Hello Nothing


No I am not having another one of my moments.

“Hello Nothing” refers to the wonderful feeling that I get when I return to Marfa from “other places”.

This latest (mid-July 2016) I had a whim to check out a swimming hole in Bracketville, Texas and then on to Houston to see the Menil Collection. As it happened there was an exhibit by Cartier Bresson at the Menil, one of my all time favorite photographers. (That show has ended). The Bresson show was one of those happy accidents, or god nudging me back on track.  Anyway, the swimming hole was first.  It is located at Ft. Clark an old fort in Bracketville which is 30 minutes outside Del Rio. This place was fantastic. Rooms are cheap at the fort and the swimming is terrific. Spring fed pool, cold water, not too many people especially in the first half of the day.


OK well not a lot to say about Houston in the summer. The Menil was great but Houston is a hot mess. My feeling was, come to Houston, home of 2 million people and 1 million parking places. Have fun. I spent a lot of time in limbo or near death in my car. I also made a fundamental mistake trying to use Iphone maps to get around. That map ladies voice gets real quiet when you are going the wrong way and you are like Oh shit. The Menil was peaceful but the rest of Houston was really hard to take. The galleria made me remember my life in Dallas.  I had to circle and circle in the outdated and un modern parking lot waiting for someone to leave it was so crowded. Like you condensed all the stores and restaurants from the Interstate into one big tragic shopping spree.

I would like to take a moment to express a new love of smaller highways. For about half the trip I was on a small highway and was enjoying the scenery, could pull over any time, endured very little traffic but yikes, when I got on the Interstate it was a whole new ball game. Way more traffic, and way more in the way of the very latest in crappy fast food and all of humanity was hungry and needed to pee.  Going through small towns it’s quieter because most everything is closed. The small towns haven’t recovered from the damage done by Dollar Store and McDonalds which closes everyone down. A small town store can be closed because it has not been open in decades, it can be closed because they left for a minute, it can be closed because they have a custom schedule, or it can be closed. On the interstate everything is open.

Anyway, on the drive back to Marfa, once I hit that small highway the weight off my shoulders was huge. The sickness and fear that pervaded the pit of my stomach in Houston gradually gave way to happiness.



wavy agave at some garden park in Houston

3 thoughts on “Hello Nothing

  1. I was lately feeling regret that I never visited Route 66 when I was kid and living in Lubbock. I’d like to go there now, and any place not on an interstate highway. Thanks!

  2. Loved your work in the early 70’s with The Pony Express – you were one of the reasons I picked up a camera in the first place! Glad to see you’re still shooting.

  3. I still want to visit Houston and the Menil museum that you mentioned, but in my case I might fly out of El Paso. Though I would miss serene stopping points of years ago, like that swimming hole…that one you showed seems so peaceful!

    Yes to the open road and the big decompress doing that. When I go to Marfa, it sort of hits on I-10 E by Fort Hancock, but not really until US-90 heading out of Van Horn.

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