Terlingua, a Big Bend ghost town refuses to die.
Like thousands of other little towns in Texas, Terlingua ghost town would have dried up and blown away were it not for Texans’ reverence for chili And the advent of our brand of outlaw country music.
Jerry Jeff Walker’s 1973 live album, Viva Terlingua introduced Texas anthems like “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother” and “London Homesick Blues” with that unforgettable line about going “home with the armadillos.
Chili and Texas Outlaw Country Music saved Terlingua
I’m not sure Jerry Jeff had been to Terlingua at that time of the album’s creation. Walker recorded Viva Terlingua at Luckenbach, another Texas town that owes its continued existence to Willie and Waylon and the Boys.
But chili legends Wick Fowler and Frank X. Tolbert knew it well. And in 1967, they chose the town as ground zero for their impossibly ambitious Terlingua International Championship Chili Cook-off. [Read more…]