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What does Jerry Jones have in common with a pope? That’s what writer-at-large Michael Ennis explains in “Paint by Numbers.” “Jones is the first team owner to look at the blank walls of his stadium as prime turf for polishing the image of a lucrative franchise—just like a Medici pope would have,” Ennis says. But the Dallas-based writer, who is finishing up a historical novel, does see a difference. “The typical Renaissance pope was more ruthless and more concerned with the bottom line than any of today’s NFL owners.”
Photograph by Peter Yang
Executive editor Mimi Swartz was no stranger to John O’Quinn when she set out to write about the Houston trial lawyer’s life, death, and legacy (“Law and Disorder”); she first met him when she was working on a cover story about breast implants in 1995. But as she delved into the legal and emotional turmoil he left behind, she found there was a lot that she—and others—didn’t know. “This piece was difficult to report, because so many people are so emotional about their relationship with him,” she says. “There were long-buried secrets, and everyone thought they knew him, but I’m not sure how many people really did.”
Photograph by Marci Roberts
James H. Evans
After stints in Austin and Corpus Christi, James H. Evans moved to Marathon in 1988 and quickly found his calling, photographing the landscape and people of Big Bend (“Dirt and Light”). Despite the challenges of his work—“the heat, the light, the wind, the reptiles”—Evans has no plans to stop. “I knew that if I dedicated my life to photographing this part of the country in an artistic and honest way, it would be my legacy,” he says. “That may sound egocentric, but anyone pursuing their dreams can’t not be a little self-centered.”