The anger, frustration, and despair are evident in Terlingua after several immigration sweeps and increased surveillance activities tossed this foundational corner of the Big Bend and former quicksilver mining town into turbulence recently.
The restaurant I ate at tonight just lost its kitchen staff in a raid. Some legal residents left voluntarily to be with unpapered spouses after the intensification of Border Patrol activities, taking their children back across the river where there is no school waiting for them. But Terlinguans must maintain their buoyant humor (right).
Like Presidio, there are no marches planned here. There is not the same history of Civil Rights resistance and struggle that marks the Rio Grande Valley. As one Presidian told me of his town, ‘They didn’t care for Cesar Chavez here.”
Still one porch singer in the ghost town shared a finely crafted and bitter ballad of Esequiel Hernandez, killed by U.S. Marines a decade ago, and an entertaining, engaging tune about the “little green men” of the U.S. Border Patrol.
When you discover Bryn Moore, please introduce her to your agent and get her to the studio.
[Refresh your memory of the shooting at the online Memorial Gallery. And watch for The Ballad of Esequiael Hernandez, winner of the Bi-National Independent Film Festival after showing in El Paso y Juarez. Rumor is, it’s been picked up by PBS.]