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


Thursday, December 3, 1998


By Rebecca Jones
If you're anything like me (and God help you if you are),
then at some point or another you've wished our species
could hibernate. It's a random thought, I know, but my
humble opinion is that it would greatly improve our

I mean, think about it. Here you are in early December.
The air is getting nippy, and when you wake up in the
morning, all you really want to do is crawl back under the
blankets anyway. Drink coffee, sure, but why would you need
to if you were meant to be awake in the first place?

I pull myself out of bed every winter morning with all the
enthusiasm of one about to be executed. (Truthfully, I'm
like that every season, but it gets more pronounced come
wintertime.) I really think that if someone let me stay in
bed for a good month or two, I'd be right as rain for the
rest of the year. Want me up at 6 a.m. every morning this
summer? No problem, I'd shout. I got plenty of sleep this
past winter!

And oh! Imagine what pure hedonism it would be to prepare
for such a sleeping venture. The whole of November would be
dedicated to eating whatever you wanted, however often you
wished. No counting calories for you, oh no-- you'd have to
store up fat, see, to tide you through the winter. Bliss!
Sweet bliss! An excuse to eat badly! Best part of all, by
the time you woke up, say, late January, you'd be back to
your svelte size again. Now that's what I call a
weight-loss plan.

Hibernation would also be a nifty way to lose some bad
habits, like smoking. If you could make it those two months
without lighting up, then I think it's safe to say you've
kicked the habit. Chronic nail-biter? I can only imagine
how terrifyingly long your nails would be after 8 chew-free

And just imagine how you'd transform your bed. Gone would
be that old cotton comforter-- in its place you'd have a
ridiculously large eiderdown, perhaps consisting entirely of
white goose feathers. (You are, after all, going to be
spending a lot of time in this bed, so spare no expense--
make it comfortable.) And sure, throw a few dozen silk
pillows in the mix for good measure.

So you sleep, perchance to dream, for multiple weeks. Are
you or are you not going to be in one heck of a wonderful
mood when you wake up? Me thinks the former. Why? Because
you've led a completely stress-free existence, sleeping
there in your goose-feather bed. No worrying about the
bills, no deadlines, no anything.

If only we could make this an institution in our society.
Am I the only one that thinks it could be the first step to
world peace? Everybody would be asleep for a sixth of the
year anyway, and when awake, be in too positive of a mood to
start wars and other such wastes of energy. Hibernation!
It's the answer to all mankind's woes!

The only downside is...

To hibernate we'd have to bypass Christmas. And world peace
or not, I'd rather go without sleep altogether than do
that. Especially after spending such an insane amount of
money on presents this year-- have prices gone up or what?

But that's a column for another day.

Your View

I am ashamed to admit the I, along with most of the football
fans in Monahans, was a nonbeliever. In fact, probably the
only ôTrue Believersö in Monahans last week were a group of
dedicated young men and a coaching staff. The Monahans
Loboes have gone from a football team with one foot in the
grave and the other on a banana peel, as far as the playoffs
were concerned, to group of young men that exhibited a total
120% team effort in the game Saturday night. My family and
my self were privileged and proud to be able to witness
their efforts. I have not always agreed with Coach HannaÆs
play selections or game strategies, but thatÆs my God given
right as a football fan. ThatÆs our job. ThatÆs what
football fans do. But no one can question Coach Hanna and
his coaching staffÆs ability to motivate. These young men
have learned some of the most valuable lessons in life,
lessons that will stick with them forever. They have learned
that anything is possible if you are willing to be dedicated
enough to your belief and willing to put forth the total
effort to achieve any goal. They have learned to focus on
the goals ahead of you and not be distracted by whatÆs
behind. They have learned that ônone of us are as good as
all of usö and that it take s a total team effort to achieve
their goals. These are the lessons that athletics are meant
to teach. Often, these lessons get lost in the statistics
and won-lost records but the efforts I witnessed Saturday
night have reminded me, and hopefully many other fans, of
their value. I canÆt predict what will happen in the next
couple of weeks, but I know that the Monahans Loboes are
already winners because they have learned the lessons that
many are never able to learn. I know that they will walk off
the field knowing that they gave 120% and thatÆs what itÆs
all about. By the way, ôI Believeö.

