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.
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.
On a stunning full-moon night, in the desert about 25 miles North of the Mexican border, a group of musicians – from Dallas, Austin, Fort Davis, Terlingua – got together to play music and hang out.
Word got around, and some of the locals showed up to join the party.
It’s a good thing it was a warm night. There’s no way that everybody who showed up would have fit into the American Legion hall.
I took video – 2 cameras – which means there’s a total of 12 hours of video that somebody gets to wade through to find the good parts. In the mean time, there were a LOT of photographers there. Looking through my shots, I think I got some good ones. I don’t have time to whup ’em into shape, so I’m just posting snapshots here to give you an idea of what the evening was like.
Thanks to all the pickers and singers who played for free. You’ll be gratified to know that we raised almost $200 for the Crisis Breadbasket Center. That will feed some people.
We’ll be doing Legiondary Jam #3 in February. Check back here for dates and details.
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: