Marfa Winter

We woke to sub-freezing temperatures and snow in the desert. Not exactly what we had in mind when we imagined driving through West Texas to avoid winter weather.

If you’ve driven a ’71 bus, you know the heat isn’t all that great and the defroster is sub-optimal. By the time we made it to Alpine, the windshield was iced up and we were looking through tiny port holes just above the defroster vents.

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After a quick coffee break to warm up, we finished the final 30 mile drive to Marfa.  Funny how all the towns out here are on average 25 or so miles apart – a good day’s trek by covered wagon.

As soon as we get to Marfa – not even 10 seconds later – the first person we see crossing the street is Dave.

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Angela and I have both known Dave for around 20 years, and we each knew him before we even met each other. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long, but we can both say we knew Dave before he wore shades permanently.

Anyway, Dave’s a pretty well-known guy these days.  He currently owns and operates Padres in Marfa – the only nightclub in town (and it’s a good one). He’s got a local radio show, he’s on the City Council (he won by 2 votes,) the Rotary Club, etc. He’s been in a 100 bands (last SXSW he played 7 gigs for 7 different bands in one day) and toured all over, opened and managed several successful nightclubs in Houston that are still going strong, was the MC for the Houston Roller Derby, has been a Buddy Holly impersonator, machinist, hot-dog slinger, you name it.  To boot, he’s tall, dark, and handsome and has a velvety smooth crooner voice that literally makes women swoon. And, he’s a really nice guy.

Anyway, Dave moved out here to slow down and get away from a pretty hectic lifestyle in Houston… one of the Urban Refugees that Marfa seems to attract. The problem is that like many folks out here, he now has twenty different things going on and hasn’t slowed down at all. Such is life.

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Dave invited us to stay at his place.  An actual house, since he was kicked out of El Cosmico – a local hipster Airstream trailer park. He says his Airstream wasn’t nice enough.  Anyway, he warned us that his place was pretty grim and coming from him, that’s really something. To call it a bachelor pad would be an insult to bachelors. We’re not picky, but to put it bluntly, it’s a craphole. Actually, that would be an insult to crapholes. Dave calls it a crackhouse, so we’ll go with that. He’s moving next month. However, it does have two things – heat and Dave – and that’s plenty for us.

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I actually know two David Beebe’s. The other one is a professor in Wisconsin.

12 thoughts on “Marfa Winter

  • January 13, 2010 at 6:32 AM

    Say HI to Dave for us.

    The Hubers

  • January 13, 2010 at 10:02 AM

    Hey Bro. Seeing Bode on that chair at the pinball reminds me of the days long ago at the Bayou Vista Swimming pool. Remember all of dad’s quatrers that went into those machines. That picture lookes like you and me back in the day. Stay safe and warm.

  • January 13, 2010 at 10:38 AM

    Not sure of what size inverter you have but you might want to consider a small hand held hair dryer to keep that windscreen clear. Also the next truck stop that you see stop in and see if they have 12v dc hair dryer and 12v electric blankets. Comes in very handy on those cold days. We have had 12 days in a row of freezing weather at night..Golbal warming? Sure could use some down here in Florida this cold stuff sucks!!
    Wild Bill
    Pensacola, FL

  • January 13, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    Recheck your heater cable adjustment at the heater boxes.. Move the controller levels on the dash to the full heat position.Then crawl under the rear of the bus and manually check the heater box flapper and see if it will open up any further. If you can open it up further then loosen the nut (7or 8mm) on the barrel bolt that holds the cable , move or adjust the cable so that it opens the flapper in the full open position.Tighten nut and it might mean more heat !! Just a thought.
    Wild Bill

  • January 13, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    I have a quick question. I noticed that around Marathon, TX, there are numerous “places” on teh map. e.g. Youngblood Place, Edwards Place, and Old Reed Place. Are these former homesteads?

  • January 13, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    Mele Kalikima and Haole Makahiki Ho ( Merrry Christmas and Happy New Year) Thanks so much for the post card. Love it. After we left you in Tofino we went down the West Coast and were heading to the Southern TX to wait for the Holidays to go to OK to be with our children. It was way to cold for that. We ended up spending a month checking out Arizona. Got to Tulsa the day before the massive blizzard. Went down to Oklahoma city on the 6th with temps below 0. We had to stay in a Motel until we left for Hawaii on the 10th. After reading your enteries – we were in Vancouver at the same time. We left OK with 0 degree temperature and arrive home to 81 degrees. We will fly out again at the end of April to start our next 6 months. We decided our time frame this year was way to cold for us. So we are going back to starting in April and ending in Oct. We plan to do the South and than go up the east coast. How about you? How the VW hangs in there for you.
    Aloha, Bobbi and Carl

  • January 13, 2010 at 9:49 PM

    I’m glad Bode finally got to play a pinball machine! Apologies that ours wasn’t working, we still haven’t fixed it… however, my team just won the Tuesday skeeball division and we are going to play in the playoffs on Sunday. Then on to the Brewskee Ball National Championships in NY in February! I’m #7 and Roy is #1 in our league:

  • January 19, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    dave bebe. handsome as ever.

  • January 19, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    It is chilly in them busses. Always wear wool mittens and wool sweaters and wool socks.

  • October 4, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    I found your blog posts through Google. I’m thinking of driving to Marfa this winter for New Year’s from Austin and was hoping you could give me a good picture of what the drive is like. How much snow you encountered, traffic, etc. Thanks so much for any help you can give me!

  • October 7, 2010 at 4:08 PM


    We were in Marfa on January 2nd and 3rd. There was no snow to be seen. Go check our pictures
    to see for yourself.
    You’ll love the drive through the small roads.

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