A local judge has fond memories of growing up in Fort Stockton back in the 1960s and 1970s.
Jose Munoz, 58, is a Municipal Court Judge with the city and remembers staying outside all day to play with the neighbors.
“It was all games with the neighborhood, marbles and tops was a big day for us,” he said.
Munoz was born in the old Gibson Hospital to a single mother, and remembers playing with local longtime Fort Stockton families such as the Gallegos and the Fuentes.
“I have a humble beginning,” he said.
He remembers collecting glass soda bottles to collect the deposit in order to fund going to the city club to play games, or to the old Pecos Theater which burned down in 1976.
He also has memories of swimming in the Comanche Springs Pool.
“It was a pretty good place to be raised by a single parent,” he said.
He had one older brother, but because of their 10-year age difference, he often had to play with the neighbors instead.
He graduated Fort Stockton High School in 1980 and enlisted in the air force.
Afterwards he went to work for the Texas Department of Public Safety in highway patrol service, narcotics and commercial department of transportation before retiring in 2012.
He then went to work in the oil field as a compliance officer before taking his job as judge.
His job involves listening to complaints, code violations, animal hearings and traffic from city officers.
Having an extensive career in law enforcement and military helped Munoz prepare for the job.
“The difference is you listen to all the evidence instead of being the one building the case,” he said.
When he is not being a judge, he leads an active lifestyle of golf, going to the gym and bicycling.
One of the things that still baffles Munoz is the technology jump.
While things have changed drastically over the last 50 years in terms of social media, he agrees that people should stay up to date.
“Growing up was much simpler,” he said. “The older generation has to keep up with it.”