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


Dec. 18, 1997

Letter from the Editor

By Steve Patterson

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is a reprint of a column which
appeared in this space one year ago this week.)

It actually happened to me twice during the Christmas
Parade. It happened to me once quite unexpectedly during the
middle of an exciting Loboes football game. The most
embarrassing time that it almost happened to me was in the
middle of a short speech I was unprepared to give at a
luncheon meeting.

On the average, I would say it happens to me approximately
three times per week. On occasions, it has happened to me in
my office when I glance at the photographs on my bulletin
board. Most of the time it happens when I'm watching
television alone in my tiny apartment and I see something
which sparks a memory or unchains an emotion.

When I'm in public, I do my best to quickly stifle it.
When I'm alone, I often go with the flow and indulge myself.

This isn't easy for me to write, but what I'm referring to
is crying.

I realize there are those reading this who believe I need
treatment for clinical depression. There are others out
there who won't hesitate for a minute before calling me a
wimp. Those of you who know me, know that I'm anything but a
New Age Sensitive Guy of the 90s.

I believe, under the circumstances, that tears and prayer
have the only things which have allowed me to maintain what
sanity I have left.

As you may or may not know - or care for that matter - I
have a wife and three sons half-way across the world on the
Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. My sons are ages 2, 7 and
11. To say I have missed them would be the biggest
understatement of my life.

I left the island and came back to Texas last Jan. 3 for
what was supposed to be - at the most - a separation of a
few months. Once again, Life's old lesson of "Things rarely
work out like we plan" was shoved down my throat. To make a
long story short, the path to Monahans was longer than both
my wife and I anticipated.

Denice has been to visit here and she almost immediately
agreed with me that this town would be a great place to
raise our sons. One of the saddest parts about this
situation is I realize I will never be able to make up for
missed birthdays and holidays, the times of good grades and
bad, and, basically, the times that dad needed to be there
and he wasn't... No, I never will be able to make up for
those, but I sure as hell am going to try.

I am not ashamed to say that I've cried because I miss my
family. Any man who could not allow himself to cry for his
family ain't much of a man in my book.

Next Monday night, I may allow myself one or two more
tears as the Patterson family is reunited in its entirety
for the first time in almost a year. These anticipated
"something's in my eye" will not be due to sadness, but to

This will be one Christmas season I shall cherish for the
rest of my life.

(P.S. FROM THE EDITOR: It has been a year since I drove
to the Midland-Odessa International Airport to meet my crew.
The next day, my sons, now 3, 8 and 12, saw snow for the
first time on their first day in Monahans.

I will always remember Monahans as being the town which
made it possible for me to be reunited with my family. It
was the best Christmas gift I ever received.

This past year has not been without its problems, but it's
funny how much easier it is for me to put those problems in
perspective when I think back to the recent past.)


You've heard of the political dynasty built by the Kennedy
Brothers and of the business empire built by the Bass
brothers. Brace yourself for the nipple-up kingdom being
prepared by a pair of local brothers out next to Brantley

The politically-connected Cutbirth Brothers (I'm always
tempted to call them Cutbait) have bought a yard the size of
Kansas and will relocate soon.

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