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Daily Newspaper and Tourism Guide for Reeves County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas


Rick Smith


Monday, December 22, 1997


By Rick Smith

Superintendent needs to improve district

Early next month the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board will
probably confirm Don Love as the new superintendent of
schools for the district. Love will have his hands full as
the head man for our schools.

Two weeks ago board members received the news that the Texas
Education Agency only rated the PBT ISD as an acceptable
school district. I may be wrong but that sounds about like a
student who gets mostly "Cs" on his report card and barely

According to the TEA report, only about 70 percent of the
district's students passed all the exams on the TAAS test.
Only 50 percent of Pecos High School students passed all the
tests. I think Love needs to take a close look at the
district and see what can be done to improve the education
these students are receiving.

Wednesday's lead story in the Pecos Enterprise told that in
the past two weeks three high school students have been
arrested or indicted for selling drugs to fellow students.
An Associated Press wire story in the same edition of the
Enterprise announced that heroin use is on the rise in
Texas. The same front page of our paper listed 12 area
stores accused of selling alcohol to minors. Is there a
trend here?

I'm told that local Parent Teacher Associations struggle to
attract membership and those parents that do join are not
very active.
We've done reports on parent seminars put on by the schools
but no parents attend.

I've talked to law enforcement officials in this town who
say that many of the problems encountered locally with
juveniles are the result of parents who do not discipline
their children when they are young. When those children grow
into teens it is then no wonder that they are undisciplined
young adults. They were not taught to be disciplined.

While I hesitate to side with a liberal such as Hillary
Clinton, it does take the entire community working together
to bring up children to be responsible, educated adults. It
seems like more effort on the part of the local school
district coupled with more participation by parents is
needed in Pecos.
Like the old saying goes, "If something is worth doing, it's
worth doing right." Surely helping children to grow into
mature adults and helping them to get an education that will
allow them to get good jobs is a task worth doing well.

Love and his staff have a formidable challenge on their
hands beginning next year. They will need all the help they
can get from the parents of their students.

Editor's Note: Rick L. Smith is the City Editor of the Pecos Enterprise
whose column appears each Monday. He can be e-mailed at:


A Texas Christmas potpourri

A four year old girl in Midland was asked if she had been a
good girl all year. She replied, "Some, but not most."

Del Fuller of Cameron said when he was a boy they had fire
crackers during Christmas, but they cost a nickel a package
and money was scarce. "We'd get some black powder and shoot
anvils," says Del. "Just stack two anvils with black powder
between them, use a red hot poker to light the powder and
there would be a big explosion. The top anvil would fly up,
then come down and hit the bottom anvil. We used to shoot
them all night. You could hear them for miles."

Del thinks he might have missed a Christmas or two while he
was a boy. "We lived in the country, didn't have a newspaper
or radio. Our parents wouldn't say anything about the
holiday season. I think we skipped some Christmases. I know
they were a long time apart."

A lady in Dallas woke up one Christmas morning to find a
crated buffalo bull at her front door.

When she was a youngster, Annis Godfrey of Menard asked for
a carpenter set for Christmas one year. Instead, she got a
doll. She didn't like dolls. Her brother got a carpenter
set. It had two hammers and a square and all kinds of tools.
Annis got all her dolls, laid them down on the porch and she
and her brother took turns smashing the dolls into
smithereens. "We got paddlings," says Annis, "but I never
got another doll for Christmas."

The Foster family in Crockett celebrates Christmas in a big
way. Fifty family members all sleep in the 23 room house and
exchange presents with biscuits at one time. "We always have
a 30 pound turkey from the store and a wild turkey from the
woods," says Alice. "Our brother in Houston sends a red
pickup with sacks of potatoes, onions and beans, crates of
avocados, tomatoes and strawberries, and two bushels of
corn. I'm going to make twelve pies: four molasses pies by
my mother's recipe, four mince meat and four potato pies. I
make two caramel nut cakes and two coconut cakes."
Mary Wilson of Comanche recalls eating possum with sweet
potatoes around it for her Christmas dinner.

Mrs. E.L. Patton grew up around Sterling City where they
always had a Community Christmas tree. Gifts would be hung
on it. Youngsters got fruit and candy at Christmas time, the
only time of the year they had such treats.
June Strohsahl of Longivew says tangerines were the
preferred fruit at Christmas. "If you got tangerines, you
were really uptown," says June.

Straley Alsup of Gustine used to play the fiddle at
Christmas dances. "They'd last all night," he says. "Some
people would still be dancing when the sun came up."

Gladys Farek of Cistern makes big fruitcakes in the shape of
Texas. She mixes the ingredients in a cement mixer. "Takes a
nut to do it," says Gladys.

Your View

Students seek information for special project

To the Editor:
I am a fifth grade student at Freedom Middle School. We are
located in Freedom, Pa. We are presently getting ready to
study the United States. We need your help. We are doing a
project called "Dear USA." Could you please send us
postcards of your area and state.

This will help us better understand the drivers culture and
history of our great country. You can also send us any other
information that you feel might help us better learn about
your state.

We are also asking you if possible, to please send us a
license plate from your state. These along with all the
information received will be put in a school display to be
viewed by the local public and used as a reference point to
learn more about your state. Thank you for your help. Please
send the following items to the following address: Dear USA,
Freedom Middle School, 1701 8th Ave., Freedom, Pa. 15042.

Corey Gilarno
and Fifth Grade Students
Freedom Middle School

Your View

New web surfer enjoys Pecos Enterprise

To whom it may concern in Pecos Tx. My name is Sam Gonzales
Jr. a graduate of PHS in 1983. I have lived in Dallas Tx.
since 1987 and haven't had much of a chance or need to go
back to Pecos. I currently work at Raytheon TI Systems which
use to be Texas Instruments until last year in the Defense
Systems with Optical Manufacturing and Materials Group. I
hold the position of Manufacturing Engineer Assistant. (We
basically make visable and infared lens for defense
missiles, tanks, target sights, and many more systems which
I cannot elaborate on.) My wife also graduated from Pecos in
1985. We have two children Amanda Ann, age 6 and Sam III,
age 4.

I just wanted to drop off these few lines to your website to
let you know that I was from Pecos and enjoyed all the
pictures of and about Pecos on you Website. I will check out
the site periodicly and look forward to seeing or reading
about anyone that I might remember from Pecos.

Please feel free to forward this mail to anyone that might
remember me.
Keep up the good job.

Regards, Sam Gonzales Jr.

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