Hope Rodriguez, Michael O’Brien, and Gary Cartwright
This issue of texas monthly truly marks the end of an era: Art coordinator Hope Rodriguez is retiring after 34 years. That means she worked alongside every single art director except one (a total of eight), every editor (three), and every publisher (only one) in the magazine’s 35-year history. “It’s funny, but I feel as if I’ve been here even longer because I had been an employee at the company that first printed the magazine,” she says with a laugh. A longtime Austin resident, Rodriguez plans to spend her time volunteering in the community and working with her church, Emmanuel United Methodist. And she realizes how strange it will be to see the May issue when it hits newsstands. “The magazine and I go together,” she says. “I can’t believe that I’ll be outside the loop.”
Contributing photographer Michael O’Brien didn’t know Jan Reid very well when he was asked to photograph him, but he thought of himself as a “professional admirer” (“Citizen Cane”). “I certainly knew that he had been shot years ago,” O’Brien says. “Every thing about his experience was frightening.” In addition to his magazine work, O’Brien has spent the past year shooting for Austin’s Mobile Loaves and Fishes charity, which helps feed the homeless. “It has proven to me that the people who often have the least are willing to give the most,” he says.
In the premiere issue of texas monthly, in February 1973, senior editor Gary Cartwright profiled a troubled professional athlete, Dallas Cowboys running back Duane Thomas. This month Cartwright writes about another troubled professional athlete, former Houston Astros pitcher Roger Clemens (“Truth and Consequences,”). So what has the legendary author learned about his craft after all those years? “Writing never gets any easier,” he says. “The only difference now is that if I bang my head against a wall long enough, the story will come. I didn’t used to know that.”