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

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.

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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.

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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)

Dang, Ra Ra Riot remixed the SPEAK song I’ve had on repeat for weeks. Dig it.

Oh hey, did I tell you about that time I wrote about Ra Ra Riot when they played in Marfa last year?


Well here you go…

Ra Ra Riot and Caveman perform for first time in Marfa
Originally published on September 20, 2013

MARFA – To New York-band Ra Ra Riot, Marfa is not new territory. They’ve been in this small town a few times before, usually spending a day off between shows, doing some laundry at Tumbleweed Laundry and grabbing a cup of joe at Frama Coffee, but Tuesday night’s show at Padre’s Marfa was their first time performing on stage here.

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Documenting festivals in my Moleskine weekly planner.

Ballroom Marfa Drive-In project “deferred”

MARFA – Ballroom Marfa’s much-anticipated drive-in theater project has been “indefinitely deferred,” or postponed. In a letter to the editor published in this week’s newspaper, Ballroom co-founders Fairfax Dorn and Virginia Lebermann state that its board of trustees voted this decision because they believe the project has outgrown its original version.

“In its current proposed state, the Drive-In project will require significant fundraising efforts that could compromise the level of innovative and community-minded programming that has been Ballroom Marfa’s priority since 2003,” the co-founders of the art-music-letter said.

Click here to read the rest at

My story was also picked up by Glasstire. That’s cool.

I got to chat with Larry Clark to confirm that yes, Marfa Girl will have a sequel. I’ve seen most of his films, so interviewing him was a little surreal.

Marfa Girl sequel in the works
Originally published: May 1, 2014

MARFA – Marfa Girl is getting a sequel. Director/writer Larry Clark confirmed he’s currently working on a follow-up to his 2012 film about young adults dealing with life in Marfa in typical Larry Clark fashion.

Click here to read the rest at

During the Marfa Film Festival, my best friend Marlee and I were walking back to my place when we were offered pedicab rides.

I was just telling my friends recently how Marfa could use pedicab service, so we took it.

Turns out our driver was Indigo Rael, who played Donna in Marfa Girl.

The world is, indeed, small, and hangs out in Marfa, TX.

To me, what’s always been fun about journalism in general continues to be fun and that is that it’s a way to satiate curiosity every single day. You’re just constantly being able to lift up rocks and look underneath them, and hear new stories and learn new things about the place you live in.
Jake Silverstein, NY Times Magazine editor/former Texas Monthly editor-in-chief