August 4 Letters to the Editor

To the Editor: 

Chinati mourns and honors the passing of our friend J. Patrick Lannan Jr. on July 27. Though he was a private man, his mark upon Chinati, and Marfa, is lasting and indelible. A quiet champion and advocate for intellectual exploration, Patrick established residencies in Marfa that offered a place, uninterrupted time and the financial support for writers, scholars, poets and activists to do their important work. This act was admirable and deeply generous, both to the scores of writers it served and the Marfa community as a whole. Over the decades we’ve been witness to readings, plays, friendships and performances that bloomed as a result of these fellowships. Lannan writers were often from backgrounds or fields that were under-represented, unheralded or obscure. The residencies amplified these voices, and did so in a gentle and persistent way. Only good comes from that encouragement of free-ranging ideas. 

Patrick’s stalwart and reliable support of Chinati likewise enabled us to achieve projects particular to the museum, for which we remain wholly grateful. 

We will miss him, and the Lannan Foundation programs that brought Marfa so much. Our heartfelt condolences go to his family and friends.

The Chinati Foundation



The Big Bend Reproductive Coalition would like to thank everyone that attended the fundraising event at Cloudy’s and El Cosmico.

Over 200 people from across the Big Bend attended. We raised over $10,000 for reproductive rights, education, resources and advocacy because of you. Thank you for your generosity, kind words, and for sharing your stories with us. Together, we can make an impact in our communities.

We want to thank all of the businesses, artists, musicians, and volunteers that made the event a success. Thank you to our events team — Dallas Lambert and Mollie Durken — for doing an incredible job. Thank you to the registrars for registering folks to vote. Thank you to Sarah Vasquez for donating her time and photography. Thank you to Cloudy’s and El Cosmico for hosting us.

Here’s where your money goes: care and emergency contraception kits, producing educational materials, research, sharing resources, workshops, film screenings, get-out-the-vote efforts, lobbying the Texas Legislature, abortion and miscarriage support, and maintaining small administrative costs (website maintenance, printing, etc.).

Events in Alpine and Marathon are in the works. If you’d like us to do an event in your town, need support, have questions, want to volunteer or have suggestions, please reach out. You can find resources, emergency contraception kits, and contact information on our website:

With deep gratitude,

The Big Bend Reproductive Coalition


I would like to thank Arcadio Rivera for sharing his poignant memories of attending the Blackwell School in last week’s paper. We have some of Mr. Rivera’s memories in our collection as well as report cards he has donated. Stories and objects make a compelling case in understanding our history. The Blackwell School is compelling because so many former students and teachers have shared their stories and objects to create our museum and document our history.

I would also like to stress a theme of our museum and our preservation efforts: The story of the Blackwell School is not a single story but a mosaic of the individual experiences of students, teachers, families and neighbors. As an outsider who didn’t attend the Blackwell School, I have long felt the responsibility to listen to differing points of view, sometimes contradictory, without trying to decide which is correct. Everyone is entitled to their own memories and feelings. Yes, that can be true AND this can be true as well.

As we transition this site to the National Park Service, I hope we can fully express the complexity of the Blackwell School — the good, the bad, the unique, the significant role — so that future generations can learn and grow from what happened here. Mr. Rivera’s contributions are so important. If you attended Blackwell, yours are too. Please reach out to us at [email protected] or:

Blackwell School Alliance

Attn: Archivist Cristobal Lopez
PO Box 417
Marfa, TX 79843

Gretel Enck