Do you consider Lamesa a tiny town where nothing happens and there’s nothing to do – made even worse by the fact we no longer have a Walmart?
Or is Lamesa a good-size city – at least by West Texas standards – as indicated by an array of fast-food outlets, a two-screen movie theater showing first-run flicks, and even a long-running live theater group?
It likely is just a matter of perspective, influenced perhaps by your past or maybe by modern media trying to tell you – or sell you on – what your life should look like.
I’m definitely in the former group, as I was reminded recently by one of the people responsible for hiring me right out of college to come to work at this newspaper.
After reviewing my resume, Bob Buckel noted, he and his dad felt I might consider Lamesa as a move to a big city.
They were right.
I’d spent my college years in San Angelo but my roots were truly rural.
Langtry may not be as remote as some places in the Big Bend region of Texas but it definitely  was – and is – a small town by any stretch of the imagination.
We didn’t need Census folks to count our population. Just start naming members of the extended Skiles family, the Cantus, Chamberlains, Billings and a few others and you would come up with maybe three dozen folks back then – nearer to one dozen now.
The nearest supermarket was 60 miles away, one way.  So was the nearest doctor, hardware store, movie theater, etc., all located in Del Rio.
School was a 30-mile bus ride away in Comstock, itself a community about the size of Welch or Ackerly.  It would have been 60 miles one way if you wanted to transfer to the next-nearest school.
From Comstock, our nearest district foe in high school basketball was 115 miles east down Highway 90.   
Going to regional in track meant a 676-mile round-trip road trip from school – well over 700 miles to and from home. 
   No wonder the coach opted to forego the trip and just let my parents take me to regional my senior year.
    My classmate girlfriend in high school lived 30 miles north of Comstock.  If I picked her up at her house and took her to a movie it was every bit a 240-mile drive.
    Needless to say, that didn’t happen often.
    In the days before satellite communications there was virtually no television reception in Langtry – the nearest station broadcasting from almost 200 air miles away in San Antonio.
Dad packed up the family and rented a motel room in Del Rio with cable TV so we could watch history being made when man first landed on the moon.  He did the same for one of my birthdays so I could see my favorite NFL team – the Dallas Cowboys, of course – play in the Super Bowl.
Our rural situation likely was why one man, who naturally became a friend to his few neighbors, decided to take up residence in Langtry during the early 1970s.
No one in our little town saw his photo when it was broadcast nationwide some months after he arrived.  
Instead, it was someone in Comstock with a TV who recognized that the newest Langtry resident actually was a member of the FBI’s Ten-Most-Wanted fugitives.
And thus, the following day, our already-small population was reduced by one.

Russel Skiles is the publisher of the Lamesa Press-Reporter.