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‘This clinic is for the people and by the people,’ said Wanstrom. ‘It’s affordable care. We work within our broken system, and we’re working to maximize our health care.’ bunch of others ran around town during the day and stayed up drinking and playing music with the locals until 5 a.m. They played two rollicking shows at Ray’s Bar, with the $10 cover going to the clinic. As Will Sexton warbled in the far corner of the bar, Wanstrom philosophized about the clinic. “This community owns this clinic;’ she shouted over the din. “Our goal is to empower people because they are our directors. Everyone should be able to get health care, everyone.” Terry Allen took over the microphone at the back of the room. He told a lame lawyer joke and challenged every attorney in the roomwhich at that point included criminal defense superstar Dick DeGuerin, Houston class-action lawyer; Marfa bookstore owner Tim Crowley; the county attorney; and othersto match the take at the door. The crowd caterwauled its approval. “This clinic is for the people and by the people,” said Wanstrom. “It’s affordable health care. We work within our broken system, and we’re working to maximize our own health care.” There is another hurdle: Finding a full-time doctor for Marfa. The clinic has been in touch with Dr. Adrian Billings, a Fort Worth physician who wants to open a practice with the community clinic after he finishes an obstetrics fellowship next July. Now the clinic is so full, there’s no room for him. Clinic directors have raised the idea of taking over the lease on the building that housed the former Rural Health Clinic. If no space can be found, Billings said he’ll open his practice in Alpine. But he wants to be in Marfa. “I’m really proud to tell the story of Kate’s group and the wonderful, altruistic thing they’ve done;’ Billings said from his home in Fort Worth. “It’s a great, community grassroots effort of people coming together and having a long-term goal. It’s a really neat thing.” Back at Ray’s Bar, the party spilled outside at last call. In the back of the parking lot, Terlingua resident Butch Hancock hunched over a guitar playing song after song for a woman who stood nearby. All night, people had thumped Wanstrom on the back and asked her about the clinic: how it’s going and whether they’re going to get the funding from the hospital. She’s still amazed at the direct connection people have to their clinicthe one their friends and neighbors helped make happen. “They wanted something better for themselves,” she said. “They did it.” Sterry Butcher is a reporter at The Big Bend Sentinel in Marfa. SEPTEMBER 22, 2006 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13