Robert Lee Smith II '62
"One of South County's most colorful and memorable characters died
suddenly at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 19th. He had spent the day doing one of
the things he loved most . . . dirt work on his tractor. Very few
folks from Alpine to the Terlingua/Study Butte area did not know D.B. (Daddy
Written by a Friend of Robert's:
DB loved Terlingua! He loved driving his old trucks out into the back countries on the ranch. DB had a knack for understanding technology , especially software for computers and GPS. The county surveyor told us last year - when he did official surveys after DB had already marked the corners for clients, that DB was surprisingly accurate with his hand held GPS.
DB also loved working on the computer. His office was a very small storage shed lined with his tables and computer stuff. I can remember back before I even had a computer, he was talking fancy web building software, and had the # 1 hit Terlingua site. It still comes up as number one when you google "Terlingua Texas".
How lonely Bee Mountain will seem now. No longer will we see DB working on his tractors where he had dreams of his "Downtown Study Butte", or seeing him driving his clients out to find new property owners' land or marking corners, or hearing about his new enterprises, such as the pressed adobe block, his latest story on native desert plant cures, or whatever new idea he was to explore. I always had to smile seeing his little billboard on 118 near Bee Mountain, with the cariacture wobbly little skyscrapers painted on it with the words "For sale, in beautiful downtown Study Butte". Back a number of years ago, DB had big plans for a downtown Study Butte - planned to be set right on the dusty roads near where his tire shop and home is. There was going to be a Bar to start it off. It never got anywhere, but he later bought Jim Smith's highway land, which was plotted and divided for commercial sale - where his fanciful little billboard stands. DB bought and sold more tracks on Terlingua Ranch in the last few years than anyone, and at the best deals also, I was told by numerous people, including by DB himself.
It's the saddest loss when the community loses its most colorful member. He provided many community services to us all, and I know I'll surely miss him a bunch. Terlingua certainly will never seem the same without him.