West Texas Talk:
Small Towns & Essential Businesses

On this week’s West Texas Talk, we continue to look at how our world, our country, and our region are dealing with the outbreak of the coronavirus and the social distancing measures that have been adopted to fight it. The begins with another episode of ‘Our Show’ by Erica Heilman, a podcast comprised of recordings made during this unique time by people all over the world.

Then, Elise Pepple talks with Julia Caulfield, a news director at KOTO Radio in Telluride, Colorado, to hear how that community has been dealing with social isolation and the economic challenges it brings. Colorado has been dealing with an earlier outbreak of the virus than Texas, so Julia’s experience offers some helpful lessons for Marfa and other rural places as they prepare to face the pandemic.

After that, the show returns to the West Texas, where Pepple checks in with Sam Stavinoha, the new owner of the French Co. Grocer in Marathon. He tells us what this crisis looks like in Marathon, and what it’s like to keep an essential business running in the midst of a public health crisis. Then Marfa resident Ian Lewis joins the show to talk about Marfa Steps Up, a service worker relief fund that is collecting donations for local residents who lost their jobs when restaurants and bars were forced to close in mid-March.

To close the episode, we’re returning to our ‘Tiny Porch’ series of submissions. This week’s featured song comes from Jimmy Magliozzi in Marfa, who performs Nico’s version of “These Days” by Jackson Browne. ‘Tiny Porch’ is a video series where we ask musicians in Far West Texas to record a cover from their porch during shelter-in-place. If you play music and live in West Texas, send a video to
music@marfapublicradio.org It should be a song that’s speaking to you in this moment. A song that other people can sing along to from their porches.

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West Texas Talk is broadcast Thursdays at 6:00 PM and Fridays at 9:00 PM.
View the full archive of past interviews here.