Robert Baker

Our View

Team believes in Monahans

Folks in Monahans are getting accustomed to the sight of
Chamber Director Sheri Lord and Main Street Association
Manager, Suzi Blair, walking around town together. Each
heading a very important organization, these women have no
time for petty differences. Their focus and goal is the
betterment of Monahans and both realize that goal can best
be achieved by working together.

The pair recently teamed up to promote the Shop Monahans
First campaign. Together they put the colorful flyers in the
whiskey barrel planters, reminding area residents to Shop
Monahans First. Better than most of us, these two realize
how important it is to keep our dollars at home. Those
dollars help pay the salaries for our friends and neighbors
who work in our local businesses.

Our taxes on those purchases help provide for city
government, fire-fighting equipment, law enforcement and
even economic development.

Their teamwork doesnÆt stop there though. It also extends to
the ôfunö things as well. Right now Sheri and Suzi are
working very hard on the Lighted Christmas Parade and
Million Barrel festivities which will take place Dec. 7. And
in the interest of doing the best job for the community, the
Chamber has decided to cancel Christmas in the Park.
Instead, Santa will be at the Million Barrel after the
Parade, refreshments will be served and folks can all enjoy
the MuseumÆs holiday trappings. And the best part is, itÆs
all free, even the pictures with Santa. However, the ladies
are encouraging everyone to share their blessings by
bringing a couple of cans of food for the Gleaners.

"Divide and conquer," may have worked for military leaders
but for these two Monahans leaders, their battle cry is
ôUnite and winö.

Not only do they believe in the Loboes, they believe in

Light Gala is coming July 4

By Joe Warren
It's time to start thinking about City Lights Gala '99.

Even as you are reading this, the City Lights committee is
hard at work planning for the fourth celebration benefiting
the American Cancer Society.

City Lights '99 is scheduled for Saturday, April 10, at the
Ward County Coliseum.

Over the last three years this event has raised more than
sixty thousand dollars used to fight cancer.

City Lights was started in 1996 by a handful of local people
who were concerned about cancer and the effect it has on
loved ones.

The once handful of volunteers has grown to a large
community group of volunteers working hard to make this
event the success it is today.

City Lights '99 will reflect on the countless number of
cancer survivors and remember those who have fought
valiantly, yet lost their fight against cancer.

City Lights committee is planning dinner, a live and silent
auction, and a live band. All proceeds raised will be put to
use serving patients, educating adults, youth and health

One of the goals of the City Lights committee this year is
to have the gala totally underwritten. There are several
different underwriting packages available that are designed
with you in mind. Call either Dee Smith, City Lights
Chairman or Sheri Lord, underwriter co-chairman. They have a
nice booklet explaining all packages. You can reach Smith at
943-8610 and Lord at 943-5259.

LetÆs talk impact. Last year the Gala raised $23,822,
memorials, individual and corporate gifts were $2,298, other
direct income was $1,937 for a total of $28,057.

Most of the services and programs provided by your American
Cancer Society are conducted by unpaid volunteers supported
by expenditures of your contributions.

First, money is spent locally on patient and family
services. The service and rehabilitation programs ease the
impact of cancer by providing practical help, information
and emotional support to the public, patients and their
families. Thirty-eight local patients were served last year
with a dollar value of $4,888.

There were a total of 2,077 adults served with tobacco
prevention, education and cessation, prevention, risk
reduction, early detection and treatment.

There were 6,574 youth served with prevention and risk
reduction education and 30 health care professionals served
with education programs.

Total dollar value spent in education was $18,297. Added to
the $4,888 in patient and family services last year this
means, because of your generosity, $23,185 was spent locally
by your American Cancer Society.

Your American Cancer Society is the only voluntary cancer
control organization that fights cancer locally.

Their research, education and patient service programs are
funded entirely by public contributions.

Everyone has been affected by cancer. We all know someone, a
friend or relative who has fought or is fighting the
horrible disease.

