Snow Moon February 2019
I would like make an observation of living on the border for 30 years.
1. The Mexican people are not our enemy.
2. All my border experiences have been rewarding. Here's two.
Robert Draper and I did a story for Texas Monthly about the bringing of electricity to the border town of Boquillas from the United States. The wiring was in place and it was just waiting to happen. However, some conservation group, won their protest and the town stayed dark for another 20 years. I believe this is how the little wire scorpions you can purchase there began. After the defeat, they started stripping the wire to make trinkets for tourists. But this is not the story I am here to tell. I had finished photographing the assignment when I got this hairbrain idea to try and photograph a guy on a horse inside the Park Bar. I went over on a Saturday and tried my best to talk Francesco, the bartender, into letting me bring in the horse and rider, but he was not having it. I tried to sweeten it with cash, the promise to clean up anything, and be totally responsible and safe, but he was a firm No. In frustration I walked outside for some air and to prepare myself for another round of talk when a woman approached me and asked if I would photograph her baby. Of course. And so I met Eliot Mesa and made this photograph. It was so beautiful for me to see this baby, so small and fragile laying on the bed. I knew I had made a fine image. I didn't care about the horse in the bar any more. I went back, had a beer, shook the bartender's hand and went home smiling.
I see little miracles every day. I like to be alone with them.
**Kickapoo Boy Swinging**
Jan Reid and I did this assignment for Texas Monthly as well. The story was about the success of drug rehabilitation program, and getting and keeping funding for it. At that time they only had one success story through the program. Jan, if you are reading this feel free to contact me if my brief synopsis and memory are not correct. We did the story over several visits. The Kickapoos are a sweet gentle people, and we were honored to be close to, but not attend a ceremonial dance under a star filled, obsidian sky and Hale Bopp comet. We watched from a distance, and I respectfully put away my camera. It was magical. Again, my mind wanders from the photograph. I think this was on my third or fourth visit. The kids were swinging off the rope into a stream. I might as well been invisible, for they were not intimidated or shy about me photographing them. They were, and I was, happy.