Comin’ outta El Paso, choices are pretty limited, so, gotta drive I-10 down to Van Horn, before heading south on US-90 to aim for Judge Roy Bean’s “The Law West o’ Pecos” in Del Rio.
Now, there’s a heap o’ Texas desert off in every direction, for as far as my eye can see. Yeah, WAY off, there’s a couple purpley, patchy spots which suggest mountains, but have been fooled by Texas perspectives before.
Anyway, am not sure whether it’s a “spot” up ahead on this empty road, or a small dust cloud (way too small to be a tornado, and it doesn’t seem a swirly as a dust devil), but DO come out of my reverie. (Maybe just been out in the heat too long: “mirages”… isn’t that what they call’m?)
Turns out this particular dust cloud is a Dinah Shore era Chevy pick-up, of a dark, almost blackish green, decorated with Texas dust & sculpted with fragments of Texas mud. It’s windows are open, and there’s a momentary, passing image of a young, hippiesque driver, and a definitely Anglo hand waving from the passenger side.
By this time. of course, the “spot” is taking shape as a small building, miles (and, if “miles” were like time, where you can re-gauge “minutes” into “hours” as a way of scaling, would use a word suggesting much greater distances) from anywhere. Except for expected sagebrush, sand and barbed wire fencing, there is nothing much visible to suggest someone supporting your local merchant out here.
Pulling up, recognize it’s not a bar; not a brothel (in Nevada, it certainly could be); not a grocery store. By golly, it sure LOOKS like some kind of boutique. (Gotta admit, climbin’ out of my van, with the closest human face receding some few miles north, had an image of “Candid Camera” tomfoolery. )
But, shur ‘nuf, th’ sign over their display window spells “Prada”, and window displays include Meryl Streep footwear (plus a couple accessories which cost about what you’d pay for some hundred square miles of this Texas countryside).
Just off to the side, a small sign offers some additional insights.
Later, take time to “do diligence” and discover that in 2005, a couple artists got permission to use Prada trademark & put up this “disposeable” boutique (the idea being (assuming sales are slow out here in jackrabbit territory) it will gradually disintegrate back to nature (as you might suspect, some vandals immediately supported this objective).
At any rate, if’n you’re ever out here in Marfa visitin’ relatives, be sure y’all drop by.