Growing up in Pecos County gave one community member so much joy that after 68 years, she decided to never leave.
Arna McCorkle, Executive Vice President of the Fort Stockton Chamber of Commerce has fond memories of growing up in the small town of Girvin, about 35 miles outside of the city.
The little ghost town was home to around 10 people while McCorkle was growing up, and now is estimated to house around 30 people.
Her parents owned the grocery store, post office, gas station and beer joint.
The town was featured in National Geographic in 1993 and people regularly visit the Girvin Social Club, which was the only thing to do in the town.
McCorkle regulary rode the bus to school for at least 30 minutes one way to get to either Buena Vista Independent School District or McCamey ISD.
She has fond memories of building forts, playing with bugs and spending every waking moment outside.
“We had a blast,” she said. “We never stayed in the house.”
Being in such a small town, McCorkle learned to play by herself since there weren't any neighbors.
“We got to do whatever we wanted to do,” she said.
After high school, McCorkle came to Fort Stockton to go to vocational nursing school where she became a licensed vocational nurse.
She went to work at the Comanche View Nursing Home as the Director of Nurses and after that went to work for a local doctor.
She then went to work at Big Bend Coca Cola in sales for 13 years before becoming a contract pumper.
In 2004 she came to work at the Fort Stockton Chamber of Commerce as program coordinator where she took care of events and leadership.
Then when the position of executive vice president opened up she applied. She has held the post for the last 11 years.
“It makes me feel good I can help people learn about Fort Stockton,” said McCorkle.
She also loves helping the high school seniors with leadership, getting them ready for college and hopefully inspiring them to come back afterwards.
“I love Pecos County and I love Fort Stockton,” said McCorkle. “I don't have any desire to visit anywhere else.”
She has no plans to retire, she is still having fun.
“When you like your job, its not a job,” said McCorkle.
She loves all of the events that the chamber puts on, and is looking forward to the upcoming rodeo.
“I just hope I'm representing Fort Stockton in a good light, I think it's a great town,” said McCorkle.
She does have plans to spend more time with her daughter and 13-year-old grandson who live in Lubbock.
“Life is good,” said McCorkle.