One friend that comes to mind is Pearson Cooper. My prayers
are with you and your family as you continue to fight the

I can't think of a better way to give, than to support the
City Lights Gala '99 and the American Cancer Society in
their struggle to find a cure for cancer.

Our View
Texans know what Texans need

A new federal background checking system for all prospective
gun buyers went into effect on Monday, and was met with
serious problems.

The instant-check system (which is an oxymoron,there is no
instant about it) is supposed to give clearance in three
minutes.This did not happen. The system at the FBI went down
totally. Phones literally would not answer. The FBI would
not respond to requests for an interview.

In Monahans a merchant ran the first instant-check Tuesday,
called four times and never got through. When he called the
ôhelpö number he was able to get through and it took five
hours to approve the request.

The problem with all of this is expense and hassle of
running checks on people that donÆt need checking. A
criminal is not going to go down to the local hardware or
sporting goods store to buy a shotgun or rifle. If a
criminal wants a gun he or she will get it.

The other issue is the fact that the federal government lied
to the National Rifle Association, letting them believe that
after the check was run on an individual the paper work
would be trashed. This is not going to happen. The paper
work will be kept in a data base for future use of some

The NRA said it will sue over the system, which it calls an
illegal national registration of gun owners. We believe in
letting the states and local regulations govern the check
systems; they will do a lot better job. Lets face it, Texas
knows what is better for Texas than the federal government.

Family Issues

By John Setzer

One of the silliest heresies of the modern world is that the
churchÆs minister must do all the work. He or she often is
viewed as ôtheö professional Christian. Hence such an
individual is expected to know everything and do everything
thatÆs God related.

Talk about stupid!

For over 35 years my pastorÆs union card licenses me to
preach, counsel, convert, organize, celebrate, console,
grieve, teach, empathize, and liturgize. Sometimes IÆm
even authorized to sing out loud in public without fear of
being penalized for disturbing the peace of those slumbering
saints in the pews.

L-o-n-g ago I stumbled onto the clear and obvious truth that
there was no way I could ever hope to do everything to run a
parish - mine or anybody elseÆs. Besides, the Jewish
carpenter I work for said He would build His church. So
from then until now I try to do what He tells me to do.
HeÆs better at construction than I am.

One of the things He suggested was for me to get some help
reading. Thanks to conscientious elementary school
teachers, I developed an early love for reading. So the
problem was not not knowing how to read; the problem was
(and is) having sufficient time. Enter God with a wonderful
suggestion: ôInvite someone with lots of time to read for

Taa-dah. "The VicarÆs Reader" was born. This unpaid,
unheralded person is some senior saint whom I have selected
in every church IÆve served. Usually he or she has been
over 80 with a highly developed sense of humor, sharp eyes,
and a keen mind. They read widely, clip and collect stuff
judiciously, and generally enrich my life and work more than
mere words could ever convey. Here are a few recent samples.

"Tact is rubbing out anotherÆs mistake instead of rubbing it
in" is an anonymous quotation. "The man who kneels to God
can stand up to anything" I wrote Louis Evans. "God gave us
memory that we might have roses in December" is from the pen
of James Barrie.

The following selection will tell you that my special Reader
is no youngster. ôOld folks are worth a fortune with silver
in their hair, gold in the teeth, stones in their kidneys,
and gas in their stomach. I have become a lot more social
with the passing of the years; some might even call me a
frivolous old gal. IÆm seeing five gentlemen every day. As
soon as I wake, Will Power helps me get out of bed. Then I
go to see John. Then Charley Horse, who takes a lot of time
and attention, comes along. When he leaves, Arthur Ritis
shows up and usually stays the rest of the day. After such
a busy day, IÆm really tired and glad to go to bed. with Ben
Gay. What a life!ö

If any overworked pastor (or teacher or public speaker or..)
should happen upon this column, I urge you to do yourself a
favor. Search out and sign on a lively person or three (or
more) to appoint as Reader(s). YouÆll all benefit

And should the subject of payment come up, offer them pure
gold. TheyÆre worth it!

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Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
Joe Warren, Publisher
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314

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Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers Inc.