For those that have been reading me for a while, you know how much it means to me to be able to make my annual pilgrimage to Terlingua, Texas to attend the Chili Cook-off. This year is especially meaningful as it will mark 20 years of attendance.
Though I can not forget that even though I do not count it...I did attend this event for a couple of hours when I was a Freshman student at Sul Ross State University (but no...I am not going to tell you which year that was) !!!
My high school best friend (who was also my roommate) and I used to hang out with fellow students from Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Fort Stockton and Pecos, Texas. Everyone pitched in a quarter or at the most fifty cents (yes I know, I am dating myself) and we would go riding around on the weekends to nearby towns.
Our favorite was going to Marfa, Texas to the only drive-in within miles or also in Marfa sitting around waiting for the Marfa lights to show their elusive selves...can truthfully say, I never saw a light, not even a flicker!
One day out of the blue Danny (who was the owner of this old beaten up vehicle with bald tires) asked if we wanted to go to Terlingua. Not knowing what the heck that was, we said yes...why not? Back in the day if I drank one beer, I got a buzz. If I drank two beers, I was drunk. If I had three beers...I would puke!
Besides pitching in for gasoline, we also pitched in for beer. At the time they only sold six packs and the favorite beer was Schlitz...do they even make it now? It is no wonder why I have vague memories of that first time and even more so of how we got into the event. We were college students and none of us worked or had money to spare.
Then there was only one chili cook-off unlike today that there are two separate events. It was also held at a different location. All I remember was sand dunes and two port-a-potties.
Funny how fast time seems to have gone by...and though my friends always tease me...at least since 1996, I have my spiral notebooks that have documented my trips and kept my memories "fresh".
Good night. May you all have Terlingua Dreams.