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Lone Star Echoes

March 07, 1993

Richard E. Meyer's visit with that wonderful cast of characters that call Loving County, Tex., home was fascinating ("West of Pecos," Jan. 31). As a Times writer out on assignment, I strayed through that stretch of emptiness five years ago.

Mattie Thorp, mentioned in the piece and now 88, was running the county's only gas station then, as now, and as she has been for the last 33 years. When I was there, she was chairman of the county Democratic Party but had her gas station plastered with pictures of Ronald Reagan and George Bush. When asked, "How can you be a Democratic official and have those photographs in your gas station?" she replied: "They elected me to the job. I didn't ask for it. I've voted for every Republican candidate for President as far back as I can remember."

Such is life in America's most sparsely populated county, a place so quiet you can hear the rattlesnakes crossing the road.

CHARLES HILLINGER

Rancho Palos Verdes

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