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1 Cafe, 1 Gas Station, 2 Roads: America's Emptiest County
NY TIMES ^ | 02-25-06 | RALPH BLUMENTHAL

Posted on 02/24/2006 9:24:46 PM PST by jecIIny

February 25, 2006 1 Cafe, 1 Gas Station, 2 Roads: America's Emptiest County By RALPH BLUMENTHAL

MENTONE, Tex. — 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.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: rural
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This sounds like a place I could live in.
1 posted on 02/24/2006 9:24:48 PM PST by jecIIny
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To: jecIIny

empty is good.


2 posted on 02/24/2006 9:26:12 PM PST by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: jecIIny

Hell, I have driven through Mentone several times and, yes, it is mucho deserted.


3 posted on 02/24/2006 9:29:35 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: jecIIny

I remember this area as a child (50 yearsa ago). I had an uncle in Pecos that we visited. He owned two townships. Miles and miles of miles and miles. Great Americana.


4 posted on 02/24/2006 9:33:36 PM PST by afnamvet (CONGRESS.SYS corrupted; Reformat WASH_DC (Y/N)?)
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To: jecIIny

The thing that still surprises me is that there are still places very much like this in California...

In any case, I see that the NY Times spent a good chunk of the article to bash the Libertarians, to highlight that all Republicans vote as Democrats, etc. Good that their agenda didn't miss making the article.

As to the place itself - I've been more than tempted to move out into the middle of nowhere. If I was one of those folks who loves to soak the federal government for every penny - wow, what a place to live. The automatic library grant alone would be enough to ensure you have enough money to cover living expenses.


5 posted on 02/24/2006 9:35:23 PM PST by kingu (Liberalism: The art of sticking your fingers in your ears and going NANANANA..)
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To: jecIIny

Sheriff Hopper looks like the Sheriff whose son had his bride run out on him at the wedding. Did that happen in Texas? :)


6 posted on 02/24/2006 9:35:39 PM PST by jazusamo (:Gregory was riled while Hume smiled:)
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To: jecIIny

Do I have to call myself a Democrat though?


7 posted on 02/24/2006 9:37:04 PM PST by mhx
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To: jecIIny

This sounds like the PERFECT premise for either a movie,
or a sitcom. Or was that already done with the Andy Griffith SHow?


8 posted on 02/24/2006 9:37:37 PM PST by willyboyishere (You'd better begin living the way you think, or you'll soon be thinking the way you live> Brecht)
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To: jecIIny

Where are all the Californians????


9 posted on 02/24/2006 9:38:41 PM PST by goodnesswins (Too many idiots....so little time.)
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To: Drango

I like empty too. And we've got a lot of it in Texas. We've got our share of full too.

Pardon me, but I think empty is "spiritual" or "metaphysical" if you know what I mean.


10 posted on 02/24/2006 9:39:21 PM PST by garyhope (Peace through superior firepower, A-10's, C-130 gunships, rational thought and pragmatism.)
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To: jecIIny

Where a man can watch movie promos that would be considered risque anywhere else...

Like this--

http://www.youtube.com/watch.php?v=oXnyDV244Zo


11 posted on 02/24/2006 9:40:20 PM PST by bildabare
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To: willyboyishere

Is there any TV series that was ever better than The Andy Griffith Show? I don't think so. So simple, so good, so heartwarming.

Don Knotts's Barney Fife is a classic.


12 posted on 02/24/2006 9:42:59 PM PST by garyhope (Peace through superior firepower, A-10's, C-130 gunships, rational thought and pragmatism.)
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To: jecIIny
This sounds like a place I could live in.

Me too, but it wouldn't fit my dreams of an Amway empire. "You see, Cletus, you recruit two friends, and they recruit two friends, and then . . . well, I guess that would be it."

13 posted on 02/24/2006 9:44:27 PM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: jecIIny; All


14 posted on 02/24/2006 9:46:02 PM PST by Conservative Firster
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To: jecIIny

Lurking deep in the smug, chest-crowding heart of every big city snob is a small infarct of doubt.


15 posted on 02/24/2006 9:50:06 PM PST by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: kingu
I doubt this was an agenda based article. The business with the libertarians was probably put in cuz it was the ONLY news worthy item from this place. And I did not read it as a bash on libertarians in general. Just the nuttier ones. I kinda thought it was funny to be honest. As for being a Democrat. I seriously doubt these people are modern Democrats. These are old fashioned southern Democrats.
16 posted on 02/24/2006 9:50:28 PM PST by jecIIny (You faithful, let us pray for the Catechumens! Lord Have Mercy)
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To: afnamvet

"Miles and miles of miles and miles.

