Another “First” for us! “Viva La Historia” in the Ghost Town of Terlingua, Texas. A unique event filled with emotions, colors and sounds we had the privilege to experience these past couple of days. The town of Terlingua invited everyone who ever lived, worked or were born in the Chisos Mine area to come back for one last weekend. An incredible task put together by this little town and its residents.
The event was being covered by the New York Times, The Dallas Morning News, The Big Bend Gazette and more… that in itself says something about the importance of it. It all started Friday evening with a Welcome Ceremony centered around the Porch and the Starlight Theatre. Corridos, Mariachis and food. Yes, Spirit and I were there, amongst families themselves filled with memories of years past, meeting many born in the Ghost Town that have come back with their children, now adults, cousins, aunts, uncles, grand children… they were all there.
I am a passer by, we are in transit here, and yet we have been welcomed as if we were part of this emotional event. I myself was born thousands of miles away, raised in such a different part of the world, and yet I found beauty and comfort being surrounded with smiles and conversations emanating from such a totally different civilization. I originally wanted to keep a step back and just watch the embraces, the reunions of so many that had not seen each other throughout those years, maybe just overhear the many stories told, it was not “my” weekend or event, but the kindness and open arms of the families here quickly made me part of it all. Eating, laughing and witnessing first hand the memories so many suddenly were reliving.
On Saturday morning vans were provided to tour the families as far as “Terlingua Abajo” and many other remains of what was once a “residence”. In the afternoon, tools were also provided to help restore the Cemetery since many have friends and family interred there. There was surprises, emotions, thoughts, when so many discovered family tombs not seen before of location forgotten. There must have been a certain sense of closure and peace knowing that “now” they knew their resting places. So many years had gone by, but the memories are never too far.
One after the other the events took place without too much rest. Dances and Music in the afternoon at the Boathouse, all within walking distance for everyone as in waves moving on from one area to another. Much colors for the eye, happy music, it was a joy for the senses to feel and experience. The cemetery was adorned with memorabilias in memory of the buried. A bottle of wine, a peanut butter sandwich, chips and queso, loose change…
As the evening came upon us, tables were set up for everyone to have a pot luck dinner! BBQ, Tamales, salads, desserts… much food for once again an occasion for everyone to sit down, talk and get to know each other. A bonfire and candles placed everywhere on many stones and tombs added to the vision of this Cemetery once again filled with the souls of the families present.
A few feet up the road, at the Boathouse, the Band “Los Pinche Gringos” was tuning its instruments for a night of great music and dance. Old, young and all in between were present to take on the dance floor as the moon still full from the night before was slowly making its appearance as in harmony with it all approving the good times present.
What an experience this has been, my words here barely can express it and I know that all will go back home fulfilled with the great memories acquired and new friends met. As for us… well, this is what “living under the stars” brings us, these unique moments which I try to share with you all… my own memories gaining this experience which will never be forgotten.
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You be well… as always.Ara & Spirit