Thursdays in Marfa bring a bit of excitement: the local paper – The Big Bend Sentinel - is published. (Can you call a paper “local” if it covers an area of more than a million acres? I guess so, if the associated population is less than 25,000.)
While in Manhattan I try to limit my consumption of the news (too depressing), in Marfa it lifts my spirits to see what is considered news-worthy, to find out about upcoming events, to check out the ads for local businesses and to read the extremely un-edited letters to the editor.
Here’s some of my favorites from the past few weeks:
Yarn and Fiber Club Postponed
ALPINE – Due to unforeseen circumstances, the organizational meeting of yarn and fiber enthusiasts scheduled for tonight has been cancelled indefinitely.
What are these “unforseen circumstances”?! INTK!
Concealed Handgun Class Saturday in Alpine
Hmm – could this have anything to do with the unforseen circumstances affecting the Alpine yarn and fiber enthusiasts?
4-H Lamb, Meat Goat Validation Saturday
I could reprint the whole article, and you would still have no idea what this is talking about. However, it does helpfully say that if you have questions, please call County Extension Agent Jessie Lea Schneider.
Some other items that remind me that that “arts scene” (such as it is) in Marfa is the exception to the rule in this region:
Alpine Rancher is Cattlewomen President
4-H Reining Contest This Saturday
Anual Fall Turkey Shoot Saturday
Hunter Education Course is Saturday
Alpine Community Band Performs Sunday
Pee Wee Night is Friday
ALPINE – Calling all Pee Wee riders! Big Bend Cowboy Church (!!) will host a Freestyle Reining Contest and Play Day for competitors 8 years old and under. A negative Coggins is required. (Huh??) Participants in costume riding a reining pattern to music will be judged on their horsemanship, choreography, costume and originality. Following the Reining Contest will be a Play Day consisting of barrels, poles, flag race, keyhole race and goat ribbon race.
To be honest, I am still sorry that I missed this.
In the Business and Services Guide, I loved learning that the owner of Kenneth Nelson Remodeling is named Rusty Nelson.
Perhaps he should take a nickname cue from the owner of Ranch Improvement Company Number 2, Jimmy “Hammer” Melvin, who has been “specializing in ranch dirt work since 1978.”
The ad next Nelson’s is for an attorney – Rusty Herman.
This place is so dry, I’m surprised there are so many Rustys.
I loved this ad:
Quick, get me an appointment with Josie Madrid! I need that hair do. How long has she been away? Since 1957?
But maybe Josie is a better alternative than her rival Marcy at the Americana Salon, who looks scary brandishing a scissors in her ad, and boasts that she is a fan of facial hair and mullets.
I also love that there is so litte news to fill the paper’s 10 or 12 pages (including a couple of pages for high school sports, homecoming parades, perfect attendance lists for the first 6 weeks of elementary school and honor roll members) that pretty much anything I’d seen and wondered about would be fully covered.
Those clearly-out-of-town well dressed 20 somethings? That was the Sundance Catalog shooting.
The sort-of-scary guy we saw making adobe blocks (don’t call them bricks!) down by the Chinati Hot Springs? That’s the third phase of a church restoration project sponsored by The Texas Historical Commission.
If you stay in a small town long enough, I guess it’s inevitable that you will do something news-worthy. While paging through this week’s paper, I came across a picture of myself. That’s me in the back row on the left, attending a print-making workshop.
It took me about 7 years to achieve my dream of being quoted in The New York Times. And here I was with a picture in the Marfa paper after being here less than a month.