Living in Terlingua, Texas opens up a universe of possibilities. All you have to do is adjust your concept of “neighborhood,” and you have access to a variety of fascinating experiences.
Living at Terlingua Ranch is one experience. Isolation. Off the grid. Technicolor sunsets. Wild, unpredictable weather.
Terlingua Ghost Town is a whole ‘nother experience. Great food, music on the porch and in the bars, and some very eccentric characters to hang out with.
Last weekend, LaRoja and I spent the weekend in Lajitas visiting with Trevor Hickle and his family. Lajitas is a resort, so we luxuriated in the pool, had dinner delivered to Trevor’s place, did some pickin’, and ended up in a very nice suite.
This weekend, we joined Jalapeno Schwartz for a grand tour of Marfa.
JP (Jalapeno) Schwartz is a country doctor, volunteer public radio DJ, and local celebrity. He and LaRoja have known each other since they were in college.
Friday night, Pat Smith and band were booked to play the High Sierra. Pat made it but his band didn’t. The previous blog post describes how a team of talented locals filled in and the show went on. (The Show Goats on!)
Pat seemed a little disappointed that his band hadn’t made the gig.
Saturday night, Pat, Maggie Montgomery, and a crowd of locals formed a pickin’ circle at La Kiva. I had planned to go, but a rainstorm came through the ranch and the roads were flooded. By the next morning, the roads were passable, but I missed that show.
It’s all part of living with nature.
When I walked into the High Sierra Sunday afternoon, the “Hangover Jam” was over. George Goss, Nick Cooper, Jim and Anna Keaveny, and Pat Smith were hanging out, drinking beer, and talking about how good the jam was.
When musicians from Austin, Luckenbach, and Terlingua, Texas get together to jam on the border, you get real Texas music.
Last night at the High Sierra Saloon in Terlingua, Pat Smith and Maggie Montgomery pulled in after driving all day across Texas. No time to change or shower… it was show time.
The original plan was for Pat’s band to accompany him, but they were kidnapped by of viscous crew of nude marauding female pirates in a 57 Corvette – or maybe they had car trouble – it was unclear. So, word went out on the Terlingua grapevine and a band of top local hands joined Pat on stage. Chris Baker brought her flaut. Nick Cooper played his dog-house bass, Mark played mandolin and fiddle…
The immigration conversation gets a lot more interesting when both sides have a say. It would be even more interesting if the U.S. government would listen to the people actually involved in that conversation.
What they would hear is, “yes, there are border problems elsewhere. We don’t have those problems here. We’d like our border crossing opened, preferably with a nice bridge, please.”
The people in this particular conversation are the residents of South Brewster County and our neighbors to the South.
You may call them illegal aliens or wetbacks. Down here, we call them neighbors and friends.
The people of Lajitas – neighbors from both sides of the Rio Grande – came together to show their love, support, and willingness to work together to get the border crossing re-opened.
The unintended consequences of closing the borders have been devastating. Families divided, friends separated, economies adversely affected.
Simple things, like getting groceries, gasoline, or visiting grandma have turned in to multi-hour ordeals involving driving to the nearest “legal” border crossing and then driving back on the other side.
It’s time. It’s time to admit that we made a mistake and fix it.
Slightly off topic – this didn’t happen in Terlingua. In fact, I don’t think Billy’s ever been to Terlingua. But it is, by gawd, Texas cool.
I got to participate in a photo/video shoot with Billy in Houston. My buddy and photography mentor, Rodney Bursiel, was doing the shoot for “Cowboys and Indians” magazine. I was there to drive, help schlepp gear, and make the “behind the scenes” video and photos.
We hung out with Billy all day. Went to his recording studio where ZZ Top has cut their last five CDs. Checked out his gear and got some recording tips – Billy’s surprisingly tech savvy. Got to hear stories of Jimi Hendrix, Joey Long, and some obscure Texas musicians that influenced Billy as well as the stories behind a lot of ZZ Top’s songs. Like a good Terlingua songwriter, Billy is just telling you about his life in his songs. He’s had an interesting life.
We ended the day with a Mexican Food feast and shots of Pura Vida tequila.
I’ll be posting some photos. I’ll print out some of the good ones and bring ’em to the legion for the next Jam. The video will probably end up online at some point- that’s Rodney’s call.
I’ll be back in the ‘bend next week and we’ll start planning the Legendary Legion Jam #3.
The next “Legendary Legion Jam” is gonna be Sunday, Jan. 27, at the American Legion Post 653. Once again, the musicians will be playing for free. No cover charge. We will be aggressively raising funds for the local food bank – bring food or money if you can.
Scroll down a little to see pics and stuff from the first jam. It was indeed legendary.
I’m still firming up the line-up, but it looks like: