Why A High School Dropout from Terlingua Wanted to Make a Website

by West Texas Weekly on February 5, 2010

Selling Turtles

If I can't make money on the Internet, I'll just sell turdles

Attracting advertisers and persuading readers isn’t my primary goal.

Instead, I want to write a blog that always has something new and interesting about the Big Bend for my readers. If I can do that, then everything else will follow naturally.

I want fanatics. I want blowhards. I want zealots. I want the home-schooled. The cranks, the contrarians and conspiracy theorists. To me, there is never excess in a passion for justice and dialogue (even if that individual’s ideas are slightly skewed).

The most exciting thing I see each morning are new comments on the site; the crazier the better.

That’s my core group that I’m trying to appeal to. The cultural beauty of this area is how many mavericks and crazy people come together on a case-by-case basis for the good of community. I think that those people are the psychic backbone of the Big Bend.

I try my hardest to bring my experience to the world. I grew up in Terlingua from the time I was ten. I was home-schooled for a couple of years and dropped out of Alpine High School. My ambition took me through college and law school.

I figured out I was unhappy out there in the ‘normal’ world. I realized that my ambition to leave the Big Bend was immature and selfish. I owe something to the Big Bend because the people here have nourished me and taught me about life.

I am so grateful to the people out there who have praised me and helped me along. Pretend that the Oscars have come early and get ready for a ninety-minute acceptance speech.

As an exercise in acknowledging all the help I’ve received, I’d like to give my sincere thanks to the following people:

To the super fans who send me links and sites: J. P. Schwartz (and congrats on the new clinic), all of the Wildes, John ‘Bikeman’ Elsbury, John and Michelle Seebach, Mark and Allison Ofenstein, George Facecrooker, Hondo Lane, Jay Valles, Carel Rowe, Beantown, ProudMarfan, HottNickels, Truth2Power, Vince, Dr. Humberto, Victor Cabooseman and Guil.

My contributors Matt, Amanda, Udo, Darci, Last Patriot and Mark.

To my mentor Martin ‘Guido’ Benevich, the owner of Big Canyon Television. This man has an amazing talent for promotion and organization. If I become a tenth as successful as he is– as a father, a businessman and a philanthropist– I will count myself happy.

Dona Ward, an amazing host and wonderful asset to the Big Bend’s business commmunity. This lady juggles philanthropy, a family, a first class insurance agency and a chock-full social life with grace and verve.

To my very dear friend, Mercer Black, who is doing amazing work at Marfa Publishing. She is also doing a great job of being a mother and a friend.

Renee, a very special girl to me.

To Jose and Erin Aguayo, dear friends and new parents.

To my father, Craig Suber and my brother, Martin Suber. Thank you for helping me with this endeavor.

To Hugh MacLeod who has acted as a savvy mentor in New Media.

I want to single out three women who have had an amazing positive effect on me. Mary Jane Morgan taught me math in high school. I was an emotionally disturbed kid, but she saw something funny and intelligent in me. In fact, she would often allow me to give a couple of minutes of a comedy routine at the beginning of Alg. II. Similarly, Shirley Powell taught me the sciences and believed in me. I am forever thankful to her. Finally, I want to give a heart-felt thank you to Chris Muller for editing the Terlingua Moon when I was a child in Terlingua.

Poker buddies: Jan Moeller (congrats on your Chamber award as well); the nicest lady around, Phyllis Dunham; Dr Gerry Moeller, an intelligent and worthy competitor; Mark and Rhonda Cole; the Hankster; Worth and the rest of the Ft. Davis Crew; Lane “Huckleberry” Williams; Dr. Dale Kristoffersen; “Iron Mike” Vogel; LoJack and HiJack; Jack MacNamera, a zealous journalist and fearless bluffer; Chino; Jack Clouse; Dee-Baby; Courtney; Sherri; Crabcake; Avinash Rangra, a practical and intelligent representative; Aaron R; Alex; Billy Jack and Magoo; Smith; the Neu boys; Betty; Julian Wheat; “Big John”; Gus the Nut Guy; Oklahoma Slim; O Casey the curly-headed !@#$; Crabcake Jr.

Friends and inspirations: Johanna Nelson, all the Spanagels, Beverly Montgomery, John Sufficool, Pam Ware, Eve Trook, Tom and Susan Curry, Molly Walker, Paul Wiggens and his children, The Cowells, Chad and Summer at the Starlight, Bill Bourbon, Larry Harris, Pat and Ty Walker, Tony and Maria Curry, Malcolm, Ron and Shirley, the Bakers, Mark Kneeskern, Andrew Teagarden.

Independent media outlets: KYOTE radio, KRTS radio (Tom, Rachel and Amanda– you guys are great!), Ringtail Records, the Cenizo Journal, Front Street Books, The Big Bend Sentinel, The Alpine Avalanche, the Marfa Book Company, all local libraries, Theatre of the Big Bend, Last Minute Low Budget Productions, marfalist [dot] org, KVLF and KALP.

I want to give an extra large thanks to SRSU. This is one of the great and subtle influences on our community. All of the staff and faculty there do a wonderful job of educating our young folks.

The Railroad Blues for live music. I have an extended family at the Railroad Blues and care for them very deeply. All of the Trivia Nuts (especially the S.L.U.T.s and Those Guys) get my sincere appreciation for their awesome hustle and enthusiasm. Richard and R. C. are running one of the best roadhouses in Texas; I urge you to go by and try their world-famous Sangria. It’s a mistake to take something like this for granted– when you do, you can turn around and find it gone.

A few of the talented musicians from this area: Terra Peters, Chris McWilliams, John Rayburn, Mark Ofenstein, Carlos Lujan, Big Mountain Boogaloo, The Alan Oldies Band, Adam Bork, Ross Cashiola, The Moondogs and Doyle Bramhall.

Newlyweds Lena and Tyler. My wonderful friend I do not see enough of, Michelle Kirk. Robin Lambaria, Ty Mitchell, Juliana, Susannah, Alex and all the rest of the folks I see in Marfa. I especially want to commend David Beebe for all the fun that the first year of Padre’s Marfa has been. The service and atmosphere there are especially great.

The websites Google, YouTube and Wikipedia. They are creating a revolution in human knowledge.

And to my heroes:
The Americans who serve in our armed forces.
The Americans who serve in our law enforcement and fire departments.

Our freedom depends on your valor and bravery. It’s easy to take this for granted in our free society; it’s my duty as a journalist to record your sacrifice for posterity.

My personal heroes of culture and my inspiration to fight:
Angelo Badalamenti, The Kinks, Psychick TV, Cordwainer Smith, Captain Beefheart, Jean-Luc Godard, The Raincoats, Mark E. Smith and the Fall, Patty Smith, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Samuel Beckett, S. J. Perleman, P. G. Wodehouse, Throbbing Gristle, J. G. Ballard, G. K. Chesterton, Flannery O’ Conner, Paul Erdos, Madeline Kahn, Thorsten Veblen, Truman Capote, Bertrand Russell, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Peel, Marcel Duchamp, Vladimir Nabokov, Henry Cow, Woodrow Wilson, Nurse With Wound, David Tibet and Current 93, Andrew Jackson, Lewis Carrol, Ron Rosenbaum, William Poundstone, G. K. Chesterton, H. G. Wells, Peter Sellers, Martin Scorsese, Johnny Cash, The Buddha Gautama, Iggy Pop, John Waters, Sam Houston, G. H. Hardy, Jackie Robinson and Margaret Sanger
p.s. if you are an alienated teen try listening to some of the bands and artists listed above