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Desert Dispatch Vol. 8

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Roseland in Lotus by Carlos Morales. Each week, we'll feature a different image from a listener or staff member. Send your snapshots to photos@marfapublicradio.org.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Roseland in Lotus by Carlos Morales. Each week, we'll feature a different image from a listener or staff member. Send your snapshots to photos@marfapublicradio.org.

Hi there,

Last week, the legendary Roseland Klein came down from the mountains outside of Fort Davis to join Carlos Morales and I for lunch.

Roseland hosted “Classical Midday” at Marfa Public Radio up until her retirement four years ago. For more than a decade, if you turned on the radio on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., you could hear Roseland’s signature blend of classical selections and commentary on every composer under the sun. If you were lucky, you might catch her softly singing along to the music when she accidentally left her microphone on.

We drove up to the restaurant to find Roseland glamorous in black and white, her silver bob swishing as she walked towards us, arms open.

“Carlos!” she cried. “And Zoe Scarlett!”

Roseland is the only person who’s ever called me by my full name: Zoe Scarlett Kurland. It always felt too elaborate for me, but somehow Roseland makes it feel perfect and natural. If you’ve ever tuned into classical midday with Roseland, you might be able to imagine her saying it the way she says all lengthy names– elegant and definitive, with that beautiful, signature tremble in her voice.

Going to lunch with Roseland is what I imagine it would be like to go to lunch with royalty– we walked into Bordo and heads turned. Every Marfan in the restaurant wanted to talk to Roseland, give her a hug, or tell her how much they appreciated her years on the radio. People were grabbing her by the hands, coming up to our table and kneeling down to relay their admiration:

“You’re a legend.”

“When I left West Texas, I’d tune in, hear your voice and feel like I was back home.”

“Whenever I miss you and your show, I go to my closet and find my Roseland Klein shirt.”

In case you want to see the shirt, here’s a staff photo from 2017
In case you want to see the shirt, here’s a staff photo from 2017

Like so much that happens in West Texas, Roseland ended up on the radio somewhat by chance. She met a friend who was friends with Tom Michael, the former general manager of Marfa Public Radio. He was looking for someone to host a classical show. By Roseland’s account, it was a quick interview:

“Tom asked me to name a composer,” said Roseland. “I asked if he wanted someone solid or someone wishy-washy, and he told me it was my choice. I said 'Schubert' and he said ‘you’re hired.'”

Though Roseland may no longer be on the air, she’s thriving in retirement: she’s taking care of her cat Poco, listening to classical music, and doing yoga– if you’re wondering, at 95 years old, Roseland can still do a headstand and a lotus pose, as pictured above (I attempted to join her and failed).

Roseland said she recently finished “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl. The book chronicles Frankl’s experiences as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

“It’s about looking beyond what’s happening to you, and finding purpose, looking forward rather than back,” she said. “Life’s not about what’s being done to you, it’s about what you believe in that can carry you into the future. I’ve read it three times.”

When I asked her what keeps her coming back to that particular book, she laughed.

“I can go gloom like anybody else. I just need reminding sometimes.”

If you need your own reminder of joy and purpose, I highly recommend you listen to one of Roseland’s archived shows on our Mixcloud– you can pick any show, but here’s oneto start you off. 


Hay la Llevas–  In Spanish, it means there you have it. It’s a curse. The saying is not something you cast on anybody, as it’s something that the cursed person is already experiencing, and you can’t relieve them of it. You can only acknowledge it, perhaps wish them the best existence they can possibly have under the circumstances. You say hay la llevas to somebody whom you see trapped in such a curse. Sometimes the cursed acknowledge it themselves:

Q: How are you doing, carnal?

A: Pos hay la llevo, ese.

Caló is a borderland dialect. You can find more episodeshere.

Other recent programming:

A fire broke out in Alpine on Monday, destroying multiple businesses. Travis Bubenik has the latest here. Check back for updates on this story at marfapublicradio.org.

Mitch Borden
Marfa Public Radio

Midland officials are setting out to make it safer to drive in the city by committing to Vision Zero, a process to improve road conditions with the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities. Mitch Borden has more on that here.

Latino USA featured an episode of our podcast, So Far From Care, in their podcast feed this week. So Far From Care explores when, how, or if people decide to have kids out in Far West Texas, where healthcare options are limited. Episode 2 of the series, Alone on This Side, explores the role that the border can play in those decisions: how it can divide a family, but also, create options where there seemed to be none. Listen to this episode and more on our website, or wherever you get your podcasts.

High Five

This week, we’ve got Five Songs For a Solitary Woman from DJ Lady C.

  1. Dream Alone - Artie Garr
  2. It’s My Life - Jim Ford
  3. She Can Get Along - Bob Lind
  4. Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You - Lesley Gore
  5. My House - Nikki Giovanni 

You can catch Late Night with Lady C on Saturdays from 10 p.m. to midnight, and you can find all of our music shows on our Mixcloud.


The West Texas Food Bank has expanded their garden in Odessa to include over 60 fruit trees as well as summer vegetables and herb crops.

To take a tour of the new expansion or to learn about monthly gardening classes in Odessa and Midland, visit WTXFoodBank.org.

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

Merch in the Wild

This week is more of a Merch in the Studio moment. Here's Roseland back in the day with her "Classical Midday" tee.

Carlos Morales
Marfa Public Radio
Classical Midday host Roseland Klein is the only Marfa Public Radio DJ with a shirt made after her program.

Do you use your Marfa Public Radio tote bag to carry around your Schubert records? Do you wear your Marfa Public Radio logo tee when you do yoga?

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!

Comings and Goings

We'd like to close out this dispatch with an appreciation for Annie Rosenthal. After graduating from college, Annie joined the station through a Report for America (RFA) grant. RFA is an organization that connects journalists with newsrooms across the country. This week, her 3-year contract comes to a close, and she’ll be moving on from Marfa Public Radio.

hannah gentiles

Over the last three years, Annie has been a consistent presence on the Marfa Public Radio airwaves — covering everything from the latest dustup at city council, to the region's Indigenous history. She also reported and hosted the newsroom's first podcast, So Far From Care.

Marfa Public Radio aims to be a place where early career journalists can gain experience, try things, and grow in ways that might not be possible at other stations. With Carlos Morales' mentorship, Annie pursued exciting projects around Spanish Language programming, audio documentary, and more. We look forward seeing what she'll do in the future.

-Elise Pepple

If you want to hear Annie’s excellent work, check it out here, and be sure to listen to So Far From Care wherever you get your podcasts.

Zoe Kurland is a senior producer at Marfa Public Radio.