February 23 Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor (and MISD),

Two suggestions from an interested observer:

1 – If the school board is committed to a four-day school week, why not make it Tuesday through Friday and avoid all those pesky Monday federal holidays (and three-day school weeks)?

2 – The Big Bend Sentinel quotes an educator as saying, “It’s not just reading, writing and arithmetic anymore…”


If students become well-grounded and competent in what we used to call “the three R’s,” they would have sufficient foundation for any career as well as for a life of alert and responsible citizenship.


Steve Seegers, M.D.




Don’t know what the powers that be at Sul Ross State University were thinking (or not thinking) when they fired longtime archaeologist David Keller from the Center for Big Bend Studies. The article that appeared in Texas Monthly left me sickened and stunned that a man of David’s caliber and reputation was treated in such a deplorable manner. I would think that the disgraceful and disrespectful actions taken by the SR administration will have an extremely negative impact on the future of the center. I, for one, will not be renewing my membership in the Center for Big Bend Studies, nor will I be attending any future center conferences.

Dawn Shannon



Dear Editor,

Regarding STRs (short-term rentals) I would like to add some comments to Nina Dietzel’s well-thought-out letter in last week’s Big Bend Sentinel. One shoe does not fit all! For the city to charge an annual fee of $500, plus HOT (hotel
taxes), plus the extra garbage fees, to a small casita that sleeps two and only occasionally rents, the same amount as a three-bedroom house, just does not seem fair. The larger accommodation can of course charge guests more and they should, but our small unit is a modest endeavor.

As for the onerous $78.48 per month garbage charges, our casita does not have a kitchen, just a kitchenette, still we pay the additional charges every month and have never complained even though the amount of garbage generated is very small.

Of course, we pay our quarterly HOT charges, but this added annual fee is very out of proportion to the little income earned and really hurts. I guess if the city is trying to put us out of business they may succeed, although it provides a bit of work for several Marfa-based people and a pleasant experience for some visitors.

I very much hope the city will review their policy to accommodate the smaller STR owner.


Carolyn Pfeiffer

Marfa resident


To the Editor:

Sterry Butcher, this message is in regards to the article you wrote about Judy Magers, the burro lady, published on March 23, 2007.

I recently looked up the article after talking with Gilbert Wood, her former husband, and her sons and daughters. I asked about Judy and they told me the story, which was a shock to me. They directed me to your article. 

Thank you for providing so much detail about her life, as you knew it.

I knew her when I was a young teenager in Newell, South Dakota, circa 1963-65. She was married to my stepfather’s business partner, Gilbert Wood. I would frequently babysit for Clay, Judy’s son from a previous marriage.

It was a treat when Judy would take me to the Newell Rodeo grounds for a riding lesson and to practice barrel racing.

She was a beautiful woman and very kind.  

The last time I saw her was at the Butte County Fair in Nisland, South Dakota, in the summer of 1965. She was stunning. I will always carry that picture in my head: she had on blue jeans and a sparkling shirt. She was wearing a baseball cap over her long, thick, black braid which hung down to her waist. She had spurs on her boots and a bridle in her hand. She was entered in the barrel race later that day and was walking to her pickup and trailer, where her horse was tied.

I always wanted to be like Judy, without any ability to do so. She was a natural horsewoman and so very talented.

My stepfather died and we moved away from Newell. I heard that she’d left her family and moved away without leaving much of a trail. That made me sad. I always wondered what happened to beautiful Judy Wood. Thank you for so eloquently giving me the answer, even years after Judy’s death.  

Micky Wienk

Custer, South Dakota