Marfa! Marfa! Marfa! by Magdalin Leonardo

Where the Heck is Marfa?

Ask any diehard Dean fan where Marfa is, and you’ll get the same response: “Why, in Texas, of course!” But guess what? Most Texans don’t know where Marfa is. My friends in Houston and Dallas couldn’t tell me where it was. Heck, the Texas telephone operators never even heard of it! (That’s “M-A-R-F-A” not “M-A-R-T-H-A”) I know Texas is a giant state. But for fans of the movie “Giant” — especially James Dean fans — Marfa is a very special place, the last surviving link to the late star’s film legacy.

Director George Stevens spent many months searching through Texas before choosing Marfa as the site for “Giant.” Here, in this tiny Texan town (est. population: 2500), you can walk the streets Jimmy wandered, visit the places he made famous, talk to the fans who met him, and visit the roadside ruins of Reata–still standing after 43 years in the desert sun.

Where exactly is Marfa? Well, it’s roughly 500 miles southwest of Dallas in a county called Presidio, otherwise known as Big Bend Country. The two closest towns are Alpine and Fort Davis. The Big Bend National Park and the Rio Grande River are near by. And Mexico is just an hour’s drive south of town.

Getting there won’t be easy. And for most of you, it won’t be fast. But for Dean fans, it is most definitely a trip worth taking.

I had been to all the familiar Dean sites in New York, California and Indiana. I had met countless fans. But nothing, nothing could prepare me for the precious experience of Marfa. It truly is a great Dean adventure…one I highly recommend. So put on your cowboy hat, kick up your spurs, and join me now. Take a journey into the past and relive the magic of James Dean’s Marfa…

    Wow, a James Dean mural!! Can you find which page it’s on?