November 4 Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Hooyii (hello). I’m writing to express thanks to everybody who helped, morally, materially or otherwise, in the effort to return the Lipan Apache Cemetery in Presidio to the Lipan Apaches.

This week’s historical signing of the deeds to the Tribe by Presidio city and county officials was a dear wish that took a lot of work by a lot of people to make come true. On behalf of the Tribe and the many descendants, Lipans who never forgot, thanks to the community and its elected officials not just for the return of the land, but also for making it a joyful event. Thanks to the recently-arrived neighbors and the legacy families who saw this as a just and good-hearted thing to do. Thanks also to the Jumanos who, like the sentinel stones that still protect the graves in that camposanto, spoke up in support of protecting it over the years. Thanks to the Big Bend Conservation Alliance for demonstrating how preserving native culture is also conserving nature.

As it is the final resting place of Lipan Apaches who migrated to La Junta seeking refuge starting in the 1700s, it was very important to those of us who have ancestors buried that the recognition and transfer of the care of that site be respectful and positive. This happened, and we recognize it for the blessing that it is. We see the 100% support we received all along the way by everybody as refuge. You proved in bunches what I’ve always been proud to say about us West Texans: We’re good people.

Kasteyo (thanks),

Oscar Rodriguez
Tribal Administrator, Lipan Apache Tribe

Dear Editor,

Sam Karas did a wonderful job of capturing the memorial gathering at the Jeff Davis County Library honoring Lonn Taylor.

This bit of writing was worthy of the man being remembered, and he would have been quite pleased.

Regards.

Adios.

Rick Pratt
Jeff Davis County Historical Commission, Fort Davis

Dear Editor,

Movie night under the stars at the Blackwell School was a big hit with 50 guests. Thank you to everyone who came out and enjoyed a thematic holiday movie, crafts, snacks, and more kids playing in the Blackwell Park than I have ever seen. Thanks especially to our face painters, Adele Powers and Van Hanos, for bringing color and smiles; Michael Roch and the Marfa Fire Department for the loan of their popcorn machine; Para Llevar for some yummy cookies; all the folks at Marfa ISD for sharing the news about the event; Natalie Melendez for popping the corn and brewing the cocoa and wonderfully pulling the event together; and most of all to Laura Cowling, only in town for a short few months as a Chinati intern, who brought her love of children and fun to our door. Laura went above and beyond to envision this event and bring it to life for the South Marfa community and the Blackwell School. Thank you, Laura, for a night we will long remember. And we wish you all a meaningful Dia de los Muertos and treasured memories of all whom we have lost and all who made our lives so rich.

Gretel Enck
President, The Blackwell School Alliance