Sunday, November 24, 2019

El Rancho Grande

Elena, the manager of the Riata Motel in Marfa, told me that she was from Valentine, Texas. Her hometown lies 36 miles north on US 90, It's on life support, but it is the location of the fabled Prada Store art installation. No, it is not in Marfa as you have been led to believe. It's in an even more unlikely place. Valentine is as far from Milano as you can get without leaving earth. 

When I asked Elena about the changes she’d seen in Marfa. She said, “This was nothing but a ranch town when I was growing up. And now it’s a suburb of Austin.”

Marfa still a ranch town at its heart. It’s but a speck on the broad Chihuahuan Desert and all that surrounds it are ranches. The real economy of the Trans-Pecos is ranching and always will be. The Border Patrol must be second. Its green and white trucks riddle the landscape like Halliburton vehicles that dominate the roads in Wyoming. They are also green and white. Who modeled whom? That’s my question.

1 comment:

Blacks Crossing said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Steve! I bet there were some fine celebrations in Marfa and on the surrounding ranches, with truly fresh food on every table. Your blog this week gives a glimpse into the truly wide open spaces that comprise much of Tejas, despite the fact that I don't quite agree that Marfa is a suburb of Austin. However, the shot featuring the two windmills is stunning and one of your best landscapes. Thank you for including it. I also think it gives one a glimpse into the hearts and souls of ranchers and their families. All one needs to do is look at your photographs to realize why there is such a huge difference in the mindsets of those living in the cities and those farmers and ranchers who have made their lives on self-reliance. Great post, Esteban!