|Alpine. One of my many pictures of run-down buildings.|
The Big Bend Mini Comic Con will promote literacy of comics and graphic novels and provide a sense of community with the cities across the Big Bend Region.Okay, so it's a mini con, but you have to start somewhere. My writing and art are so highly in demand out there, they practically begged to me to come. (Actually, I work for the university hosting the con, and they can't keep me away.)
|The university and town, an image from the school website.|
|Downtown Alpine. Did you think I was joking about the tumbleweeds?|
|In the nearby Davis Mountains, looking from the state park toward|
|Note the beaming visage of Hoss Cartwright, an alumnus of our fine university.|
Speaking of guajillo (spelled variously; pronounced wah-HEE-yah), my sword-and-santeria story, set in and around the site of the aforementioned Bee Capital of Texas, is slated to come out in Heroic Fantasy Quarterly next February. I'm really excited to be appearing in HFQ, given its staying power and the quality of the stories it's featured. This is a branching-out for me, and I hope it's the beginning of more good things to come.
HUAJILLA. This is a very important honey-plant, or tree, rather, in Texas, for the dry arid portions where there is little or no irrigation, and where nothing, in fact, grows except mesquite, catclaw, sage-brush, and other desert plants. The fact that it does not depend on irrigation, and needs only a scanty amount of rain early in the season, makes it most valuable to the bee-keeper in those regions where it grows and yields large quantities of beautiful water clear honey. Indeed, it is the finest produced in Texas, and is so nearly water white as to be almost as clear as pure water. It is at its very best in the region of Uvalde, Texas. The leaves look like a small delicate fern, and partake somewhat of the nature of the sensitive plant, for when touched they immediately close. [The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture, A. I. Root & E. R. Root, 1910]Since we're on the topic of local things, let me hasten to point out that my residence in Uvalde is not the only brush the town has had with fame and glory. Jerome-Napoleon Bonaparte II, the grandnephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, a graduate of West Point, resided here in the 1850s, when he was stationed at the fort that then guarded the San Antonio - El Paso Road. In the 1890s, Pat Garrett, the man who shot Billy the Kid, settled here with his family, becoming friends with John Nance Garner, who went on to become vice president under Franklin Roosevelt. Ashmun Upson, the ghostwriter of Garrett's book, The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid, is buried here.
(Can you tell I've been researching local history lately?)
Vice President Garner retired to Uvalde after leaving office, and his home is now the site of a museum; Harry S Truman once spent the night at the house next door to mine, which was then owned by the Briscoe family, most famous for Texas governor Dolph Briscoe. Dale Evans, the western singer/actress and wife of Roy Rogers, was a Uvalde native, and we're also the home of Los Palominos, a Grammy award-winning Tejano band.
|The Bottle 'n Bag, Uvalde's one-stop shop. [source]|
The first sight that greets you on the way into town.
Well, maybe Mr. Philips will read this and do an episode about me.