June 4 Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

A long-time Fort Davis resident, Missy Cantrell, could use a helping hand. A renowned horsewoman, outdoor guide and camp cook, Missy was leading clients on a horseback adventure in the remote Davis Mountains on May 17 when a sudden riding accident resulted in serious injuries to her head, liver, shoulder and collar bone. Missy was eventually brought down to safety by a Jeff Davis County EMS crew. Unable to reach the air ambulance service that she subscribes to, she had to be flown by a different air ambulance service to El Paso. She subsequently spent six days receiving treatment in an El Paso hospital.

She is presently at home, in the midst of a long, slow recovery process.

Maybe Missy has fed you a beautiful meal. Perhaps you carry one of the handcrafted leather bags she’s made. You might’ve been buoyed by the warmth of her laugh or felt the loving intensity of her gaze while she listened to something you’ve said. It’s possible you’ve seen her featured in a Sleep Number video or read about her unique guided trips in Texas Highways. Missy is as creative, loyal and capable as they come, the rare person who is simultaneously adventurous, lovable, ever-curious and cussedly independent. And now she’s facing medical expenses far beyond her means.

Although Missy carried insurance for her clients, she held no insurance for herself. Her friends have set up a Go Fund Me account to help knock back the medical bills that will total many thousands of dollars. She will not be able to work while her body knits back together, which will take some months. Any contribution to cover those expenses will be deeply and gratefully appreciated by her friends, family and Missy herself. If any funds are raised in excess of Missy’s needs, she pledges to donate them to buy Big Bend ambulances the same type of air-cushioned gurney that helped ease her discomfort while getting her off the mountain.

To contribute, please go to gofundme.com/f/missy-cantrells-relief-fund and make a donation.

Thank you, and God bless you all,

The friends of Missy Cantrell

Presidio and Jeff Davis counties


Dear Editor,

The Blackwell School Alliance is taking down the images from our walking tour: Images and Voices from the Archive. The project was scheduled to be up for one year, and now we will save the material as part of our permanent collection. We would like to thank everyone involved in this project: our creative partner Borderland Collective; individuals, businesses and institutions who allowed us to place images on your walls; the City of Marfa for wall space and financial support; the Marfa community who shared your support and kind words; and most of all the former students and teachers of the Blackwell School who tell your stories. We have had a wonderful response to sharing our history in this way. We are so very grateful to our community.

Gretel Enck



Dear Editor,

My compliments to Stephen Paulsen and The Sentinel for your front page article “From Bad Math to Missing Results…” last week. It’s clear that Texas has joined the ranks of Florida and Arizona in withholding important information as well as Georgia, which got caught fabricating the daily trend of coronavirus infections. The one thing these four states have in common is that they are all Republican governed. The question is whether these errors are intentional or just a result of systemic incompetence. (A little of both, maybe?)

That said, we should all be grateful to President Trump for the outstanding job he has done in limiting the spread of the virus. Right? Well, he says he has done a great job. But compared to what? How about South Korea, which identified its first case the same day as we did and has an infection rate of 22.2 cases per 100,000 people and total deaths of 269 as I write this. Or Japan which has an infection rate of 13.2 cases per 100,000 people and 894 deaths. We all know the U.S. infection rate and death toll is massively higher. How about 535.7 infections per 100,000 people and 102,198 deaths. 269 deaths. 894 deaths. 102,198 Americans dead. From a hoax?

Obviously, after seeing those numbers, anyone who thinks Trump has done a decent job either doesn’t understand basic math or just doesn’t care how many Americans die as long as it isn’t him or her. And guess what, if you think a vaccine will miraculously appear in a few months and save us all, just remember the AIDS virus has been around for forty years and there is still no vaccine!

Finally, consider that the mantra “test, trace, isolate” actually does work. They proved it in South Korea and Japan and the Chinese proved it in Wuhan where they not only arrested the spread of the virus but are now in the process of testing all 13 million residents in order to try to prevent any additional spread. Where is the massive testing we now need in the U.S.? And why didn’t we commit to adequate testing in the early days before the virus overwhelmed us? Answer: Donald Trump’s indifference and his lies about the seriousness of the disease.

So, Trump voters, if you think the virus is a hoax, don’t see any need to wear a mask or practice social distancing, that’s fine. It’s your health, your life, your decision. Just stay away from me.

Fred Gossien



Dear Editor,

I am confused and hope you can help me clear this up. Is The Big Bend Sentinel a night spot, coffee shop, bar, restaurant or reliable source of local news? It’s hard to tell these days. I’m disappointed to read clearly biased articles that treat social media gossip as newsworthy. I’m frustrated when I have to search for facts that should be easy work for any journalist fresh out of school. Will we be able to continue to rely on this paper for unbiased and factual reporting? I’ll take my answer off the air.

Lena Spurgin



Dear Editor,

Hope So

George Floyd, another black man, died. For eight minutes a police officer’s knee pressed on his neck. Three other officers kept citizens from preventing his prolonged execution.

This is not the country envisioned during my upbringing and public service career. However, it is the product of festering issues of race, economic injustice and political corruption. The consequences of racism are inescapable.

Euro-Caucasian culture committed great wrongs against peoples of color. To a lesser extent, successive waves of white ethnic-national-religious immigrants too. Minority neighborhoods and native tribes struggle most.

Structures tethered to hubris buckled under the stress of complacency. Covid-19 provided the jolt. Witness the absence of a coordinated national response as Trump fiddles and Tweet rants.

Health systems and supply lines falter on the backs of overworked, underpaid at-risk employees. Critical infrastructure is D-. A dam ruptured, flooding thousands in Michigan. Yet trillions of dollars are borrowed against our future for endless wars.

“American Exceptionalism” shoots the messenger daring to mention the obvious. Will we ever learn from our sins of omission and commission? Hope so.

Taken from the Second Letter of Peter, an old spiritual warns: “God gave Noah the rainbow sign, no more water but the fire next time.” Martin Luther King, Jr. observed during his 1966 CBS Mike Wallace interview: “A riot is the language of the unheard.”

Nationwide, angry demonstrators shout: “Let him breathe!” Let us breathe too, cleansed by the power of sincere introspection and loving forgiveness.

Rev. Barry Abraham Zavah