The best description of Texas: Miles and miles of miles and miles...


17 posted on 02/24/2006 9:50:55 PM PST by Bookmark
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To: jecIIny
This sounds like a place I could live in.

Oh, great...what are you trying to do, crowd these folks?

18 posted on 02/24/2006 9:51:07 PM PST by JRios1968 (A DUmmie troll's motto: "Non cogito, ergo zot")
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To: garyhope

"Is there any TV series that was ever better than The Andy Griffith Show?

If you're talking variety show, I loved The Ed Sullivan Show.


19 posted on 02/24/2006 9:53:12 PM PST by Bookmark
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To: jazusamo
looks like the Sheriff whose son had his bride run out on him at the wedding

"The name is Justice...Sheriff Buford T. Justice..."

20 posted on 02/24/2006 9:53:28 PM PST by JRios1968 (A DUmmie troll's motto: "Non cogito, ergo zot")
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To: JRios1968


THAT'S THE GUY!!


21 posted on 02/24/2006 9:55:52 PM PST by jazusamo (:Gregory was riled while Hume smiled:)
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To: Conservative Firster

Is that a McDonald in the distance?

And why are all the counties geography square?


22 posted on 02/24/2006 9:56:08 PM PST by Bookmark
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To: jazusamo

He resembles Jackie Gleason a lot.


23 posted on 02/24/2006 9:57:52 PM PST by Bookmark
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To: jecIIny
Strangely enough, Mentone may not be the smallest county seat in Texas.

Lipscomb in Lipscomb County in the Panhandle had but 44 people according to the 2000 census, while Mentone had 50 in the 1990 census (I can't find a 200 figure for Mentone).

Loving County is also the only county in the US with nobody reported below the poverty line.
24 posted on 02/24/2006 9:58:09 PM PST by decal (Whoever said you can't fool all the people all the time has never visited DU...)
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To: Kolokotronis

They don't have a lawyer there...


25 posted on 02/24/2006 9:59:16 PM PST by jecIIny (You faithful, let us pray for the Catechumens! Lord Have Mercy)
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To: JRios1968

I don't think I would care for the place. Too damn hot, and no trees.


26 posted on 02/24/2006 10:00:42 PM PST by Beagle8U (An "Earth First" kinda guy ( when we finish logging here, we'll start on the other planets.)
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To: Bookmark
And why are all the counties geography square?

Because it's


27 posted on 02/24/2006 10:00:55 PM PST by JRios1968 (A DUmmie troll's motto: "Non cogito, ergo zot")
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To: jazusamo
THAT'S THE GUY!!

"Always glad to help."

28 posted on 02/24/2006 10:02:33 PM PST by JRios1968 (A DUmmie troll's motto: "Non cogito, ergo zot")
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To: JRios1968

29 posted on 02/24/2006 10:02:39 PM PST by mojojockey
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To: jecIIny

You guys all miss a key point in the story...if you read the entire thing. So they have elections....and the census of 2000 tells everyone that the county has a population of 67. Yet there are a total of 89 votes cast in this election. Even the Sheriff will tell you...because he knows everyone...there are likely 71 folks who live there presently. You have 17 votes cast...which can't exist. And did anyone from the county catch this? No. Was it a Bush-win county...yep. We all must ride down to Loving County and discover how they rig up the elections and whether they bring folks in or allow dead folks to vote. We Republicans are finally doing something right, and we ought to find the best way of capitalizing on this for future elections.


30 posted on 02/24/2006 10:02:57 PM PST by pepsionice
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To: Bookmark
"Is that a McDonald in the distance?"

"And why are all the counties geography square?"

Two birds with one stone

31 posted on 02/24/2006 10:04:15 PM PST by Conservative Firster
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To: JRios1968

I was raised in Newcastle very close and very small--It was a great place to be a boy but hard to make a living.


32 posted on 02/24/2006 10:04:25 PM PST by mcmc911
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To: JRios1968

Is it true Texans have wall-to-wall carpeting on their ranches?


33 posted on 02/24/2006 10:05:18 PM PST by Bookmark
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To: pepsionice
They obviously learned from the Master at getting dead folks to vote


34 posted on 02/24/2006 10:06:00 PM PST by JRios1968 (A DUmmie troll's motto: "Non cogito, ergo zot")
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To: Bookmark

"And why are all the counties geography square?"

