C.M. Mayo < Digital Media < Podcasts < Marfa Mondays


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These podcasts are apropos of a book in-progress,
World Waiting for a Dream: A Turn in Far West Texas



17. Under Sleeping Lion: Lonn Taylor in Fort Davis
An interview with historian Lonn Taylor, the "Rambling Boy" columnist for the Big Bend Sentinel, and author of several books, most recently, Texas People, Texas Places. Recorded in Fort Davis in March 2015.
"Everybody kind of has a stereotype of Marfa either as the cattle town where they filmed 'Giant' or a contemporary art center. I like discovering things that don't fit into that stereotype."

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16. Tremendous Forms: Paul V. Chaplo on Finding Composition in the Landscape
An interview with photographer Paul V. Chaplo, author of Marfa Flights: Aerial Views of Big Bend Country. Recorded at the Texas Book Festival in Austin, October 2014.
"...on a list of the world's largest super volcanoes, the Chinati caldera is near the top of the list, and when the Chinati erupted about 32 million years ago, the force of the eruption was greater than Vesuvius and greater than Krakatoa. To think that that happened just southwest of Marfa is mindboggling..."

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15. Gifts of the Ancient Ones: Greg Williams on the Rock Art of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands

Though the Rock Art Foundation's tours and website have been spreading the word, it still seems a well-kept secret that some of the most spectacular rock art in the world is tucked into the nooks and crannies of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of Far West Texas (and into Coahuila, Mexico). I had the great privilege of being able to view some it, specifically, the rock art at Meyers Springs, through the tour offered by the Rock Art Foundation. My interview with Greg Williams, Executive Director of the Rock Art Foundation, was recorded in the Meyers Springs Ranch house kitchen, just after that four hour tour.
"When I drive out here from San Antonio… I love rock and roll. I love old rock and roll music, it's playing all the way. When I hit the Pecos River, I turn the music off and I usually roll the windows down. I don't care how hot it is. I turn the air conditioner off and I usually drive way under the speed limit and then I become… at that point it's not about me. At that point I become the smallest thing here and everything out there is bigger than me, everything out there has something to teach me or to show me..."

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14. Over Burro Mesa / The Kickapoo Ambassadors
A hike over Burro Mesa into Apache Canyon in the Big Bend National Park, plus the reading of a brief translation from the memoir of Maximilian's gardener, Wilhelm Knechtel, about the Kickapoo ambassadors in 1865.
"No sign of burros on Burro Mesa. In two hours in this merciless landscape, we had seen no animal tracks, no scat; one lizard; one butterfly; two ravens..."

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13. Looking at Mexico in New Ways: An Interview with John Tutino
An interview with John Tutino, Professor of the History of Mexico and the Americas in the History Department and the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington DC. Professor Tutino is the author of Making a New World: Founding Capitalism in the Bajío and Spanish North America (Duke University Press) and editor of the anthology Mexico and Mexicans in the Making of the United States (University of Texas Press).
"I got to the point where I said, 'The whole basic big picture of where we thought Mexico fit in the world is somewhere between wrong and mythical." And you can't change that by chipping away at the edges and saying, 'look at this little piece.'"

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12. Dallas Baxter: "This Precious Place"

Interview recorded on February 23, 2013 with Dallas Baxter, founding editor of Cenizo Journal, on the flowering of the arts in the desert, the aftermath of 9/11, living in the Big Bend, and the story of a dynamic and successful print publication in this digital age— as she hands it on the new owners.
"I really love this place out here, and I love the way it looks. I like the way it smells. I like to go outside at night and just look at the sky and feel the wind, and I think it's a really precious place, and I think it's a precious place because of what has come before and because of what's here now."

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11. Cowboy Songs by Cowboys

Michael Stevens, Craig Carter, and Doug Figgs singing cowboy songs at the 27th annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering at Sul Ross State University in Alpine,Texas—plus an interview with Michael Stevens.
"They love the job they do. They love their animals. They appreciate the land. Have you driven around the country and seen cowboy churches? Have you ever seen a farmer church? I never saw anybody sing about their tractor! You know, the sailors sing about their ships, but the cowboys, they love that."

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10. A Visit to Swan House
After a brief consideration of literary travel writing in the digital age, C.M. Mayo reads from her article in the winter 2013 issue of Cenizo Journal, "A Visit to Swan House," about the Presidio, Texas teaching house of adobe visionary Simone Swan. Recorded live in the Teatro Angela Perlata, San Miguel de Allende.
"When Simone Swan was living in New York, a house with two courtyards came to her in a dream. And it seemed like a dream to me that, less than a year after I'd first glimpsed Swan House from the road, I was sitting with its owner in the Nubian vault that was the living room, the shell high above us aglow with the orange light of morning..."

