ALPINE – Al and Jane Micallef and family, Fort Worth, Weatherford, Los Angeles and Alpine, were honored for their longstanding benevolence by the Museum of the Big Bend and Sul Ross State University during the fourth annual Heritage Dinner, held Friday evening (Sept. 15) at the Gage Hotel’s Ritchey Brothers Building, Marathon.
Sul Ross President Dr. Bill Kibler presented the fourth Heritage Award to Al Micallef after remarks about their legacy by Museum interim director Mary Bones.
Micallef, who owns Jamak, a plastics firm in Weatherford, created the CF Ranch, Land and Cattle Company in Jeff Davis and Brewster counties, established the Reata Restaurant in Alpine, later developed Sierra La Rana, a planned housing community outside of Alpine, and most recently, Micallef Cigars.
“Al has been critical to the on-going success of Trappings of Texas…the Museum’s major fundraising event,” said Bones. “Each year, the Micallefs hosted both the Trappings of Texas and Texas Cowboy Poetry (Gathering) artists, sponsors, board and staff to a party at the CF Ranch. In later years, the party moved into town and was held at the Reata.”
She recalled that Trappings sponsorship letters were earlier sent on CF letterhead and signed by Micallef, often jotting personal notes encouraging participation.
Bones cited Micallef’s sense of preservation of the heritage and history of this area, highlighted on a plaque on “Between Broncs,” stating, “This monument is dedicated to all those hardy souls who settled the Big Bend region of Texas. It is given to all those who revel in the beauty, bounty and grandeur of the area. The future of this region resides in the development of a faithful understanding and appreciation of its history, economic development, ecological significance and cultural resources.”
She added that the statue has been the subject of numerous photographs, adding, “Sul Ross students are encouraged to rub the toe of the cowboy’s boot during finals week. We have noticed that some students go the extra mile and add a stuffed animal or two to boost their odds.”
Micallef, expressed his appreciation for the award and praised the Museum and its staff for its continued excellence. Referring the stuffed animals left at “Between Broncs,” he quipped, “Now I know who has my teddy bears.”