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

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Jim Keaveny CD Release Party

Friday night in Terlingua…

Ted Arbogast at the Boatyard, Jon Brooks at the Starlight Theatre, and Jim Keaveny’s CD release party at the High Sierra. Naw, there’s nothing going on in Terlingua… except great music and a party.

Tomorrow’s the “Green Scene.” Terlingua Ghost Town will be packed, off-the-grid and sustainable lifestyle demonstrations will occur, and I’ll be playing the Boathouse with Moses Martinez and friends.

Ted Arbogast at the High Sierra

Ted Arbogast at the Boat House
Sharron Reed takes a pic of Jon Brooks

Sharron Reed takes a pic of Jon Brooks
band and crowd

Jim Keaveny + band rocked the High Sierra

Continue reading “Jim Keaveny CD Release Party”

Butch Hancock, Butch Morgan – 2 fer 1 Butch’s

Butch Morgan and Butch Hancock did a song swap at the Starlight Theatre during “Burger Night.”

It’s always a bit bizarre to hear Butch Hancock at a local venue. It shouldn’t be. He’s been a resident of Terlingua, off and on, for decades.

Butch also talked me into buying a new camera. Now, I’ve got to decide which one I want.

Butch Morgan was still in town- he came down for the “Terlingua Music Bash.”

Later, Jason Blum and Jenni Mansfield Peal sat in with Butch Morgan and did some songs. As I was leaving, John Hogan and Maria Moss were preparing to do a short set.

Just another night in Terlingua.

Butch Hancock playing at the Starlight Theatre.

Butch Hancock playing at the Starlight Theatre.

Continue reading “Butch Hancock, Butch Morgan – 2 fer 1 Butch’s”

Terlingua Music Bash 2014 – 1.

Al Barlow and his crew of singer/songwriters from all over are arriving for the 20th annual Terlingua Music Bash. There are live music events happening at the High Sierra, the Boathouse, and the Starlight Theatre this week.

I’ll try to get a schedule… the only one I’ve seen was in Al’s hand, and it was a rough draft.

And, just in time, the Boathouse is open- with Gumby and Sierra behind the bar.

Here are some pics from Tuesday night- stay tuned, there’s gonna be lots more.

Al and shark

Al Barlow sticking his head in the shark’s mouth at the Boathouse.
al jim anna

Al, Jim Keaveny, and Anna Oakley at the Boathouse.
al map

Al with the big-ass map at the Boathouse.

Long time coming… the Boathouse, all lit up and open!
dixie pat albert moses

Moses Martinez, Dixie Beal, Patrick Smith, and Albert Besteiro play as Jeffro Greasewood tweaks the PA.
dixie pat albert

Dixie, Patrick and Albert

Dixie, with Patrick and Albert at the High Sierra
jason albert

Jason Blum and Albert at the High Sierra
sierra gumby

Just like olde times – Gumby and Sierra at the Boathouse.

Brittany and Billy – at the High Sierra.

In Terlingua you’ll hear it said, “we take care of our own.”

Brittany and Billy are certainly “our own,” and the community gathered to support them as they launch their new family.

The parking lot was full of contestants in the dutch-oven baking competition. The club was full of well-wishers.

There was a live music and a huge auction, with heated bidding on many items. All money raised went to the soon-to-be newly weds.

Here’s the pics-



Full House.

Continue reading “Brittany and Billy – at the High Sierra.”

Loves It in Terlingua.

The homeless duo, “Loves It,” played the Starlight last night.

Although they are officially from Austin, they have a storage room in Nashville and live on the road in their touring van.  Apparently, this is a trend- Ray Tarantino, Jon Hogan and Maria Moss, Hank Woji… have discovered the economic reality that you can just skip all that rent and utilities stuff if you just keep on moving.

I’d never heard them before, but reviews from their show at Lajitas were good, so I hung out at the Starlight with Cosmic Kathy, Jeffro Greasewood and Sha, and other locals at the bar.  It was a full house, which is just weird.  It seems like spring break will never end…

Jenny Parrot of Loves It

Jenny after the show.

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Monday on the porch in Terlingua.

Yesterday, we hung out on the porch before dinner…

Chase Peeler, Jeffro Greasewood, Hillie Bills, Mark Lewis, Hank Woji, and a few others were playing… I was enjoying a cigar and the scenery and the scene.

Over the course of about an hour I snapped a few pics.  What struck me when I looked back on them was how the band morphed and changed over that hour.  People switch instruments, go on beer runs, see someone they want to talk to…

But, the music plays on.

Only in Terlingua, y’all.

musicians on the porch in Terlingua
Chase, Hank, Mark, Hillie.

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Remembering Glenn Felts –

There was no stronger supporter of the Terlingua Music scene than Glenn Felts, the owner of La Kiva bar and restaurant.  

Glen Felts at the Chili Cook-off
Glen Felts at the Chili Cook-off

When Glenn died Monday night, it left a huge, Texan leprechaun-sized hole in our community.   Glenn and his friendly grin had presided at La Kiva for years, overseeing some amazing parties, out-door concerts, and 17 years of Wednesday open mics.  He could always be counted on to slip a musician a plate of his prize-winning BBQ or a beer. He loved music and musicians, and every player who had the privilege to play his stage knew it.

On a personal note, last Wednesday’s open mic was pretty magical.  Butch Hancock, Laird Considine, Charlotte Teer, Trevor Hickle and I played the first set to a full house.  After our set, Glenn called me over.  He had heard about my efforts to raise money for the local food bank.  He offered to contribute $420 a month to buy groceries for the food bank to distribute.  He had some great ideas, including opening up his restaurant once a month for a free meal for his hungry neighbors.

Since the food bank only needs $400 a month to meet it’s minimum goals, Glenn basically offered to fund the food bank by himself.  I couldn’t help myself- I gave him a big hug and teared up.  Terlingua people are a proud bunch.  The people who need the food bank are predominantly children and disabled adults.  Glenn was not going to allow hungry children in his town.

That was the last time I saw him.

Tonight, the community gathered in the parking lot of La Kiva to honor and celebrate Glenn.  There had been music at La Kiva every Wednesday night for 17 years.  Although the club was closed, musicians and friends braved the cold to sing, hug, cry, and tell stories about their time with Glenn outside the club.

The Sheriff’s department had cordoned off the parking lot.  The crowd gathered on the shoulder of the road across the street from La Kiva.  A decision was made, and the gathering walked across the parking lot and gathered outside the club.  It was cold and windy, but soon that chilly wind was carrying the sounds of guitars, mandolins, bass, saxophone,  viola and voices that weren’t quite ready to say a final good-bye to 17 years of music on Wednesdays – or to Glenn.



The Sheriff’s Department blocked the entrance to La Kiva.

hugs and tears

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CinnabarGanza! Last Minute Low Budget Theatre benefit.

Terlingua’s home-grown theatre troupe, Last Minute Low Budget Productions, held a benefit at the Starlight Theatre in Terlingua, Texas last night.


Trevor Hickle auctions off a print by Voni Glaves (in red).

The Starlight Theatre was packed.

There were live and silent auctions.  Local musicians, plus mandolin whiz, Billy Bright, played and sang. There were some short theatrical skits.  

Several pieces of art by local artists were on offer, but by far the one that generated the most excitement, and the most money, was one by the artist who created the mural behind the stage.  He auctioned off a painting of that very scene.  This is a one of a kind, historically valuable piece of art and the bidding was fierce.  When the dust cleared and the bidding was over, the theatre troupe was ahead by $1,500.   Continue reading “CinnabarGanza! Last Minute Low Budget Theatre benefit.”