Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

September 30, 2012

Letters to the Editor – Sept. 30, 2012

Mineral Wells Index

Keep downtown alive

Dear Editor,

I grew up around the Mineral Wells area. It was sad to see the downtown “dead.” Lately, as we drive the downtown area, it is so nice to hear the sound of music and people enjoying themselves.

Mr. Marsh needs to join the 2012 group, relax and enjoy “life in old Mineral Wells.” I do not know where Mr. Marsh lives, but he might consider not living in a commercial-zoned area of Mineral Wells.

I hope more establishments move in and make downtown the night spot of West Texas. Tourists love to go where people have fun and entertainment.

Don’t let the old town go back to being deadly dull.

Bennie K. Murphy, Weatherford

DAR compliments area students, schools

Dear Editor,

The Weatherford Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution visited three area schools during Constitution Week, Sept. 17-23. This year is the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution at Philadelphia.

DAR members, Shirley Godfrey, Donna Holder, Rebecca Peters Donnell Doss, Eva Williams and Jean Bennett visited fifth graders at Garner, Millsap and Santo schools to present a short program on the United States Constitution.

The children at each school assisted with the program and answered questions about the Constitution and several volunteered they already knew the answers from reading books. Each student received a small copy of the Constitution, a book mark with the Preamble and a wrist band. Each school received a copy of the Constitution or a set of displays about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Drew Springer, a financial advisor from Weatherford, donated money to the chapter to supply the children with their gifts. His assistant, Diana Rice, invited the group to visit Santo.

Parents and teachers at each of the three schools should be especially proud of the behavior of the children. Without exception the children displayed good manners, eagerness to learn and a good ability to grasp the concepts of the Constitution. It was a pleasure to meet these well behaved and intelligent young people.


Jean E. Bennett, Mineral Wells

Ride on, Iris

Dear Editor,

I lost a friend a few days ago. All of us who have worked for or with Palo Pinto County over the last 20 years lost a friend. Her name was Iris Stagner.

It was my privilege to work with Iris on a daily basis for more than five years while I was county judge. She was assistant/secretary/coordinator/wellness director/public relations person and all round caretaker for the commissioners court. I am sure I left out some titles.

But Iris was more than a co-worker; she was my friend.  Even after I left office, I looked forward to visiting with Iris as we crossed paths around the courthouse.

My best memories of Iris include joking with her about her plans to retire in a few months. I told her that I would not believe it until I saw it, which comment always resulted in a sharp comeback and laughter. I told her I would bring her a box of lizards as a retirement gift (because I knew Iris and lizards did not get along).

We went to Savannah, Ga., a few years ago and brought home some pictures I knew Iris would appreciate. There we saw a newly paved highway with wide, clearly marked bicycle lanes. When I handed the pictures to Iris, the response was loud and happy because bicycles and safety were what Iris was all about.

Trying to make sense out of any tragedy is never easy; sometimes it’s downright impossible. With Iris, I look at it like this: She left this life doing what she loved. Sure, we all would have wished many more years for her but maybe her life was complete after all. I know that she lived life to its fullest. She would want us to keep going, keep moving, keep running, keep walking, keep riding, always getting better.

I am reminded of a story. A preacher was confronted by a question from a very serious little boy. The young man wanted to know if there were dogs in Heaven. The preacher thought for a long moment, bent down to the boy’s level, and asked, “Would Heaven be a perfect place for you if there were no dogs?” The little boy’s response was a quick, “No.” The preacher knew the answer, and simply said, “Then there are dogs in Heaven.” The little boy’s face broke into a wide smile as he walked away.

Here’s the point. I know that, for Iris, Heaven would not be a perfect place without bicycles. So if there are dogs in Heaven to make it perfect for little boys, there are bicycles in Heaven for Iris along with lots of smooth roads, gentle hills and cool breezes. In my mind’s eye, I can just see Iris there now, encouraging others to come along and ride with her just one more mile.

To Iris, there is no goodbye but rather this: “Ride on, my friend, ride on.”  

Mike A. Smiddy, Mineral Wells