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Mac McKinnon


Tuesday, May 26, 1998


By Mac McKinnon

Buckle up and travel by vehicle this summer

This past weekend marked the official beginning of the
summer vacation season and many Americans will hit the road.

I'm sure many vacationers are like me in that they haven't
made decisions yet of when and where to go. The time to do
so is growing short. Of course, I'm like most in that I'm
trying to see if there is enough money to go anywhere.

I recently received in the mail, I'm sure like most other
newspapers, a kit from Exxon on travelling this summer. I
don't usually give commercial plugs but that company put
forth a lot of effort and presented some very interesting
information that I thought I'd pass along.

Did you know the first gas station was opened - and I'm not
sure exactly where - in 1905. The self service station was
dreamed up by an independent California dealer in 1947.

Service stations play a big part in travelling as 47 percent
of people in a survey said if lost, they'd stop at a service
station to get directions and the most frequent stop - 31
percent - is for gasoline. To the question about which do
you consider most valuable during a driving vacation, 53 per
cent of those responding said a clean restroom.

One very interesting question on the survey was who would
you most like as your passenger on a cross-country trip?
Robin Williams was picked by 22 percent of those responding
while Garth Brooks was named by 15 percent. The cast of
Seinfeld was picked by nine percent of the respondants.

Of course, driving on a vacation is much easier than it used
to be with the Interstate system plus everything is well
marked for your convenience on roadways. And Exxon touts the
fact that driving is now cheaper than ever as the price of
gasoline is at an all time record low when the price is
adjusted for inflation. They say that if the 1940 price of
about 20-cents per gallon had just kept pace with inflation,
it would be the equivalent of $2.11 in terms of today's

Exxon also says that by 1997, the average real cost per mile
traveled was 6.1 cents (adjusted for inflation).

As I've noted a number of times in this space, I enjoy
travelling by vehicle as you get to see the scenery. The
only problem is that occassionally, we all get in too big a
rush to stop and see certain things.

That's the problem with the Interstate system as it gets you
places fast, but you also bypass some very interesting

Wherever you're going this summer, be careful. Buckle up and
have a good time. Don't forget there are plenty of
attractions in our own back yard.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mac McKinnon is the editor and publisher of
the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears each Tuesday. He
can be e-mailed at:

Your View

City council should focus on other things

To The Editor:
Recently, a group of male strippers were brought to town to
perform for anyone over eighteen who chose to attend. I do
not have any recollection of "press gangs" rounding up
people and forcing them to go. A group of people chose to
protest the event and again there was no recollection of
anyone preventing the protest. Everything seemed alright
until the group of protestors armed with a petition signed
by 350 residents, went before the City Council to request an
ordinance to prevent such future entertainment events and
also to prevent the showing of certain movies and the
selling of certain magazines. I, for one, do not remember
voting for city officials to regulate what I chose to read
or see. I think there are more problems which require the
full attention of the council. I also do not think that 350
signatures represent the voice of Pecos as a majority and
yet the council acquiesced to the will of this vocal
minority. This council seems to have a record for censorship
since the local cable company removed MTV even though there
are lockouts available to those who do not wish to view it.
Now they are willing to sit in judgement on what the
citizens of this community can see or read. And yet we have
a sewer problem that continues to pollute on which no work
is being done. This affects the majority more than male
strippers, movies or magazines.

If this minority is as educated as they would wish us to
believe, they should remember their history. Censorship by a
minority is only the beginning. Someday we could have a
council elected by a minority that feels church attendance
is bad for the community and the bible is an X-Rated book.
This sounds ridiculous but so does the argument presented by
the presenters of the petition. I cannot see the connection
between the increasing high school pregnancy rate and male
strippers since only adults were allowed to attend. I also
fail to see the connection between this town's drug, drop
out, and gang problem and a group of male strippers who come
to town every twelve years. They must be real good since
they have such an enduring residual effect.

We cannot expect local government to do the job that
parents, churches, and schools fail to do. The emphasis
needs to be placed at the beginning and parents need to be
held accountable for the actions of their children. Churches
and schools need the support of parents and with that
support they can assist the parents in the raising of future
generations to whom strippers, certain movies and magazines
can be a choice of not seeing. The key word is "choice" and
the vocal minority had better remember it. So should the
city council since history has shown that prohibition does
not work and if enacted all the fears of the pious minority
will come to pass in a greater proportion than they could
ever imagine.

The city council needs to stick with the things they can
control and stop attempting to legislate what they see as
their moral obligation to the community. Stick with garbage,
water, police, and fire which are some of the reasons they
were put in office. The petitioners need to continue their
protest, tell us what is immoral and why, this is their
right and I will defend it as long as they represent my
right to choose for myself what I see or read.

Garrett S. Timmins
Pecos, Texas

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