- "Bunch of metal cubes and concrete huts...not really my scene, but one of my girlfriends used to adore it. Me? I miss the old lights in the sky."
- ―The Eldest
|Current status:||A small community and museum.|
Marfa is a small town in southwest Texas that has preserved the artistic Chinati Foundation for nearly three hundred years. The people of Marfa fancy themselves curators and guardians: keeping the old minimalist exhibits open and safe for admirers, what few that come. They have recently welcomed the Rocker Movement to their town, exchanging the Rocker's assistance for permission to establish a broadcast relay.
Founded in the early 1880s as a railroad water stop for the Texas and New Orleans Railroad, it was named after a character in a Russian novel that the railroad president's wife was reading at the time. In the early 20th century a military base was opened to protect the region as the Mexican revolution raged on the south of the border. The base would eventually become an army airfield responsible for training pilots until 1945 when it went inactive and many of its assets were sold as surplus. In the 1970s a renown minimalist artist was drawn to the area for its natural beauty, purchased a pair of hangars and created a permanent installation for his art. After the artist's death in the 1990s, the Chinati Foundation took over the care of the installation and showcased the works of other artists.
An interesting phenomenon that drew observers from all over were the mysterious Marfa Lights, appearing as faint lights drawing across the sky at night they were said to be a number of things from the spirits of the Apache dead and UFOs to atmospheric reflections of campfires and other artificial light sources. Whatever they were, they had been observed prior to the use of airplanes and automobiles in Texas.
Marfa and the surrounding region was very sparsely populated with rugged terrain and limited strategic value. It became a sort of "safe spot," in a triangle of bombing that hit Fort Stockton, Van Horn, and the Mexican city of Ojinaga. The people were able to simply stay indoors and cover up their windows and head into basements to avoid the fallout. Marfa lost more people to heat stroke, dehydration, and starvation than it did to any bomb or fallout.
Noticeably the Marfa Lights stopped appearing soon after the bombing, perhaps because of atmospheric changes.
The town transitioned rather well after the war. After the initial wave of suicides, futile efforts to contact other towns, etc. the people got together to organize a new government. Freed from the bureaucratic concerns of a typical, polite society, they simply stuck with what worked and ditched the rest. It was resolved that in order to protect themselves from marauders and mutants, they wouldn't explore the new world and simply resolved to make their community as self-sufficient as possible. Newcomers were extremely rare, but the town proved quite discriminating in who they allowed to stay as they couldn't sustain as much as a single deadbeat and they couldn't afford to let any possible raider spies report to the gangs they suspected would arise.
It was only decades later when a Midessa Compact exploratory caravan and some accompanying Rockers from Fort Holly found Marfa that it opened up to the world. The Rockers and the Chinati Foundation were of a like mind regarding a number of different things and the Salt Clan-backed caravan brought some much-needed variety to the town's small market. The Rockers made a deal with Chinati which led to the erection of a radio tower to the north and the establishment of a radio station in town which brought music to what had previously been silent radio frequencies. One frequency, in particular, defies them, an old numbers station called Dover Arc 43-Om that comes in all too clearly in Marfa.
Sometime after Dover Arc started playing on radios in the region, mysterious lights appeared in the night sky on rare occasions.
Marfa is a town of curators: between the art installation at the Chinati Foundation and the well preserved Pueblo Deco buildings, the people feel as if its their duty to maintain the town as a monument to the bygone world before the war. Its people regard the arts and antiques very highly and do not care for "Philistines," a title they apply to looters and scavengers with no regard for history and propriety. Given that the average wasteland community would have simply carted off the sculptures for building materials, there's more to their attitude than mere posturing. To those who are (or are able to pass) for cultured, educated, or interested in history, the people of Marfa are gracious and hospitable.
The town of Marfa is only barely self-sufficient: the people hunt, forage, and keep tiny gardens. Marfa is somewhat known for its artisans who are skilled at working scrap metal and leather to make furniture, sculptures, and statuary. The Chinati Foundation is still a functioning gallery and the locals charge a small amount, payable in barter, to allow people to tour it. Finally, Marfa is the safest place in the area to find a bed for those traveling through the area, the Hotel Paisano gets a lot of business.
Marfa generally behaves as a commune under the direction of the Chinati Foundation, they aid each other as best they can and band together in the face of outside threats. There's little in the way of crime as everyone knows everyone else, so if a local were to cause trouble it would either be resolved with some form of restitution arranged by the foundation and the wronged party. In the event of truly despicable, violent crimes they would likely exile or execute the perpetrator. The Chinati Foundation's leadership is a volunteer panel of fifteen members, an assembly of the full panel is infrequent and rule by quorum is typical. The panel takes testimony and advise from the population and individual members may be removed by vote of no confidence.
Marfa sprawls around the intersection of US-67 and US-90 some 140 miles south and west from Monahans. The Pre-War structures are mostly intact with only a few dilapidated or neglected. The Paisano Hotel, a beautiful U-shaped building that outsiders are directed to for accommodations is near the center of town, a few blocks north from the intersection of highways. The few businesses in town are clustered near the hotel, along with the radio station used by the Rockers. The Chinati Foundation which is the focus of much of the townspeople's efforts is a mile southwest of the hotel. The Rockers broadcast tower is actually in the Davis mountains, several miles north of town.
|This has been written by OvaltinePatrol. Please contact this user before editing this article.|