret) she is supposed to help us, not condemn

This person is very nosy. She tells everything she hears. She loves to
gossip. This kind of person has no business having a job helping people.
Your files are supposed to be confidential, not with her. If Community
Council doesn't do anything about her soon, they are not going to have
any clients.

We go there for the help, not for the town to know our business. If we
go for help, it's that we need it. We don't go just to go.

We just wish we could go ask for help without having to worry about what
gossip we are going to have to face.

Like I said, a person like that has no business working for the
community. All we want is for our community to be able to feel like we
can go ask for help without feeling uncomfortable about it. It is hard
enough for some people to ask for help as it is. They don't need anyone
like that.

I have so many acquaintances that are afraid of going to ask for help
and are afraid to speak up about the way she treats them. Name withheld by request


Watergate sins still in camp

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Twenty-five years after the Watergate break-in, many top federal
officials continue to give the American public plenty of reasons to be
wary about the corrupting influences of power. The sins that brought
down the Nixon crew - lying, obstructing justice, abusing federal power
- are on full display in the Clinton administration, which is dodging
its way around a variety of serious offenses.

Just last week, Bill and Hillary Clinton's former business partner in a
failed Arkansas thrift, James McDougal, suggested that Hillary may soon
be snared by Kenneth Starr's Whitewater investigation. In an interview
with a Little Rock TV station, McDougal said, ``The institution (prison)
I'm going to ... is co-educational and I think there's an excellent
chance that I might see Hillary there.''

Ironically, Hillary was an attorney on the House Judiciary Committee
during the Watergate probe. She was charged with looking into
impeachment charges against President Nixon; now some congressmen are
considering impeachment proceedings against her husband for some new
``gates'': Lippogate, Travelgate, FBIgate and so forth.

It's no wonder so many Americans continue to distrust high-ranking
government officials. But matters could be far worse. Imagine the
trouble our democracy would be in if Americans always trusted those men
and women who hold or seek government power.
The Lima (Ohio) News

Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
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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