Monday, January 13, 2014

Sun going down on Terlingua American Legion

That's right folks. According to the district Commander he will be pulling the charter for Terlingua American Legion Post 653 around the first part of February. I was given one option to save it and that option is NOT possible! We would have to sign up 2 new members a month to keep the legion going and at most we MIGHT be able to sign up one or two people a year. If this happens and evidently is going to the legion will be shut down and the National American Legion will seize the building and land it is on making it impossible to convert it to some other type veterans group or even turn it in to a much needed community center for this area. The legion here has been a community meeting place for well over 40 years now, but the powers that be don't care what they will do to this community when they close it.

Facts are that the population for South Brewster county is only 857 people to begin with.

85% are Hispanic and never served in the military (Can't be members).
15% White, Black and others.
1% war time veterans. Some of which are dying off each year.

Some are already members, but don't participate in the legion and don't want to because of the idiotic and antiquated American Legion rules. Any younger vets moving in to the area (Not many) have had all of the military type rules they want and they don't want any part of the legion for that reason.

Now it would be possible to solicit new members from other parts of the state or country, but that would only benefit the corporate American legion and do nothing for helping our legion or community.

On top of all of this the District commander also told me that if I resigned he would shut it down anyway so one way or the other it will be shut down because I refuse to allow him to hold our post hostage using me. I will be resigning at the February 9th meeting because of this and because of getting tired of the district commander calling me from time to time and chewing my ass out for very long times when he calls. Being Commander for me is strictly a volunteer job (no pay what so ever for me) On top of that I support it with my business and use my own gas to run errands like taking care of the banking, getting supplies and so on.

The post is far better of than it has been many years despite an attempted, but failed coup that occurred shortly after I became the commander and the survivors of the attempted coup having to struggle just to keep the doors open. Now that it is starting to do good they want to shut it down. All I can say is that I will pull all support for the legion and when my membership expires in 2015 I will never renew it again.

BTW you can bet this will not be the last post about this.

Of course part of this has to do with the National American Legion who are phasing out non profitable legion posts across the country.

Thanks go out to Robert Dawson (Acting finance officer), Lee Penland (Historian and major supporter), Melinda Simmons, (Assistant bar manager and bar tender), Donna Koon (part time bar tender) for helping me along the way. I couldn't have gotten the post where it is without them. Also thanks for those who have volunteered their time and effort to help clean up and fix up the post.

BTW the bar tenders only work for 20% commission and tips and then spend a good portion of what they make supporting the legion and providing food for the community.


  1. Dang!! Sorry to hear about the Legion's problems.

  2. Well as much as you don't want to hear this,if I ever do move back down there to Turdlingua I'll feel a lot safer driving on 118 with less drunks on the road. Some of us are smart enough to take off out through the desert and some of us are stupid enough to take off down 118 with no lights on,

  3. DD, the deed is headed for a lawyer. It looks like the land and building do not belong to the American Legion. We'll see what the lawyer says.

    Bkid, it would be a lot safer to be on 118 here than any street in a big city.

  4. At least there's something interesting going the way what's your business that you mentioned?

  5. If deed not belong to Legion or if belongs (let them prove it first, burden of proof to who affirms) only if proven allow them intent take it (but have them do it) not volunteer that : KICK YU OUT legaly man xxxx. Your "business", drunks, few members, etc is IRRELEVANT, the important is that it s open and people can congregate there or just stop by, keeping Terlingua ALIVE for tourists, other drunken , Vets or just Hispanics.

  6. rj, I didn't mention any business.

    Pablo, what will be will be.

  7. yeah...what Pablo said ...(I think?)


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  9. I am very sorry to hear this as I know the Legion held many events for the benefit of the community and if the Legion is shut down there is nothing comparable at this time to take its place.

    You have done a LOT to bring the Legion to where it is at today and it is not fair that just when it is doing so well they want to pull the rug up from under you.

    I sincerely hope they reconsider their decision.

  10. Sorry to hear about this place. Why cant they see this legion is one of so many needed by the people around it. It serves the purpose for which they were created!

    On a cheerier note, I wanted to say thank you for this blog. I found it after my 5th trip to the area for hiking when i became aware people were living off the grid in such a fantastic place. I've slowly been reading it from the beginning. Even though I've found other blogs like the field lab, I found yours first so your adventure has sort of been my standard to compare by.


    1. At least this one is a TRUE one, meaning vernacular, real Texan , hard hand made, the other you mention is some kind of a "fake" off the grid, written by a Biblical guy (also a nut crazy individual) ,he trying to profit from it $$$ e.g sell his story, paid videos etc, an antisocial individual has no relations to the locals he denigrates from, as drunken, Yu r in the right place man , to really Learn about life in that wonderful place is Terlingua and how life there.

  11. MsB & Andrew, after checking the deed the American Legion National does NOT own the land or building so there are other options. Could be tat we insist they drop the charter and we start out own veterans group that serves this community and not those far and wide from here. Of course that''s just one option.


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