Weekly Newspaper and Tourism Guide for Ward County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas
June 25, 1998
By Richard Acosta
About 10 or 15-years ago, when I was a younger sports
writer, my mom and dad filled me full of the lessons of
"Two wrongs don't make a right."
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away."
"Don't hit your sister."
The list goes on forever. One day I asked my parents why
they had such harsh rules for the house.
They would simply say, "We just want you to do the right
things in life so everyone will know you are a good person."
I have carried these lessons with me my whole life. I hold
open doors, say, "pardon me" and "please" and "thank you."
And because I have used these rules so well, I have in fact,
for the most part, been considered a fine, outstanding
member of the community.
However, due to one silly accident with my camera, all of a
sudden I am a hoodlum. Let me explain. I have never been in
a fight in my life. I have always had the ability to talk my
way out of any situation in which I may have had to use my
fists. My friends know this; my family knows this; the
people I go to school with know this.
But now, let me walk into a room with a pair of stitches on
my nose and the first words out of everyone's mouth are:
"What happen to your nose? Were you in a fight?"
Twenty-two years of building a personality and two stitches
change you from nice guy to bar fight man. Here are the
three stages of my nose.
1. Band-aid on my nose got me sympathy.
2. Stitches uncovered, transforms me into Rambo, king of bar
3. Now the stitches are removed and the question changes
to: "Were you in a car accident?"
So, once again I am "Richard," mild mannered writer for the
(For those who didn't know I had two stitches in my nose,
the story is in That's Rich on the editorial page two weeks
By the way, the picture of the fire I bled for is on the
cover of last week's award winning newspaper.
By Jerry Curry
Horny toads, contrary to popular reports of depredation by
curio collectors and vicious little boys, are not
endangered - at least at my house over on South Gary Avenue.
(Yes, I know horny toads are not toads, not even frogs. Yes
I know they are probably lizards but I sure wouldn't call a
horny toad a lizard to its face. Horny toads don't get mad.
They get even and they'll squirt blood out of their eyes
and hit a dime at 50 yards, I was told once. That may be a
slight exaggeration but I wouldn't want to upset a horny
toad, even a little one, to find out. Anything that shoots
blood through its eyes is to be accommodated. I even know
horny toads have Latin names most people can't pronounce and
no one can spell.)
And this then is the tale of how the Curry Clan became the
biggest horny toad ranchers this side of Fort Worth.
It was an accident.
All these horny toads seemed to appear from no where about a
month ago. There are quite a few head now, so many we can't
count them. They must like the place and there is no doubt
there are no ants and cockroaches, only a scorpion or two,
in the house since the maverick horny toads gathered. I say
again, we did absolutely nothing to attract these amiable
little beasties. They simply arrived.
The harbinger was a big momma horny toad, about six inches
long. It met the Val in the then soon to be flower garden
over by the driveway. Now it is a flower garden with
assorted blooms in varied colors and aromas which because of
constant irrigation have not been deterred by drought.
When the Val saw the harbinger, she screamed and ran. The
horny toad did the horny toad equivalent of a scream and
also ran. Then both of them stopped, turned and looked at
each other and evaluated the situation. Neither squirted
blood through their eyes. But both then screamed again and
ran. Val was convinced she had seen a baby dinosaur which
heretofore she had thought was extinct.
When a description of the monster was provided, I was able
to identify it readily as a bonifide horny toad. My
suspicions were confirmed when the Val identified the
creature's mug shot in one of a series of books I own, books
which others might consider to be full of nonessential
information but without which I personally cannot survive.
In fact, she identified the horny toad she had seen as the
same one whose picture had been taken in 1892 by some desert
wandering surveyor for the United States Army.
The harbinger has returned several times but it is extremely
shy. The other horny toads are not. Our herd includes
various horny toads all the way from the size of my thumb
nail up to and including the harbinger who does not trust
Val and even is a little wary of me. But we do not bother
any of them. One of the horny toads has adopted Val. It has
the appearance of an young boy looking for trouble with a
smile on its lips. This horny toad is about three or four
inches long and it grins a lot. It likes to follow Val
around while she is watering the lawn. It obviously is the
brave one. The others, although amiable, tend to keep their
Val takes her relationship with the horny toad herd
seriously. She has purchased an Uzi just in case someone has
the stupidity to try and capture some of her buddies.
Teamwork makes exciting stuff
Tuesday, June 23, we attended the Monahans City Council
meeting as we do every other Tuesday at 3 p.m. We walked in
knowing what was on the agenda as we do for all of the
meetings. Item 13 was to consider and act on approving a
golf course agreement with Ward County and the Ward County
Golf Association. Since we have been covering the golf
course story all along, we were interested. There were 16
items on the agenda Tuesday. We listened as the Council
acted on several budget requests, a lease proposal for a
batting cage business and a motorcycle parade permit for the
Chamber of Commerce. The parade is on the eve of
Independence Day and will start at The Spotlight and stop at
the Million Barrel Museum.
We listened to Gene Brown and Randy Pipkin of the Golf
Association speak about options and a vision for the golf
course. We agree with the economic and recreational needs a
golf course represents to a community's adults and youth.
But what we saw happen throughout the meeting touched on
another need - Teamwork!
Kathy Fausett and Rick McCurdy, both county
commissioners-elect, attended the meeting as they had
attended meetings earlier Tuesday of the County
Commissioners Court when it was in a budget workshop
session. McCurdy and Fausett spoke to the Council about
their commitment to work with the city as a team. Council
members agreed. There was a sense of excitement at the
Council about the commitment by the commissioners-elect to
work as a city-county team for the betterment of all.
But our vision of team work does not stop with city and
county government. It includes the schools
(Grandfalls-Royalty and Monahans-Wickett-Pyote), the
Chambers of Commerce (Monahans and Grandfalls), Monahans
Main Street, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Monahans, the 4-H
Clubs, Monahans Ball Park Association, and several other
groups and organizations which together comprise the social
and economic framework of Ward County.
What we as a community can and will accomplish together is
truly exciting stuff. And we want to thank Fausett and
McCurdy for making that point for us on Tuesday.
Does drought negate law?
According to the Associated Press, the state of New Mexico
and its various irrigation districts are considering
limiting the amount of Pecos River water it will release to
the Trans Pecos District of Texas. According to the U.S.
Supreme Court in 1988, New Mexico must release Pecos River
water. The nation's highest court said then the state of New
Mexico had not sent enough water downstream past its dams
for more than three decades.
The AP quotes New Mexico officials as saying they may not
release that water this year because of drought. That same
drought sears West Texas. We have a question. Is drought a
mitigating factor in obeying orders from the nation's
Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
Joe Warren, Publisher
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.
Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers Inc.