Most of the counties in the eastern third of the state aren't - lots of river boundaries.

Most of the county lines in the west are straight because there aren't many natural boundaries like rivers - easier just to draw a line and let the surveyors mark them.

Look at the US east and west of the Mississippi; state boundaries pretty much follow the same pattern.


35 posted on 02/24/2006 10:06:29 PM PST by decal (Whoever said you can't fool all the people all the time has never visited DU...)
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To: jecIIny
Do they have a potential resident sign-up list?
Where do I e-mail my resume?
36 posted on 02/24/2006 10:07:47 PM PST by sarasmom (I don't care who John Galt is, I just need his email address.)
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To: Bookmark
Is that a McDonald in the distance?

I was in Odessa for awhile. Just think of the High School football film "Friday Night Lights". I went ot the local McD's on a Friday night and it was closed 'cause everyone and I mean everyone was at the game. LOL

37 posted on 02/24/2006 10:08:33 PM PST by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: jecIIny

Sounds like heaven...not literally...


38 posted on 02/24/2006 10:09:46 PM PST by antaresequity (PUSH 1 FOR ENGLISH, PUSH 2 TO BE DEPORTED)
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To: Army Air Corps

What part of Texas is Mentone located in?


39 posted on 02/24/2006 10:15:39 PM PST by no dems ("A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking" Steven Wright)
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To: jecIIny

Sounds like my kinda place.
I could be the Republican.


40 posted on 02/24/2006 10:16:13 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: jecIIny; All

This sounds like a very rural and unpopulated area.

Kinda like Sioux County Nebraska. It's in the northwest corner of the state.

Total population of 1475. The county seat is Harrison with a population of 279.

Lots and lots of rangeland. Lots of cattle ranches. The only thing of note in the county is Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, a very interesting national park.


41 posted on 02/24/2006 10:16:43 PM PST by MplsSteve
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To: no dems

It is west of Kermit in the middle of freakin' nowhere. ;-)


42 posted on 02/24/2006 10:19:24 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: jecIIny
Re: These are old fashioned southern Democrats.

Yep, can you just imagine these folks reaction if Pelosi and Teddy K came down to live there?

43 posted on 02/24/2006 10:23:01 PM PST by Bender2 (Redid my FR Homepage just for ya'll... Now, Vote Republican and vote often)
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To: jecIIny

Lamb County, Texas Pop:14,709

Named after George A. Lamb...who died in the Battle Of San Jacinto...the battle that gave Texas her independence.

Lamb is my family name.

44 posted on 02/24/2006 10:25:48 PM PST by blam
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To: garyhope

"Pardon me, but I think empty is "spiritual" or "metaphysical" if you know what I mean."

I couldn't agree more. Empty is beautiful.

Each year, my Bride and I get on one of our Harley's and do our best to stay off of the interstates. We stay away from crowds for a full 30 days.

There is a country out there that most people never get to see. We travel between 7k to 9k miles on each trip. For us it's a way to cleans our souls, fly with the wind and look into the eyes of God.

There is so much more to see when your view is not cluttered by man.


45 posted on 02/24/2006 10:27:46 PM PST by Gator113
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To: decal
U.S. Census figures:

Loving County: 1990-107, 2000-67, 2004-52
Lipscomb County: 1990-3143, 2000-3057, 2004-3074

46 posted on 02/24/2006 10:28:08 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: decal
U.S. Census figures:

Loving County: 1990-107, 2000-67, 2004-52
Lipscomb County: 1990-3143, 2000-3057, 2004-3074

47 posted on 02/24/2006 10:28:09 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: blam

That is only about a 30 minute drive from here...


48 posted on 02/24/2006 10:28:17 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: FreedomCalls
True, Lipscomb the COUNTY is much bigger than Loving, but Lipscomb the COUNTY SEAT is comparable in size to Mentone, perhaps smaller.
49 posted on 02/24/2006 10:30:30 PM PST by decal (Whoever said you can't fool all the people all the time has never visited DU...)
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To: jecIIny
"...it has trouble seating 12 jurors who are not related to a defendant."

They have a similar problem in West Virginia.

50 posted on 02/24/2006 10:33:08 PM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Some people see the world as they would want it to be, effective people see the world as it is.)
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