Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

Loving the Quiet of Loving

Posted by Adam Graham on February 26, 2006

From The New York Times a unique story on the emptiest County in the Country:

How empty is Loving County?

So empty that when Sheriff Billy Burt Hopper ran for office in 2004, he and his opponent attended each other’s campaign barbecues. So empty that it cannot sustain two political parties: Republicans and Democrats all call themselves Democrats and vote in a single primary.

So empty that it has trouble seating 12 jurors who are not related to a defendant. (Not that there is much crime, although — or maybe because — Sheriff Hopper patrols in a pickup with two shotguns and an AK-47.) So empty that the jail was moved to Pecos in Reeves County, 26 miles away, in 1994.

In fact, this is the emptiest county seat of the emptiest county in the country.

At last count (by Sheriff Hopper toting it up in his head), 16 people make Mentone their home and 55 others are spread throughout the rest of Loving County’s 645 square miles of parched, salty West Texas grassland and rattlesnakes — about one person for every nine square miles.

But Loving County, east of the Pecos River just below New Mexico, is blessed with mineral riches: 360 producing gas and oil wells and 18 more being drilled, creating an enviable problem for the county — forcing it to keep lowering its tax rate.

Yet it is modest enough, as a plaque outside the courthouse confesses: “Mentone has no water system (water is hauled in) nor does it have a bank, doctor, hospital, newspaper, lawyer, civic club or cemetery.”

Now, I found this story so fascinating just because there was so little stuff around. This is the type of place I’d consider ideal for vacation or retirement. Nothing against people, but I like quiet places, little events, low taxes, and government that’s close to the people. You don’t get much closer than that.

The only negative would be having to identify as a Democrat, but as these “Democrats” went 65-12 for Bush, maybe it wouldn’t be all that bad.

Linked to Jo’s Cafe

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3 Responses to “Loving the Quiet of Loving”

  1. I hated Texas the whole time we lived there, but I don’t know, give me a part in some of them mineral or oil well, and I could learn to love living in peace, quiet and solitude.

  2. I don’t think I’d mind living there either, although frankly, I could do without the rattlesnakes.

    ; )

  3. Adam Graham [Member] said

    You have some points. I like the concept of it, I’m not certain I’d like the reality.

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