Help Santa Bring Christmas to Boquillas’ Children

For the last 12 years, long-time Terlingua resident Marcos Paredes has taken food and presents to the children of Boquillas on Christmas Day. Marcos and some of his friends and neighbors have bought presents for the children plus turkeys and hams for their families, and delivered them personally.

This is a wonderful tradition. For it to continue, we need to pitch in.

Although there is now a legal border crossing into Boquillas, tourism is way down from where it used to be and without our efforts these children will not have much of a Christmas.

This year, Santa needs some help.  He needs your help so that our less fortunate neighbors to the South can celebrate Christmas.

You can help by donating using the button below. Your money will go to Terlingua Cares, which is associated with the Big Bend Citizen’s Alliance (a 501.c.3 non-profit organization based in Terlingua, Texas), and all funds raised will go to pay for gifts and food for the children of Boquillas.

If you’d like written confirmation of your donation for tax purposes, contact me (Pat O’Bryan) at koanwrangler (at) gmail (dot) com.


 

Santa hands out presents to the children of Boquillas
Santa hands out presents to the children of Boquillas
The reindeer can't swim, so Santa has to paddle.
The reindeer can’t swim, so Santa has to paddle.
Ho, ho, ho.
Ho, ho, ho.
Santa
Santa

x6

Butch Hancock and Bruce Salmon together at the Boathouse

Just another night in Terlingua.

A couple of locals got together at the Boathouse to sling songs.

Butch Hancock and Bruce Salmon got together for, as far as I know, the first time to trade tunes.

It wasn’t an intuitive match-up. Butch’s songs have a timeless West Texas by way of Dharamsala vibe. Simple chords, deceptively simple lyrics that are as precise as diamonds.

Bruce’s songs sound to me like they’ve been excerpted from an interesting play. Possibly a play set in Eastern Europe. Like Butch, his songs tell stories. His melodies, however, can be based on modes that are more Eastern than Western. Certainly not Country and Western.

They’re both folk singers, and the combination and juxtaposition of their songs and styles made for a fascinating evening of music.

Inevitably, dancing broke out during the last set. Jim Keaveny, who knows a bit about writing songs, added percussion on his tambourine. Stories were told, beer and chicken-fried steak were consumed, and when they played “What’s So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding,” harmonies joined in from various places in the room.

Just another night in Terlingua.

Butch and Bruce
Butch and Bruce 

Continue reading “Butch Hancock and Bruce Salmon together at the Boathouse”

Ojinaga – Shopping Day in OJ

Lots of Big Bend locals go to Ojinaga (OJ) regularly to shop and eat, go to the doctor, buy prescription drugs, get their shoes fixed… it’s a great resource.

I’ve lived down here over 2 years and I’ve only been once. I’ve got a passport- I think my reticence was that it’s different, strange. I don’t speak Spanish. Crossing back into the U.S. is irritating. And… aren’t there dangerous cartels in Mexico?

OJ is about an hour and a quarter drive to the West of Terlingua.  Today, I rode with a buddy who was going shopping and to the dentist.  It was a blast and a breeze.

The dollar is strong in Mexico:  1 dollar = 16 pesos.  I don’t think in base 16, so I flipped the equation: 100 pesos = $6.25. For some reason that made it easier for me to compare prices.

Getting pesos.
Getting pesos.

Our deal was that I’d buy our meals, and my buddy would drive and show me around. First stop was at the street vendor who sells shrimp cocktails. Because so many of the bank executives in OJ are from Sinaloa on the coast, they’ve arranged for fresh seafood to be delivered daily. Continue reading “Ojinaga – Shopping Day in OJ”

Grace Askew in Terlingua

Grace Askew at the High Sierra, Terlingua, TX

I got a text message from a friend- “Grace Askew is playing the High Sierra tonight.”

“Who’s Grace Askew,” I asked?

“Bluesy, from Nashville, was on “The Voice.”

I responded, “are they filming the damn reality show?”

“No!!!”

Ok.  I spent the day working on vocals and guitar tracks at the studio, then to the Starlight Theatre for dinner.  Speculation was that the whole thing was about the Reality TV show.  After dinner, I went back to the studio to make rough mixes, and showed up at the High Sierra around 9:00, where Jeff Haislip was talking to a thin dark-haired woman at a table outside. No video cameras visible… good.

Grace Askew at the High Sierra, Terlingua, TX
Grace Askew at the High Sierra, Terlingua, TX

Continue reading “Grace Askew in Terlingua”

New Terlingua Music: Paul Sprawl at the Boathouse

A couple of weeks ago, a tall lanky guy wandered into my recording studio by accident. We got to know each other, and found we had a lot in common.

Then, I pulled up a youtube video of him playing… wow. Here’s a video- you can go to YouTube and type in his name and be entertained for hours.

He and his wife have moved to Terlingua and are creating a space for artists called “Glint” on their land.  He told me a little about himself:  he’s a touring musician, does better in Europe than the U.S., is quite technologically savvy and knows his way around a recording studio.

