Ben H. English

Ben H English Texas Alpine America 💥💥

“Soon you will be where your own eyes will see the source and cause and give you their own answer to the mystery.”
–Dante Alighieri, Inferno


I have roamed the length and breadth of the lower Big Bend since the age when I was first able to sit a saddle, straddling an old jenny named Becky. I had to be careful as to when and where I got off, because being so small from level ground there was no way to clamber back up. Then I would have to lead that gentle creature to a providing wash or large rock to remount. The jenny was always patient with me, even when I was somewhat undeserving.

She’s long gone now, vanished somewhere over the horizon where all good things reside once life on this earth is finished. In some manners, parts of this land has done much the same. Never in my wildest imaginations did I ever think I would see so many vehicles, so many roads, so many structures and so many doggone people.

Yet the mountains and the desert remain as they were, as well as the stories and memories passed down from family and kin. Those of my father, my grandfather, my great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather, along with so many others, drift through the mind like the last breeze of evening that kisses this land with a parting breath. I wonder if they ever stood in this same place and pondered on what the future held. Or, if they even really wanted to be part of it.

That is the most wondrous gift of prowling out here, being alone and undistracted. This country allows a man to think; to consider the possibilities and fascinations that most folks are never allowed the hour or opportunity for, and to balance it all out for themselves.

Somewhere afar off I can still hear my father’s voice with advice from many years ago; “Times change, son. Try to change with them.” The words were good ones, even sagely in nature and I have tried to put them into practice when such a stance seemed wise.

But perhaps that is why I enjoy these journeys most, drifting along like that same breeze until I find a place to rest my head for the night. Those times change so slowly out here, at least in relation to most of the world beyond.

I sigh wistfully at that last thought, leaning into the pack harness and pulling my flat brim Stetson lower over my eyes. I’ll never see all there is to see, but I’m not going to even see what I can by standing still.

So I moved on…

God bless to all,

Ben H. English
Alpine, Texas
USMC: 1976-1983
THP: 1986-2008

Author of ‘Yonderings’ (TCU Press)
‘Destiny’s Way’ (Creative Texts Publishers)
‘Out There: Essays on the Lower Big Bend’ (Creative Texts Publishers)
‘The Uvalde Raider’ (Creative Texts Publishers)
Facebook: Ben H. English

‘Graying but still game’

-November 4 Horseshoe Bay Texas
-November 6 Hico Texas

The Stable Performance Cars
Billy the Kid Museum
Creative Texts Publishers
Julie Brunson Childs
Vicki Shroyer
Bridgit Bailey-Giedeman
Tom Green County Library System
Crockett County Public Library
Chris Ryan
Sue Land
Far Flung Outdoor Center


Life is like a bunch of roses. Some sparkle like raindrops. Some fade when there's no sun. Some just fade away in time. Some dance in many colors. Some drop with hanging wings. Some make you fall in love. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Life you can be sure of, you will not get out ALIVE.(sorry about that)

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