July 16 Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Our heartfelt thanks go out to the more than 600 people who bought bonds to support Marfa’s restaurants. $85,920 was raised through the purchase of Marfa Solidarity Bonds to support 12 restaurants In Marfa. The participating restaurants have allocated $11,000 from those funds to benefit the Marfa Food Pantry.

The bonds project started when Katy Rose Elsasser asked the question, “How can we keep the lights on?” We knew a fundraiser wouldn’t solve all the problems, but we wondered if we could  fill short-term gaps. Beloved by many, our restaurants are the bedrock of our visitor experience and some of our biggest employers — helping fill gaps for them now would be key to an eventual recovery.

It was the entire team at Convenience West who would step up to become our greatest partners throughout this project. Help with conception, daily guidance, bookkeeping, fulfillment — they put themselves and their business behind this. There would have been no bonds without Katy Rose, Mark, Adam and Kaki stepping up in the ways they did.

Our thanks go out to the participating artists who had precious little time to create a 3”x6” bond: Maryam Amiryani, Mary Baxter, Camp Bosworth, LéAna Clifton, JD Garcia, Jeffrey Hester, Martha Hughes, Zoe Leonard, Eileen Myles, Dustin Pevey, Sam Schonzeit, Shea Slemmer, Julie Speed, Nick Terry, Laszlo Thorsen-Nagel, Charline von Heyl, Leslie Wilkes and Christopher Wool.

Susan Kirr and Carolyn Pfeiffer were here in a full-force partnership working with artists, helping raise funds and working on fulfillment. At a critical stage, Jim Fissel stepped up to help us with graphic design and fulfilment. Kate Calder was here too, helping us through some thorny accounting issues and bookkeeping oversight.

Six hundred thirty-five orders were placed and 2,759 bonds were sold. A fastidious group of volunteers — including Lisa Copeland, Laura Doll, Keller Doss, Miste Hower — contributed to the 70 hours that would be needed to fulfill those orders. Our thanks also go out to Belen and the staff at the Marfa Post Office helping get these in the mail.

We are grateful for the generosity of Guy McCrary at Permian Basin Area Foundation who stepped up in our final week to provide a matching grant of $10,000 which would help motivate buyers and propel sales in the final days.

Our sponsors graciously ensured none of the project costs, including the bond printing, would be passed on to participating restaurants. Thank you to Ballroom Marfa, Big Bend Sentinel, JackHop, KMKB Radio and The Marfa Store.

Our local institutions all stepped up to help promote bond sales to their followers and email lists — we are indebted to Ballroom Marfa, Chinati Foundation, El Cosmico, Garza Marfa, Hotel Paisano, Judd Foundation, Marfa Book Company, Marfa Chamber of Commerce, Marfa Invitational and Wrong Store.

So many were willing to step up at critical moments to help solve puzzle pieces and make the connections we needed — thank you Mayor Manny Beaza, Neil Chavigny, Peyton Gardner, Jennie Lyn Hamilton, Tom Jacobs, Tim Johnson, Bob Schwab, Buck Johnston, Rainer Judd, Daniela Lara, Chip Love, Jenny Moore, Ann Marie Nafziger, John Pace, Alex Priest, Bob Schwab, Julie Speed, Mike Wallens and Andrea Walsh.

The trust required — from restaurant owners, artists, sponsors, bond buyers and community members lending a helping hand — was the thing that made this project work. I’m grateful everyone took the leap with us; all of you made this a success.

Shelley Bernstein

Marfa Steps Up



Dear Editor,

If you were tested for COVID-19 and haven’t received the results yet, you may be assuming that means you are negative and pose no risks to those you contact. That is possibly true, but it is not guaranteed.

As of Friday morning, July 10, over 600 people in the tri-county area had not received their test results, so it was unknown if they were contagious or not.

If you do not feel sick, please remember that the Centers for Disease Control tells us that a significant percentage of people may be contagious without showing symptoms. Those people can potentially pose a risk to those they come close to.

In addition to the delays in people getting test results, there are also delays for people who may have been exposed being notified by contact tracers.

The tri-county area is not immune to the coronavirus. Please, let’s take care of each other by wearing masks indoors in public places and staying six feet apart.

Pam Gaddis



Dear Editor,

Nero played his fiddle while barbarians burned Rome. Trump plays golf and pardons his convicted felon friends while our country spirals toward medical and economic catastrophe due to the virus.

Hopefully, enough of us will be alive to vote in November.

Hugh Johnson