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9. Mary Baxter, Painting the Big Bend
Mary Baxter came to Marfa years ago for the horses and cattle business and stayed to paint the sky-haunted landscapes. Recently returned to Marfa after a decade in (relatively nearby) Marathon, Texas, Mary Baxter talked to C.M. Mayo in her sun-filled studio in October 2012.
"What is this human urge that you want to record what you see? It must go back to prehistoric times when people painted on the cave walls the animals that they saw. So I can't explain why we do it. You know, nothing is as good as being there and seeing it, just being in the landscape. But there's this urge to say, 'I'd like to try to translate this. These colors, or these shapes, or these animals, and this moment, and at this place.'"

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8. A Spell at Chinati Hot Springs

Elvis. The private art gallery. Lithium. And even better: no email. C.M. Mayo recounts a visit to this remote Chihuahuan Desert oasis in May of 2012.
"I walked down the arroyo through low canyons of limestone, watching out for Nelson, the famously cantankerous wild burro, who never did appear. It was not an easy hike because of the stones all sizes, shapes, and many colorsand the puddles, and mud, and braids of water still flowing after the past weeks' rains. In a leisurely, zigzag-y half an hour, I arrived at the Private Art Gallery..."

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7. We Have Seen the Lights: The Marfa Ghost Lights
C.M. Mayo recounts her own experiences with the eerie and as yet unexplained phenomenon of the Marfa Lights; discusses some of the literature and recent research; and interviews others in and around Marfa.
"One time, very early in the morning, when he was driving a school bus from Marfa to Presidio, he saw in the rear view mirror that a big orb had appeared on the highway. It followed the bus, and then it came closer… And then it moved inside the bus..."

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6. Marfa's Moonlight Gemstones

It was no exaggeration for historian Walter Prescott Webb to describe the Big Bend region as "an earthwreck in which a great section of country was shaken down, turned over, blown up, and set on fire." In short, there is ample evidence of millions of years of dramatic geological activity, with the craggiest of mountains to rocks of all kinds, from mammoth piles of boulders to pebbles. In this interview with Paul Graybeal, owner of Marfa's Moonlight Gemstones, learn about the beautiful agates, wondrous thundereggs, and more.
"What got me into a rock shop is collecting agate as a hobby when I first moved out here in the '80s. Of course, I grew up in the Black Hills and that's real rich in minerals and of course, fossils in Badlands and all that sort of stuff, so at a very young age I'm sure I was exposed to looking at the ground and looking for treasures on the ground..."

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5. Cynthia McAlister with the Buzz on the Bees

An interview with Cynthia McAlister about the bees of West Texas, both imported and native to the northern Chihuahuan Desert. McAlister holds a masters degree in biology from Sul Ross University and is the author of several articles on bees, among them,"Our Native West Texas Bees," which appeared in the winter 2012 issue of Cenizo Journal.
"There are thousands kinds of bees out there... And the one I always like to tell people about first is the bright green iridescent sweat bees... Of course, bumblebees, the big black and yellow fuzzy, black and yellow bees. And then around here, a lot of people, I'm sure, are familiar with the big shiny black carpenter bee that digs a hole out here in agave stalks and yucca stalks and dry sotol stalks... "

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4. Avram Dumitrescu, An Artist in Alpine

An interview with Avram Dumitrescu, an artist and illustrator whose paintings have been featured in "Marfans: Art from the Plateau" at the Nancy Fyfe Cardozier Gallery in Odessa, and also showcased in Cenizo Journal. A native of the Channel Islands and raised in Belfast, Dumitrescu earned a bachelor's degree and Masters in Applied Arts from the University of Ulster at Belfast. He is married to journalist Megan Wilde.
"When we moved to Alpine, our landlords had about 30 chickens. Patty and Cindy, they're on the west edge of town...that's where I had my first experience being around chickens, because until then it was just stuff I'd eat. They're basically mini-dinosaurs. Every time I go in, I'm always worried if I fall, and they start pecking me to death like in some horror movie... because they see red, they run to it and attack it. They're very interesting characters, and I think what really made me laugh was Patty and Cindy had named them after characters from 'The Sopranos.'"

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3. Mary Bones on the Lost Art Colony

An in interview with Mary Bones, curator of "The Lost Colony: Texas Regionalist Paintings," in the Museum of the Big Bend, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, Texas. The Lost Colony refers to the summer art colony at Sul Ross which began in 1932 and ended somewhat mysteriously in 1950. Leading members included Xavier González, Julius Woeltz, Anna Keener, and Mabel Vandiver.

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2. Charles Angell in the Big Bend

n interview with Charles Angell, owner of Angell Expeditions, on the Big Bend: how he got here, the rivers, the birds, geology, archaeology, rock art, movies, and much more. Recorded at the Hoodoos in Big Bend Ranch State Park and at Fort Leaton, just outside Presidio, Texas.

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1. Introduction and Welcome

Your host, travel writer and novelist C.M. Mayo introduces the Marfa Mondays Project, this series of 24 podcasts to be posted in 2012-2013, apropos of her book-in-progress, World Waiting for a Dream: A Turn in Far West Texas.

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