Have ya seen the lights in Marfa? You know the Nordie lights!

Jan 16, 2014 by

Have ya seen the lights in Marfa? You know the Nordie lights!

That’s me on a little ‘ol west Texas jackrabbit (nearly sixty years ago!).  What a fond memory it is-just like Marfa.  A fond memory.  At the risk of sounding like a cry baby who missed the train, I realize Marfa has left me.  And I just can’t help but yearn for the old Marfa and the old west Texas.  I have not taken it lying down, either -as stated in my letter to the editor in the Austin American Statesman a few years agoIMG_2258. I had just seen a photo shoot of young, skinny girls in “western wear” and in a huff I fired off that letter.  Ironically, the next weekend we not only went to Marfa for July 4th but drove around with red, white and blue lights on the car.  How’s that for blending?  But, I digress…  I started getting my dander up when I heard about those New Yorkers invading-namely one Donald Judd and the Chinati Foundation.  By chance, there is a recent article in Austin Culture Map that eludes to how Marfa has changed.  The model in the see thru, lingerie top and 6 inch heels standing in front of boulders just rattled my cage all over again.  You see, I’ve been going to that area since the late fifties when my Mother rented a summer house in Alpine so my sister could pick up a college credit at Sul Ross.  Memories of driving through Big Ben (not a typo, that’s just what I thought the name was), a brunch every Sunday at a woman’s house who was the dean of some department and her husband was the police chief, eating the best cheeseburgers at Twin Peaks Drive-In,and (get this) going to the train station and watching the train blow through town.  And yes, I saw the Marfa lights.  My brother had a “place” on the back side of the mountain that McDonald Observatory sits on and since then I have enjoyed Indian Lodge, Prude Guest Ranch, July 4th fireworks in Fort Davis and Alpine, and wild dancing at Lajatis (did that jet really land and not be able to get out?).  I am vested.  So you can imagine when I saw the Prada storefront, not to mention the Playboy logo, it was as if someone had stuck a prickly cactus in my bum.  Which by the way, even the Brits wrote about it in the Daily Mail.  And of course, then came Liz Lambert, of Austin’s Hotel San Jose and really upped the cool factor.  I can just see my Mother’s face if I told her, now, she had to sleep in a tent out there.  And Big Bend Now reported a Nordstrom photo shoot.  You heard me, Nordies. In downtown Marfa.  And you thought those infamous lights weren’t natural.  But, as Ted Nugent said “I didn’t get into rock and roll to pick up women, but I adapted”, I’m adapting and coming around.  Heck, I’m even thinking about taking some friends out there for a Mahjong trip and staying at the Hotel Paisano (or Holland Hotel in Alpine, which I love).  I’m excited to introduce them to the magical land that you either really, really like or you really, really don’t.  And by the way, if you go and you are anxious about what to pack, here’s an article from The Austin American Statesman to find out what to wear.  As my Aunt Scrap used to say, “Butter would melt in her mouth!”


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