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Weekly Newspaper and Tourism Guide for Ward County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas

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Nov. 27, 1997

That's Rich:

By Richard Acosta

A common theme in most stories concerning people is, "There
are two types of people in the world." Not being one to
break from the norm, let me start by saying there are two
types of teams in the world. There are teams with class and
teams without.

I have seen many a team with players that taunt, point, talk
trash about the other team's mamas and gloat when their team
wins. On the flip side, I have seen players cry, whine,
complain and throw fits when they lose (i.e. Dallas Cowboys).

On the other extreme, I have seen teams that win by a
landslide, give a little cheer at the end of the game, shake
hands and jog on into the locker room. The same team, if
they lose, will console their team mates, shake hands, pat
rears and jog into the locker room.

Obviously the latter team understands that although winning
a game is exciting, it is not what life is all about.

That team that doesn't dwell on losing is the ones that
really won the game. Sure, they won't get a big golden
trophy or their name on some elaborate plaque, but in life,
they will be the one able to bounce back. They will be the
ones that don't sit around and blame the world for their
problems. They will make positive things happen for

Last Saturday, both our Monahans Loboes and
Grandfalls-Royalty Cowboys had their playoff runs cut short.

However, I also saw two teams who consoled their team mates
and headed into the locker room with fans cheering them in.

I don't think I would be out of line saying Monahans and
Grandfalls truly appreciate the hard work and effort these
young men have put in this year.

Although there will be no big golden state championship
trophies or elaborate plaques, both the Loboes and the
Cowboys are number one around these parts.


Sitting in the press box (which is a new thing for me when I
am on the road) I looked over across the way and was happy
to see the outstanding number of fans that came out to
support Grandfalls in Garden City and the Loboes at Ratliff

I have no idea how many the Garden City stadium holds but I
know the visitors side was pretty much filled up. However, I
know for a fact that either side of Ratliff holds 10,000.
There are seven sections on each side so each section holds
about 1,428 people.

All of the middle section, the adjacent two and half the
next two were full. That is about 5,712 people.

There are 8,101 people in Monahans so not counting the band,
football players, coaches and people in the press box that
leaves only 2,389 people who, most likely because of the
cold weather, did not attend the game on Saturday.
Wow, I wonder who turned out the light.

Monahan's Well

By Jerry Curry

Thanksgiving is one of those weeks in the journalism
business (Christmas week is another) when it is more or less
traditional not to attack, make fun of or indulge in
scurrilous commentary about anything but federal bureaucrats
on whom the season never closes.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are "be nice" weeks in the
journalism business. It's all in the spirit of the season
to be a little more tolerant of stupidity, ignorance,
bullies, politicians and losing football coaches, at least
for those two weeks a year.

This is not to say we journalists will not report bad things
in Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks. We most certainly will
do that. But we will not write editorials and columns
holding the perpetrators of the bad things on which we
report up to any more ridicule than the facts of the bad
thing already has done. Generally, this is the unwritten
rule of our business and like most unwritten rules, it will
be followed closer to 100 percent of the time than any
thousands of statutes and laws bound in books which no one,
not even lawyers, ever actually read.

Thanksgiving itself generally is blamed on the Pilgrims,
which were a particularly intolerant lot. This can be
expected of anyone that had to wear those funny looking hats
and go to church all the time because, if they didn't, they
ran a real risk of being thrown in jail for an indeterminate
period. Pilgrims were the first Yankees, which someone once
told me was a Native American word for mentally challenged
white man but I do not believe that is proven beyond a
reasonable doubt. But I do not know the history of the word
Yankee which I understand is no longer politically proper to
use being considered by some citizens of the United States
but not by citizens of the Northeastern United States, all
of whom are Yankees and (I am not making this up) seem proud
of it.

