photo credit: Danielle Rubi
Last year, I had the pleasure of meeting Buck Johnston during my first trip to Marfa, Texas. I’m not sure it was a pleasure for her, because I continuously ask her questions about Marfa all of the time. It is a trip I will never forget and she is certainly one of the most incredible and inspiring individuals I have ever met. She also has amazing personal style!
It’s always luxury to receive insider tips before taking a trip any city or town. Buck has lived in Marfa for over a decade and can assure you, she’s “made” every single one of my trips to Marfa! On this past trip, she hosted a Feist after-concert party at her house with Feist. I mean….????
She’s truly one-of-a-kind and I hope you can scout her out on your trip to Marfa and definitely visit her store, Wrong, in its new location (the church she lives in) this September!
Name: Buck Johnston
Occupation: I was once a Graphic Designer, but I’m not really sure any more.
City & how long: Marfa, TX, 11 years
Favorite Brunch Spot: Harry and Shelley Hudson’s back yard. Shelley is the co-owner of Food Co. Catering in Dallas, TX. They own the house across the street from us and we’ve spent many a Sunday brunches with them. We usually do migas, pancakes or shrimp and grits with biscuits at brunch. The last brunch included Barbara Hill. Let’s blame it on the Mimosas, but it was a TELL ALL BRUNCH for Miss Barbara Hill.
Favorite Cocktail: Marfa is a TEQUILA town. My favorite is Corralejo with a couple cubes of ice.
Favorite After-Work Spot: My favorite thing in the entire world is to sit in our back yard with Camp and our four dogs and discuss our day and life. We travel a lot and sometimes, when we are gone particularly long, I yearn for the moment when we return and enjoy our back yard again.
Must-visit museum: Easy! The Chinati Foundation. It’s the reason! We have viewed Judd’s aluminum boxes during a snowstorm, during a sunset, during a sunrise, during a full moon and those darn boxes simply get better and more beautiful with every single viewing.
Buck Johnston and Camp Bosworth – photographer credit: Danielle Rubi
Favorite shopping: I have to plug my Wrong Store. It’s just so quirky. We are moving the Wrong Store into our church space in September. That space is so very happy and beautiful. People walk in and immediately feel it. Good bones, good earth, good adobe.
ABC Pump: Our local hardware store is a trip of its own kind. Every person in this town has to go there for one thing or another.
FREDA just opened and it’s wonderful. Just the right selection.
Cobra Rock is sweet! Colt and Logan might just be the sweetest two people on the planet.
And, you can always find a treasure at STUFF.
Marfa Book Co. is the greatest, independent, small bookstore in the world. I think it should be a requirement: you come to this town, you buy a book from Marfa Book Co.
I love the buffalo wool hats and scarves at Wild Woolies. I’m not crafty, but if I were crafty, that store would be top of the list!
When you come to town, go to Livingston’s Ranch store. Oh my. It’s like stepping into another era. I love their brooms and galvanized tubs.
photo credit: Nicholas Knight
Best Hidden Secret: I don’t think this is hidden, but Marfa is subtle. People show up and think there’s going to be all this stuff to do. Well, at first glance, you would think the town is dead. But, there is so much going on under the surface and you have to ask the right person and you have to find it. There is something going on every night. You have to be patient and let it come to you. I promise, it will.
Best books/music/art: Marfa Book Co. for all of those. Tim Johnson the owner is a town jewel. He’s a former Chinati intern and he stayed and he’s taken things up a good notch or two since owning the bookstore. He has a heart of gold and he does the right thing always.
Ballroom Marfa hits the mark for all of those too. We are forever grateful for everything Ballroom Marfa has brought to this town. And, what a great staff!
Camp Bosworth with his custom wood shields. “Camp did the final touches before they shipped. They are going Loyola Chicago’s new Cuneo Hall.” – WrongMarfa.com
Best Place for a Sunday Stroll: Simply ride a bike all over town. Hit the alleys and don’t miss all the genius fences in town.
Must-Visit Dinner Spot: Museum of Electronic Wonders and Late Night Grilled Cheese Parlour. Do you need any further explaining?
Favorite Lunch Spot: Food Shark. I keep teasing Krista and Adam they are our local celebrities. They are! So much has been written about his food truck and it is so deserved. They work hard and feed a town.
Most Romantic Restaurant: We love Cochineal. In the summer, eat in the courtyard under the stars. In the winter, eat in the kitchen where it’s toasty and intimate.
Most Scenic Spot: If you go southwest on the Canyon Road/FM 2810, the first big hill is Cherry Hill. It is from where I first saw Marfa and it’s an amazing view of our small town. I run to Cherry Hill all the time and I never tire of that view.
I like to go to the Marfa dump for the views too. So glamorous!
Also, we often climb to the top of our church tower. We’ve decided it is the third tallest structure in Marfa. You can see the trains arriving from miles away and we can spy on our neighbors!
I don’t think it’s much of a secret any longer, but you can go to the top of the courthouse and see the edge of town in all directions. It’s a jewel of a courthouse and I think it speaks volumes that it’s open and free for all to enjoy.
Best Place to Dance or Celebrate Special Occasions: Anthony DeSimone and Yoseff Ben-Yehuda’s Chicken Coop. It’s a speak-easy, it’s beautiful, it’s fun. Gotta ask.
Or in our old church/chapel space.
Your Absolute Favorite Thing To Do: Dinner parties. Camp and I have dinner parties and go to dinner parties all the time. When we have large parties, we have a CLEAN UP DANCE PARTY at the end. This means, everyone at the dinner party helps clean up and dancing is required. It always caps the night off in a crazy fun way.
Where to Stay:
El Cosmico for the hip.
Hotel Paisano for the parents.
Thunderbird Hotel for the architects and designers.
Marfa Hill House, El Sueno or any of the other VRBOs for the families.
Stay Marfa for the economy of it all.
What You Love Most: Marfa moments. There are so many times when you cannot believe you are in a town of 2000 people in far west Texas and having the most surreal, beautiful, cultural, could-never-happen-anywhere-else moment. I know it is the best small town in America. It is difficult to put into words, but those who experience it, understand.
Last Traveling Tips: Don’t speed anywhere near this place. The Highway Patrols are vicious.
Don’t come on Monday. Few things are rarely open regularly and I can assure you, they are closed on Mondays.