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


Thursday, January 22, 1998

Monahan's Well

By Jerry Curry

Coach Larry Hanna was up there on the podium at the
Monahans High School Football banquet talking about his team
and what it had done this year and what it and his players
had done was a lot. He got a little emotional talking about
his kids and apologized for it. He shouldn't have because it
is all right to get a little lump in your throat when you're
talking about the game you love and the players who play it.

Larry Hanna wasn't the only one that got a little emotional
at the football banquet. Memories will do that to you.

Richard Acosta, the Monahans News sports editor, was
remembering when he used to juke and hit and smash for Mojo
football over in Odessa and what the football banquet meant
to him when he was younger.

Acosta was talking about the soirees he had attended after
the football seasons was over, how everybody had to have a
date and if you didn't have one the booster club got you
one. For some of the sophomores who had battered their way
onto the Mojo varsity, it might well have been the first
date they had in their lives. They wore tuxedos and their
dates wore what we called formals and the better people
called evening dress.

I could identify with that. As I recall, at old Mountain
Home High School a thousand or so years ago, I was one of
the three or four sophomores who lettered. I had my first
real date that night. And I don't remember who it was
because I was a lot more concerned with receiving that
Bomber letter than with any female. I grew out of that. We
weren't too good that year, going 5-6 and finishing second
in the district. But that was the last time I played on a
losing football team. The main speaker my sophomore year was
a small college coach who told funny stories and spent a lot
of time with Dean Baker's dad at the dance afterward. Dean
didn't go to his school though. He took his talents to the
University of Arkansas.

The center hall at the Ward County Convention Center was
crowded for the banquet and all of the people seemed
appreciative of the kids and the coaches and they should
have been. For two consecutive years, these Lobo players
have won bi-district crowns.

Of course, Richard's Mojo teams went further in the playoffs
but what the heck.

School Superintendent Cliff Stephens had trotted through
some archives somewhere and showed us a few pictures from
times past about the way Lobo Field used to look and the
school district's drive to gather $350,000 for work at the
stadium. Stephens talked a lot about tradition and there is
tradition at Monahans, like there is at Richard's Mojo and
my Bombers. That is why I support completely the district's
drive to enhance the stadium. The dollars we donate to the
cause will continue the tradition of high school football
which in West Texas and many other small communities like
ours is the glue that binds us all.

Letter from the editor

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there sure seems to be a lot of
back-slappin', baby-kissin', hand-shakin', clothes
complimentin', party-goin', card-passin', poster-stickin',
sign-postin', promise-makin', church-goin', note-takin',
careful-listenin', BBQ-sponsorin', tree-shakin' politicians
around these days.

I guess it's just that time of year. If you'll notice, I
failed to mention any mud-throwin' candidates... and between
you and I, that's the way I like it.
I went Tuesday afternoon to see our U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla
at the courthouse, and once again I was impressed by the
congressman's uncanny ability to take the complex problems
of today (i.e. from immigration to Medicare) and present
them in quick, concise terms that even this rookie publisher
could understand.

I don't know if it's the fact that Rep. Bonilla is being
challenged for his office by a Democrat, or if he was just
swingin' through town... I doubt if this part of the country
could do any better. Henry Bonilla is - as I said about Pat
Finley - one class act.

(You would be surprised how many Democrats and how few
Republicans showed up for the Honorable Mr. Bonilla's
appearance. Other than Candido Gutierrez, I saw no official
representation of the Ward County GOP there... is there a
GOP in this county?)


To those of you who read my column last week - well,
actually both of you - I would like to follow up with this
advice from City Manager David Mills ( not an elected

After hearing about my disastrous and terrifying day on the
slopes, David asked me two questions;

(1) Did you meet Don Imus in Santa Fe?

(2) What kind of cigar were you smoking?

For those of you who are curious, the proper cigar to smoke
when skiing Taos, N.M., is a Partagas Robusto. Mills says
skiers in the know smoke Robustos only on the Double-diamond


It is a rare Sunday morning, indeed, when I miss reading
Kent Biffle's Texana in the Dallas Morning News. Mr. Biffle
has consistently exhibited a talent for uncovering obscure
and interesting facts from Texas history.

