Del Rio

Robert Frank passed through Del Rio, possibly spending at least one night at The Roswell Hotel in the center of town. Passing the declining structure, daily, is a chore. In fact, driving though downtown Del Rio is very difficult. The buildings speak to me of their past and I see a future for the place that will never be because I don't have the funding to carry out my vision and while some share my vision, they are not any better off in making it happen.

I have always felt Del Rio, TX has a very unique energy, a creative energy, and when I am there so many ideas come to me. It is currently the home to a few artist and has been home to so many creative personalities over the decades. The homes and buildings that remain tell the story of a once affluent oasis, not an oil boom town but a hard working little city that prospered off the land by way of sheep and wool. It has an interesting and ingenious little irrigation system through the town. It's border location and ties with Mexico, along with Laughlin AFB have maintained the town through economic hardship.

I would love to be able to buy Del Rio wool and mohair yarn and textiles made from the sheep there. I would love Del Rio or Val Verde county goat milk, goat cheeses, ice cream and butters...For those seeking a small town to begin their artisan craft turned business, look no further than this place. Ranches are for sale, it's on the way to Marfa, TX by way of Highway 90.

Since I was in high school I have seen Del Rio as a diamond in the rough. I feel it has called upon many over the years who were unable to get the word out. The demographics are changing and as cities become less affordable I have always wanted to see the small towns become little satellite cities containing all the necessary amenities: good medical care, good schools, community centers and good grocery stores. I have often wondered, what if Del Rio was the completely unexpected site of a tiny Trader Joe's, what could happen? What if Cosco were to take a risk on a town like Del Rio, what could happen?

It's neighboring town, 45 minutes to an hour away is the other border town of  Eagle Pass, and the two places couldn't be more different. It is comparing Pottersville to Bedford has a casino or two that is advertised up to four and five driving hours away on billboards, while the other just spent a rare fortune on expanding the county library. Del Rio has a community garden and two active cultural art centers, hosts three parades a year and has a market in the town square once a month.

As larger cities price people out, what are needed more than ever are pioneers. Those who are willing to leave all the retail and community comforts of a city and create a smaller and more affordable way of living, in a small town, hours away. In Del Rio, I see a tipping point, it is in a vulnerable position.
I think of the talent that is in the town, three hours away from opportunity and hidden behind the miles that stretch along Highway 90. Keep driving and when you get to Del Rio, see what I see and  hopefully you can make something happen there again.

small town city

The Austin I live in is a small town.  Located within three miles are our doctors and dentists,
church, four grocery stores,
a toy store,     
    record store,
         comic book store,
                feed store,
                    our garden,
                book store,
            pet store,
       our library,
our favorite restaurant and two parks with pools.

Six miles away is a children's hospital,
children's museum,
another grocery store,
two more parks,
a duck pond,
another book store,
rock store,
awesome Asian markets,
the best pho .........
and Snow Monster.

This evening, we spent an hour looking at lizards, snakes, birds, a sloth, bunnies and a miniature pig. Another hour was spent just looking at accoutrements for pet bunnies. She went item by item asking,"Did you get this for your hamster? Did you get this for your bunny?" She then said she wanted a bunny and a hamster and chickens and a pig, "I want lots of pets like you had, Mommy!" That is something we cannot have in Austin.

No papaya tree of our very own, no hammock under a tree, no yard of our own, no bee hives.

I've never moved in autumn

October, under pecan trees and above gravel driveways, the polka dotted shirt my mother had on was long sleeved, Halloween was approaching, my little neighbor friends talking about costumes as they  started to walk home with their mother.

I remember when my mother's blue and green scarf went flying off her head and out the car window, as we passed over the bridge. I saw it float high above the water, the sun was fiercely setting into the lake and blinded me before we drove out of the scene.

I keep feeling the morning sun at the window in my grandmother's bedroom. The smell of freshly washed clothes and how the floor felt beneath my feet.

My grandfather, at the kitchen table, two weeks before he passed, telling August how he wanted to buy her a baby chick and how he smiled and it was the same smile I saw when I was her age.