Sarah M Vasquez

Big Bend Sentinel/Presidio International Reporter in Marfa, TX. Poynter fellow. Texas State graduate. 32-year-old trapped in a 24-year-old body. VMars Fangirl. Coffee Addict. Nerd.
Recent Tweets @sarahmvasquez

It’s always great to be back in Austin, even for a brief weekend. It’s where I grew up for most of my life. It’s where I learned how to be a reporter. It’s where my family and some of my best friends live.

It’s home.

But it’s not for me.

I have a love/hate relationship with the city of Austin.

It’s like that relationship you had many years ago. It was great while it happened. He may have been your first love. He was there for you during an awkward period of your life.

But shit happens.

You become different people. You grow apart. You realize you’re not meant for each other, and that’s ok. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out.

But it’s not like you’re bitter. He will always have a piece of your heart. You always feel a little flutter every time you see him, which, of course, makes you wonder why ya broke up in the first place. You start to second guess that decision. Maybe it could work out, but then reality sets in.

He’s suffocates you and doesn’t let you try new things. Oh right, that’s why ya broke up. This is not the same guy you fell in love with.

At least with your new boyfriend, he keeps you entertained, for the most part, and gives you space. Sometimes a little too much space, but whatever, it’s a nice change. He’s opened your eyes to new experiences and introduced you to people you never thought you’d hang out with when you were with your ex-boyfriend. Plus, he has great connections.

But… with the new boyfriend, sigh, it kind of feels like a routine after a while.

So I’m torn.

Lumberyard gallery showcases memories through snapshots

MARFA – West Texas memories are featured in a photography and found objects exhibition called “Seeing and Hearing Memories,” curated by Francesca Altamura.

Altamura moved to Marfa in January to intern at the art and culture non-profit, Ballroom Marfa. Ballroom Marfa encourages their interns to put together an exhibition of their own work, but Altamura is a curator.

“I said I’m not an artist. I’ve nothing to show,” said Altamura.

Click here to read the rest at BigBendNow.com.

I always get intimidated interviewing writers for a story. They know what I do! And if I do it well.

But Sean was cool to talk to. It was nice to embrace my nerdiness with a fellow writer, on a patio roof overlooking Marfa no less.

Marfa writer shares quirky cross country travels in new book

MARFA – Marfa and New York resident Sean Wilsey’s ambition as a writer is to do things that are kind of daring and write about the world through a jaded literary eye. There’s barely anything that he doesn’t think is worth taking a hard look at, hence the name of his new book, ‘More Curious,’ which was released on July 15.

“It’s like more curious. Tell me more,” said Wilsey.

Click here to read the rest at BigBendNow.com.

One of the articles I wrote to preview this year’s Viva Big Bend Music Festival.

25-year old super group twangs during Viva Big Bend
Originally published on July 25, 2014

MARFA, ALPINE – Twang Twang Shock-A-Boom is celebrating 25 years as a band this year. During their tenure, they’ve released an album, “Me so Twangy,” in 1990, performed a show at Willie Nelson’s Picnic that included the late Man-in-Black Johnny Cash and Kris Kristopherson and many other highlights.

Bassist Jeff Haley thinks it’s pretty unique that people would choose to decide to play together even if they took a 10-year break from 1996 through 2006. Everyone stayed busy with other projects though.

“I guess that we did take a hiatus, which probably helped us longevity-wise,” said Haley. “It’s a music relationship that we connect.”

Click here to read the rest at BigBendNow.com.

Viva Big Bend Music Festival. July 22 through 27, 2014.

S.P.I.C. reunion show with Black on Blonde and Mercury Poisoning. Ray’s Bar. July 19, 2014.

I took my first trip to Ojinaga, Mexico, on Friday, July 18, to document this lady’s birthday party. She will turn 102 on Sunday. 102! Can you imagine all this history she’s witnessed?

Casa Hogar co-founder Teda Neill celebrates 102nd birthday in Ojinaga

OJINAGA, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO – With their hands on the child’s shoulders in front of them, the children at Albergue Casa Hogar walked into the dining area in a single-file line to sing for orphanage co-founder Teda Neill’s birthday.

Neill will be 102 years old on Sunday, July 27.

Click here to read the rest at BigBendNow.com.

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Sarah M. Vasquez,
Marfa Public Radio

Tim Stone has known Israel Campos since he became Reeves County Chief Deputy Sheriff last year, but there one little important detail Campos seemed to have forgotten to tell him.

“He has never once told me that he owned a restaurant. Never once, until today,” said Stone.

That day was August 23, 2013.

Natalie and I decided to take a roadtrip through West Texas as a final hurrah to our Marfa Public Radio summer internship. I had been talking about doing a story for Pody’s BBQ all summer, and we finally had the time to make it happen.

After stops at Natalie’s place for her story on smart meters and in Fort Stockton for a back-to-school story with an original Freedom Writer, we finally reached Pecos to interview Campos.

When we arrived, we lingered a little longer than a complete stop at the stop sign to take a photo of the restaurant. We noticed a sheriff’s truck on the other side of the road waiting for us to cross and wave us over.

Having reported on a deputy arresting a Marfa resident for an expired inspection sticker, Natalie and I were a little nervous when the deputy that waved us over seemed to be following us to Pody’s BBQ.

Turns out though, it was Campos, “Pody” himself, the owner.

Just another example of how West Texans wear many hats, cowboy hats at that.

Campos had the establishment going on three years. But in June 2013, Texas Monthly included Pody’s BBQ on the 50 Best BBQ joints in the World. While the majority of the places were in East Texas, looking on the west side of the state was lonely ole Pody’s BBQ.

Texas Monthly BBQ Editor Daniel Vaughn was only in Pecos because he needed to stop for gas, but made a detour once he saw Pody’s BBQ.

The rest is history.

Listen to my story above that aired on Marfa Public Radio on Thursday, July 17. This is the first radio story I’ve produced since I left my internship at the end of September 2013.

I had way too much fun writing this story. When the band walked in the newsroom, I thought “Oh sh*t, it’s going down.”

Especially tonight.

S.P.I.C. reunites on Saturday
Originally published on July 17, 2014

MARFA – S.P.I.C is back with a revival tour. Well, a one-night-only revival tour.

The post punk Marfa trio formed by brothers JD and David Garcia and Penland are performing Saturday, July 19 at Ray’s Bar* with Black on Blonde and Lawrence Rivera.

Click here to read the rest at BigBendNow.com.

Wrote about this part of Marfa’s music history this week. Read the deets about S.P.I.C. in the paper tomorrow. #partylikeajournalist (at The Big Bend Sentinel)