Since starting my writing efforts some six years ago, there have been so many things to be grateful for. Chiefly are those readers and friends who have encouraged, as well as supported, my new found endeavors.

Their acts of kindness and genuine care have been manifold, and I find myself both honored as well as humbled by them. Never would I have ever dreamt that putting pen to paper would bring about such heartwarming responses.

Recently I received this watercolor from Cathy O’Neal, a local artist of some repute. For those who know of my family history in the lower Big Bend, and who are also familiar with the Hot Springs area near Boquillas, you can well imagine what this meant to me.

For once upon a time amid the stilled voices of loved ones long since past, this was a special place. My great-grandparents, my grandparents, my father and of course Aunt Mag English Smith came to mind when I first viewed this painting.

All have been gone a long time now, but so many memories remain.

And this was the place where they either lived or congregated. I recall well my father saying that as a boy, the closest thing they ever had to having a vacation was when they came here.

As the old Mexican saying goes: “mis raíces están aquí.”

Thank you for such a precious gift, Cathy. I so much appreciate this, as does those generations of my family and kin who came before.

Aunt Mag is out there somewhere in the vast expanses of that undiscovered country, smiling.

God bless to all,

Ben H. English
Alpine, Texas

Facebook: Ben H. English

‘Graying but still game’