Crazy Hearts In Marfa

01/11/2023 Wesley Dean
View Article Crazy Hearts Diary

Marfa, such a beautiful complex beauty.

I’m wrestling with what to say about this unique and quirky town.. without going into too much detail, we left town minus all the merchandise money, a passport, a broken RV door, and a blown tyre. This town stole our crazy hearts and injected a flame of intense anxiety.

We arrived into Marfa, Texas at the Tumble Inn RV Park late in the afternoon after a long drive from St Fredricksburg.

I loved being in the middle of the Texan desert, the echoes of the Highway, and the sound of the wind blowing across the plains, the wild cactuses recalling a Hollywood western in the unforgiving desert.. The flat landscape and endless sky reminded me of my early childhood memories in Owen, South Australia.

It was pitch black at night and you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. And in the mornings I’d wake early and have a coffee just before sunrise, and sit outside in the dark with the only light being the red neon sign of the RV park and the odd truck rolling through town. It was eerie yet peaceful, until I heard coyotes shuffling around me. I’d quickly get back into the RV, it was too early for a dogfight..

In the days, we would stroll through town and take in the incredible artistry in every store. There were unique iron jewellery and abstract sculptures and other worldly things for sale. It was like one giant artist residence. I bought a few things for my upcoming music videos and photo shoots for the album.

I’m always inspired to write more when I’m out in the vast landscapes like Marfa. It’s not too different to being out in the middle of Australia. Horizonless highways in every direction.

The morning of day 3, we woke to a text message from Jimmy in Houston warning us of some impending storms that would be coming in from the northwest right into our planned path to Lubbock that day. It made me eager to leave early but we found ourselves awoken to a flat tyre also. I ended up at the local mechanics waiting for the tyre to be changed. As I stood in the shop speaking with the owner about music, I had in the back of my mind an ongoing sense of urgency that we had to hit the road immediately. I wanted to get to Lubbock before the storms rolled in, and it was the first time we all felt vulnerable to be stuck in town with no control for a while.

Our tyre was fixed, and then they were generous enough to look at our broken generator on the RV but couldn’t fix the problem. We later made a phone call to a nice guy in Amarillo who said that to replace the generator was going to be $7000.00, and it sounded like it had died for good.

Things were starting to take a strange turn… We could’ve sworn we were being watched by circling trucks with blackened windows at one stage. And as we drove out of town the door of the RV started to blow open on the highway. The latch was broken from an earlier break in.. making us find creative new ways to close the door. Luckily, no-one was in the back for this particular stretch of the trip and at risk of falling out. It was close to 50 degrees Celsius outside and was too hot to sit in the RV without air conditioning. I guess blessings come in many ways. We certainly learnt that God exists many … many times out on the road.

I decided to drive the RV myself with whoever wanted to become my passenger in our small crazy hearted crew. My eldest son agreed to keep me company, and I thought about the lyrics to the song “I don’t think Hank done it this way” by Waylon.

I loved sharing that experience with my boy, just us and the open highway..  And as we drove out of town a wheelbarrow fell off the back of a truck as we passed by, and flew through the air at my eye level and it was as if the whole world went in slow motion. I watched it fall into on coming traffic. If it had bounced to the right it would have fallen into the windscreen of the RV. Char, Jackson, Jacobie, Genna, and Mason were behind me. I prayed to the heavens that the wheelbarrow would miss them….Miraculously it landed and wedged itself on the road and nobody was hurt… As we sped out of town, Crazy Hearts were back on the road with a loss of cash, control, we were minus one passport, and were on our way headed for Lubbock……into the eye of a Texas summer storm.

-Wesley Dean