In fact, as Tumbleweed Smith, sage and flim flam artist,
noted in these pages last week, it is highly likely the
Pilgrims never did hold a bonifide Thanksgiving Day feast. I
leave that issue to be decided by historians with nothing
better to do. I simply state Thanksgiving Day began in West
Texas before the Puritans decided to become Pilgrims and
take a transatlantic cruise on a leaky ship called The
Mayflower, which resulted in something called the Mayflower
Compact which in the next couple of centuries became the
trade name for a brand of flour. Among the evidence
Tumbleweed might have cited to bolster the thesis that West
Texas actually is the site of the first Thanksgiving is the
turkey, which is the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving
pictorial depictions and celebrations.

Because, there are more wild turkeys in most backyards in
Monahans than there are in the whole of New England, I
submit it may well be that Ward County was the site of the
first Thanksgiving. Further, and this is well known, the
Pilgrims were not aware of and still have learned absolutely
nothing about American football. As evidence here, I note
the New England Patriots. I suggest any individual or group
of individuals who have no cognizance of the Theory of
Blind-Sided Quarterbacks could not possibly have been
involved in any kind of legitimate Thanksgiving. This is an
obvious canard, probably given credence by the revisionist
historians who thought George Washington chopped down a
cherry tree and then pleaded guilty to the indictment from
his father.

Other areas of the nation besides West Texas have more valid
claim to the site of the first Thanksgiving than the
Pilgrims. The argument here focuses on sweet 'tater pie,
which is as much a part of any United States Thanksgiving
feast as turkey and pumpkin pie. We are not sure sweet
'taters (yams) have ever been further North than Baltimore
but they are a major factor in any Thanksgiving Dinner below
the Mason-Dixon Line and not a factor at all above that line.

Letters from the editor

By Steve Patterson

Shortly before dawn on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 26, the
temperature in Ward County dipped to 31 degrees. It remained
below freezing for less than an hour before rising with the

Of a couple of dozen people who entered the First Freeze
Contest, only four people put the magic moment in the month
of October. The winner, however, was the honorable Ward
County Judge Sam Massey with the guess of Oct. 30 at 5:04

The second freeze of the year was on the morning of Oct.
29. These meteorological facts put me in a quandary over how
to award the prizes. After consulting with the Rules
Committee, we concluded that, yes, indeed, we could award
Judge Massey both a one-year subscription and an six-month

Our third place winner, Frank Vallie over in Denver City,
took the honors with a prediction of midnight, Nov. 10. The
third freeze (31 degrees) hit on the early morning of Nov.
11. Vallie barely edged out Commissioner Larry Hunt who had
foreseen 10:30 p.m., Nov. 10 as the magic moment. Vallie is
entitled to a six-month subscription. Commissioner Hunt is
entitled to a cup of coffee at the Monahans News.

The above weather data was compiled by Staff Meteorologist
C. Pearson Cooper (the C. stands for cold) who had guessed
5:30 a.m., Nov. 20.

As a hint for next year's First Freeze, Cooper says it
always is coldest immediately before sunrise. (He didn't
bother to tell me whether he learned this knowledge by
getting up that early or coming home that late). There will
also be some rule changes made for the next competition.


A couple of unrelated items which bumped into each other as
they crossed my desk this week gave me reason to pause.

From the Scripps Howard News Service as cited in Tuesday's
San Angelo Standard-Times;

"With four out of five Americans now living in urban areas,
the number of rural congressional districts in the [U.S.]
House has dropped from 181 (42 percent) in 1966 to 57 (13
percent) in the current Congress."

The other item was a press release concerning a recent
Rural Issues Summit held by the state's Republican Party in
Lubbock. Various party big shots and elected officials
showed up to listen to concerns from a variety of
agriculture and ranching organizations.

It doesn't surprise me that the GOP is making a play for
rural support. I believe the blind support given the
Democrats for generations in this state by rural communities
is quickly coming to pass.

It is my understanding that the local Ward County
Republicans are currently inactive. Although Candido
Gutierrez has announced his run as a Republican, I know of
no other GOP candidates.

Can anyone tell me what happened to the local GOP? Heck,
I've met more Libertarians than I have Republicans in Ward


I hope Judge Massey's letter in today's paper makes it
clear that my column in last week's paper was an attempt -
feeble as it may have been - at humor. The Judge and I don't
always agree, but I do consider him a friend and I have a
great respect for the tough stances he has taken in his
official position.

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