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Desert Dispatch Vol. 1

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Marfa after rain. Each week, we'll feature a different image from a listener. It can be taken on a camera, a phone – whatever floats your boat. Send your snapshot to photo@marfapublicradio.org.
Zoe Kurland
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Marfa after rain. Each week, we'll feature a different image from a listener. It can be taken on a camera, a phone  whatever floats your boat. Send your snapshot to photo@marfapublicradio.org.

Welcome to the Desert Dispatch, a newsletter from Marfa Public Radio. 

For this inaugural missive, a story of celebrity.

Marfa Public Radio was on the reality TV beat last week. One of our reporters found himself doing something out of the ordinary – sending an email to Kim Kardashian's lawyer.

The Judd Foundation is suing Kim Kardashian for claiming that the tables in her SKYNN BY KIM office space are authentic Donald Judd pieces. The foundation says they are not.  

A newly filed 51 page lawsuit details the alleged infringement through myriad pieces of evidence: screenshots and tweet citations, but the lawsuit is also somewhat of a stunning furniture catalog. The pages bear illustrations and images of Judd’s tables, his signature on wood and metal, and the specifications of the La Mansana Table and Chair 84 – the allegedly duped pieces Kardashian has in her office space.

“The DONALD JUDD La Mansana Table is authorized and offered only in the following wood types: alder, ash, black walnut, cedar, cherry, clear pine, pine, cypress, Douglas fir, maple, oak, Sitka spruce, and white elm. It is not designed in or authorized in plywood.” 

As Travis Bubenik reports, the Judd Foundation is asking a judge to bar Kardashian from using Judd’s name and trademark for any commercial purposes, to “correct her false statement” and to “recycle the infringing Kardashian Tables and Chairs.” 

When I asked Bubenik how it felt to reach out to Kim K’s lawyer on a random Thursday, he deadpanned, “It’s my job to report the news, and that was the news.” 

You can read that story here.


Vanquetear: The featured Caló word this week is vanquetear. It means to exalt oneself, as in exceed or vault over the ordinary. There’s no comparable term in Spanish or English. A close-homonym in Spanish is banqueta, which means sidewalk or walkable edge to a road – nothing close to exalt. In Romaní, there’s a near-synonym, barrequerar, which means to exaggerate. It could be vanquetear is a jumble of both words.

Caló is a borderland dialect. You can find more episodes here.

Nature Notes

Last week marked the return of Nature Notes! Have you ever imagined crocodiles roaming around West Texas? Well, they did. Check it out.

Other recent programming:

We got theatrical this past week! Students from Big Bend High School in Terlingua wrote and performed original plays, which we recorded and designed with a variety of original, student-made sound effects. It resulted in this very special Marfa (Mostly) Murder Mystery Hour, which you don’t want to miss.

Evans didn't consider himself a landscape photographer when he first moved to the Big Bend so he mostly focused on making portraits.
Mitch Borden
Marfa Public Radio
Evans didn't consider himself a landscape photographer when he first moved to the Big Bend so he mostly focused on making portraits.

Legendary photographer James Evans has re-released his a new edition of his book “Big Bend Pictures.” He sat down with Mitch Borden to discuss his years wandering the Big Bend capturing the beauty and grit of West Texas and the people who call this place home.

High Five

Each dispatch, we'll send out five song recommendations from a DJ or musician curated around a mood or theme.

Jacqueline Delolmo of Sweethearts on The Radio calls this list of recommendations “tunes to listen to during a windy storm.”

1 Silly Games - Janet Kay

2 Don’t Light My Fire - Otoboke Beaver

3 A Crumb of Your Affection - Linda Smith

4 Make Love to Me - Carrie Cleveland

5 Boys - Boyhunters

You can catch Sweethearts on The Radio every 3rd Sunday of the month and check out this mini playlist on Spotify, and all of our music shows on our Mixcloud.


The Marfa Food Pantry needs volunteers the third Thursday of every month. If you’re interested, You can find more information at https://www.marfafoodpantry.com/. Or email saluvida.thrift.shop@gmail.com.

BONUS: when you volunteer, your co-worker will be an adorable cat named Princess who likes to hang around the pantry.

If you have PSAs you want on the air or in this newsletter, head to www.marfapublicradio.org/psa.

Merch in the Wild

Marfa Public Radio merchandise is for anyone, anywhere, including these goats in the Hudson Valley.

Do you love your Marfa Public Radio mug? Do you wear your West Texas Wonders tee shirt every week? Do you have an MPR bandana tied around your bag?

If you wear, use or spot Marfa Public Radio merch out and about, send us a photo to photos@marfapublicradio.org with the subject line "Merch in the Wild.”

And you can get your own MPR merch here!