This past Sunday's column concerned how many Texas counties
were named for state heroes. Three Texas counties were named
for accident victims, two of whom died.

I'll use Biffle's own words to tell you about the third.

"An accident victim who lived to tell about it was Thomas
William Ward. He lost a leg in the siege of Bexar during the
Revolution and after the war blew off an arm while noisily
celebrating Texas independence. He left his name on a West
Texas county."

When I showed this item to Best Western coffee goddess
Darlene Yates, she chuckled and said, "Maybe that's why we
have to pay an arm and a leg to live here."

Speaking of Best Western, if you haven't stopped by to see
the sparkling new coffee shop, put down this paper and go
have a cup of joe.
It is a classic design with a counter that was missing from
the old place.

Considering how much traffic stops by there from the
interstate, the place really puts Monahans in a good light.


The next time you're looking for a weekend trip, let me
suggest a five hour drive down to Del Rio, hook a left and
go to Fort Clark Springs in Bracketville.

Fort Clark, established about the same time as Fort Stockton
and Fort Davis, has been in private hands for a number of

It has been fully and beautifully restored and it has about
1,000 people living there in adobe bungalows and old
officers' quarters.

There is a comfortable motel in what appears to be an old

The place also has an 18-hole golf course and spring-fed
swimming pool.

Try the restaurant, it's good.


Sick Willie and China

Bill Clinton, president of these United States and just
possibly the slickest politician to hit the planet since
Nick Machiavelli, formally has submitted Congress the
nuclear cooperation deal he cut with China. Under this deal,
if approved, the United States sells nuclear reactors to
mainland China. It's okay, says Our Fearless Leader, because
the Chinese have agreed not to help other nations develop
nuclear weapons. They did this in writing, says Our Fearless
Leader, so we know it is true. He also knows their checks
are good because none of them written to his reelection
campaign fund a while back bounced. Now we're not all that
concerned about their checks, rubber or not. We really
aren't concerned about the mainland Chinese making other
nations into nuclear powers. We are concerned about mainland
China using the by-products of those nuclear reactors to
build nuclear weapons for themselves. For those who
remember your history, a lot of steel in bombs that
plastered the South Pacific and Hawaii in the opening days
of what came to be called World War II was manufactured in
the United States and sold to the belligerent the United
States opposed at the time.

Linda, Henry, X-Files

A few years and about 50 pounds ago, Linda Jones, then known
as Linda Medlar, and Henry Cisneros, then mayor of San
Antonio, had an affair. Both were married to other people
The story hit the pages of the San Antonio Express-News.
Before it was over, the San Antonio Express-News had
published interviews from both Cisneros, who later was to
become HUD Secretary in the Clinton Administration, and with
Linda. In those interviews, they acknowledged the affair.
As time passed, Henry Cisneros and wife reconciled. The
Cisneros-Medlar Affair got messy and Cisneros made a deal to
pay a stipend to Medlar, now Jones, because her marriage was
shattered by the affair and because he said at the time he
loved her but had a greater responsibility to his family.

By the time Cisneros went to Washington, he had paid Linda
about $200,000. You couldn't call it hush money because no
one hushed. Everyone in San Antonio that wanted to know
what was going on could find it in their daily newspaper. On
Thursday, Jan. 15, in a federal court at Lubbock, Linda
Jones, in a unique plea bargain, agreed to spend three and
one-half years in a federal prison on charges she lied to
the FBI about that fiduciary arrangement with her former
lover. Cisneros is scheduled for trial in the Autumn on
comparable charges. Now, we do not know, if Linda and Henry
lied to the FBI about their financial arrangements. But we
do know neither lied to the people of San Antonio. And if
the FBI is so incompetent it could not read the daily
newspapers, something is wrong with the intellectual acumen
of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Linda-Henry Case is truly one for the bureau's

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