We talked a while, and I encouraged him to play the local venues here in Terlingua so his neighbors can get to know him- and enjoy his music. Very soon, I heard he was going to play at the Boathouse. Continue reading “New Terlingua Music: Paul Sprawl at the Boathouse”

“Will play for food – for others.” Terlingua Musicians Rock!

Jeffro hands Mike the check.

 

Terlingua musicians rock in many ways- musically, compositionally, harmonically, personally.

Yesterday, they rocked compassionately as Jeffro Greasewood handed Mike Drinkard a check for $1,200.

Jeffro hands Mike the check.
Jeffro hands Mike the check.

Jeffro runs the open mic at the Boathouse on Wednesdays.  Anybody who runs an open mic knows this one:  you might run 30 musicians across that stage- who gets the tips?

Jeffro’s solution was to pool the tips and donate them to the Big Bend Crisis Center’s Food Distribution program- the local food bank.  The open-mic participants agreed that this was a grand idea.  The food bank is a popular charity for local musicians- in our small community in some months 240 households get food assistance.  The majority of the recipients are either children or the elderly.

That $1,200 check will completely fund the food distribution program for 2-4 months.

Congratulations and a big round of applause to Jeffro, Jeff Haislip, Charlotte Teer, Jim Keaveny, Anna Oakley, Alex and Marti Whitmore, Emy, Bryn Moore, Hank Woji, Mark Lewis, Chase Peeler, Shannon Carter, Laird Considine, Trevor Hickle, Trevor Reichman, Webster Delcambre, Jana Laven, and the rest of the open mic gang, and a deep bow of gratitude to the Don and the Boathouse for supporting local music and musicians.

 

Jeffro Greasewood (with Jeff Haislip)
Jeffro Greasewood (with Jeff Haislip)
Mike Drinkard, director, Family Crisis Center
Mike Drinkard, director, Family Crisis Center

 

Niko Laven’s CD Release Party at the Boathouse in Terlingua

Niko Laven has been coming to Terlingua with his family/band since he was five years old. I didn’t know him then, but it’s unlikely that he could scorch the earth with a Telecaster or sing with such passion and authority back then.

Last night, the boathouse was packed as Niko celebrated the release of his first CD.

The Lavens- Andreas (dad), Jana (mom), Rachel (sister), and Niko, performed as if they’d been doing it for years. They have.  The harmonies are rich and tight. Andreas and Moses held down the rhythm. Rachel and Niko split the lead vocals, except for a nice interlude where Andreas and Jana took us on a slightly more traditional country ride.

Here’s what it looked like to me.

rachel

niko 1 Continue reading “Niko Laven’s CD Release Party at the Boathouse in Terlingua”

Hank Woji Conspiracy at the Boat House

Hank Woji gathered an all-star band for a pair of goodbye concerts last weekend.

Friday night at the Boathouse, the core band of Hank, Ted Arbogast, Laird Considine, Chase Peeler, and Eric Clark- possibly the most musicians to ever gather at one time on the Boathouse stage- played. The interaction between the musicians in that intimate setting was fun to watch and hear.  The bar was packed and stayed that way until closing time.

Saturday night, the band moved to the Starlight and added keyboards, Mark Lewis on fiddle, Jana Laven on vocals, and Ted added electric guitar to the mix.

Pics below. Video and audio clips coming soon.

Woji

Continue reading “Hank Woji Conspiracy at the Boat House”

Terlingua Word-Off 2015

There was some discussion about how many years in a row there’s been a “word-off” in Terlingua. The general consensus was “about 26.”

Last night, I attended my first word-off.

What’s a word-off?  It’s a combination of poetry reading, drama, stand-up comedy, air guitar, and philosophical discourse.

Once again, it made me proud to be a Terlinguist.  There are some deep, intelligent, insightful, and funny people living here and last night they performed at the Starlight Theatre.

One of the cool things about this place is how we make room for everybody.  For example, I’m a liberal. One of my best buddies has an “Impeach Obama” bumpersticker on the left side of his pickup truck.  And on the right side. We play pool. We don’t talk politics. We get along.

On the porch, you can hear the latest conspiracy theory from Alex Jones’ creative lab discussed as if it was gospel. You can also get into conversations about fractal interaction, drug-running in the 80’s, local literature… pretty much anything goes, and we make room for it.

Except for this one guy…

The performances last night were on a variety of topics:  breast feeding, sex, compassion in a laundromat, war, politics, family dynamics, religion, the cub scouts… an alarming number of them with delicious British accents. We’re a cosmopolitan little village.

I wish I had video-taped the show. I will next year.

For the most part, natives and tourists were entertained and respectful. Kids played in the aisles. A couple of out-of-towners tried to develop a romantic adventure with a waitress.

Everybody had a fine time, except for this one guy…

After the show was over, several of the organizers relaxed, relived some of the high points, and talked about how to make next year’s word-off bigger and better.

I’ll be there.

Here’s how it looked to me:

word 2

Continue reading “Terlingua Word-Off 2015”