Cenizo Notes by Danielle Gallo , Editor
As we fall inexorably toward 2022 , a number of things are on my mind : relief that my kids are back in school this year ( I ’ ve discovered that I ’ m not cut out to be an educator ); questions about the weather ; worries about the virus ; wanderlust .
The fall always instills in me a desire to migrate . It ’ s been 20 years since I ’ ve settled in the Big Bend , and still the shorter days and crisp mornings stir a need to seek greener pastures . Especially as gentrification sweeps through , changing the human landscape of my home , and the older generation fades away , replaced by new and unfamiliar faces , I feel a tug toward the new and unknown .
But then I think about where I ’ d go , and I realize there isn ’ t a better place than where I am . If my worries about the virus come to fruition , I shudder to think of what life would be like elsewhere — isolated in the midst of strangers , stuck inside , working in an office maybe , sitting in traffic . All those activities , hard as they ’ d be in ordinary times , would be absolutely galling during Covid times .
I ’ m waiting to see what the winter will dump on
us . Another catastrophic blizzard or two ? More broken pipes , more power outages ? I feel like I ’ m living in the old fable about the grasshopper and the ant , and even as I make plans to mitigate disasters , I feel woefully unprepared . I realize the importance of my community , where help comes after a shout out the front door . I have a bucket of plumbing parts waiting in the shed for my neighbors , and I know they ’ ll help me shovel snow off the roof when the time comes .
My kids are big enough to walk to school , and they go off in the mornings with their pigtails bobbing to a place where people know them , love them , tailor their education to their individual strengths and weaknesses . There ’ s no reality in which I could ever afford an education for my children as rich and personal as the one they get here . Trying to fill in the gaps last year gave me a glimpse of just how valuable their teachers are . Someday when I ’ m rich and famous I ’ ll be handing out bonuses at Marathon ISD .
As we roll toward Thanksgiving , I see I have a lot of blessings to count . The grass isn ’ t greener in other pastures at all ; it ’ s good to remember why we call this place home .
Just a Note by Shawna Graves
This is the first time I ’ ve had the opportunity to address readers as Associate Editor . It ’ s an exciting privilege to be involved with one of the Big Bend region ’ s longstanding publications , started in 2009 , and one I believe to be the most personal and beautiful . Its distinct format and dedication to telling the stories of Big Bend people has remained true even as it has changed hands from publisher to publisher . In the past year , under the new ownership of Blue Sky Publications , an outfit I ’ ve had the honor to work with several times over the years , the magazine has doubled down on its focus to represent a wide array of Big Bend heritage . The people we meet in these pages deepen our understanding of what the Big Bend is all about , past , present , and into the future , in all its wild glory . I look forward to taking on additional responsibilities as my role develops , including helping with the website , uploading back issues and connecting to a wider audience online , so we may more easily share the voices of Big Bend . Thank you to all who support this effort through offering your time , stories , photographs and artwork , and thank you to our growing roster of faithful advertisers . We are so grateful for your contributions and proud to host you on these pages . Feel free to drop me a line any time at Shawna @ CenizoJournal . com .
ON THE COVER :
Blue Sky above Sawtooth by RICHARD D . CURTIN , oil on canvas 36 ” x 36
Inspired by the austere landscape , this city boy is mesmerized by the west Texas wide open spaces and the shapes the sun creates by bathing the objects below , even the clouds cast shadows . The mountains miles away or the cactus at my feet , the inspiration for my landscape paintings are right in front of me .
Receiving an MA from Sul Ross State University and a BFA from Auburn University , I am now an adjunct professor at SRSU . After a very successful entertainment career , I have returned to my passion of painting reigniting my passion and artistic style of realism in abstract non-local color .
Like the cow in the desert , I am so happy in my new environment under the huge sky enjoying the sun and clouds during the day and the abundance of stars at night . What I see around me keeps me looking up , smiling and painting .
Co-op artist member , Catchlight Art Gallery , 117 W . Holland Avenue . Alpine , Texas 79830
Member of the Big Bend Arts Council , Plein Air Group of BBAC and the International Portrait Society
FALL EDITION • OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2021
CENIZO JOURNAL STAFF
PUBLISHER Riley Stephens publisher @ cenizojournal . com
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Shawna Graves shawna @ cenizojournal . com
SUBSCRIPTIONS Print subscriptions will be mailed for $ 29 annually .
Send payment via check or credit card to Cenizo Journal , PO Box 1824 , Alpine , Texas 79831 or call 432-614-4074 ext 801 Subscribe online at CenizoJournal . com .
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Danielle Gallo editor @ cenizojournal . com
DESIGN / PRODUCTION Ceci Marquez
We ’ d like to feature your work in the Cenizo Journal . Contact Danielle Gallo at editor @ cenizojournal . com for submission information or mail to PO Box 227 , Marathon , Texas 79842 .
Cenizo Journal is published four times per year . © 2021 Cenizo Journal . Copyright of all art and images contained within are retained by the image owner and are used with permission .
Cenizo Fall 2021