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Van Horn Advocate
By Greg Harman
New kid in town
doesn't have agenda
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In the novel Moby Dick, Herman Melville summed up the whaling code as
follows: "I. A fast fish belongs to the party fast to it. II. A loose
fish is fair game for anybody who can soonest catch it." This
simplisticlly brief whaler's code can be transferred to the field of
journalism: here a fast fish could be copyright law or privileged
information. A loose fish would be that story which is free to anyone
with a pen. From the politicians on Capital Hill, to the star-studded
faces in L.A., and all the real folk in between: we all fall into the
category of "loose fish."
"So," a concerned member of the community fired point blank, "Are you a
I understood what he meant by the question. He wanted to know if I were
here to stir up trouble, to cause problems. He wanted to know if I had
an agenda. I must appreciate such an honest question and
respect it. I answered him as best as I could.
The community, likewise, may be wondering what brought me out to Pecos.
I offer you a lengthier explanation.
I worked for UPS before I came to Pecos. It was a part-time, and, as far
as I was concerned, temporary job. I had written off and on my whole
life: sci-fi adventures inspired by too many hours of Saturday morning
cartoons; published a news and entertainment monthly in my teens; and,
most recently, took to short fiction.
After seven years of work and school I had finally earned my bachelor's
degree. I was job hunting by day and loading trucks by night. It was
after posting my ad on the Texas Press Association's web sight that I
recieved a call from Mac McKinnon. Then the Teamsters went on strike. It
seemed a perfect time for a big transition. If, in fact, I do have an
agenda, it is a personal one that has to do with my own ambitions and
hopes - not with politically charged malevolence.
But it is still an interesting question to me. I suppose I should say an
interesting phrase: rabble-rouser.
Rabble, according to my desk dictionary, means: "populace; proletariat;
mob; scum." It carries fairly negative connotations. To awaken--to
rouse--the crowd (the scum) seems a desperately vicious pursuit. A
rabble-rouser is usually one out for personal gain.
I consider those great ones from history whom I admire, and I see people
who were causing real problems for somebody. But with lofty ideals, even
an unruly mob may accomplish great things if adequately inspired. I
think of the great democratic revolutions, in this country and in Mexico
(whose true democracy is just beginning to awaken), as well as in the
Eastern Block nations and Russia; I think of the great religious
movements that changed the face of civilization forever; I think of the
men and women who sought to teach, inform, and inspire the masses of
hard-working people throughout the ages. Surely to some eyes these folks
But, what do I know? I'm just here to make an honest living and do my
job the best I know how.
Greg Harmon is a Pecos Enterprise writer. His column appears each Wednesday.
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I wonder if the good people of Pecos, Texas are aware of a dangerous
situation existing in their community. Namely, ambulances that are not
My grandmother recently fell and broke her hip. Both county ambulances
used for transport were out of commission. She layed on a backboard for
hours awaiting the arrival of an ambulance from Odessa to transport her.
This inadequate service is inexcusable! Why do citizens pay county taxes
if it is not to meet the needs of the community?
If the concerned citizens of Pecos will voice their disapproval to the
people they have elected to serve them, such as county commissioners and
city officials, perhaps this deplorable lack of service can be remedied
before someone else falls victim to unnecessary suffering.
If there is a next time, it could be someone you love.
Think about it!
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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