Food for Thought

December 1991By Comments

I had high expectations when I subscribed to Texas Monthly to use in a reception area of our company. I was very disappointed when I saw the “What a Dish!” cover [TM, October 1991]. If I had wanted to put a half-naked, sleazy female in my reception area, I would have subscribed to Cosmopolitan or Playboy. I fail to see why it is necessary to use a scantily clad female in reference to an article on Texas restaurants. Maybe Texas Monthly should review the market to which it appeals and stop to consider who its subscribers are. There are better ways to sell magazines than with trashy covers.
Energy Resource and Development Corporation

Danger in the Streets

I WAS IN SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE during the running of the bulls when Geoff Winningham was gored [“The Eye of the Bull,” TM, October 1991]. I too went there to take pictures of the action. It is remarkable that we both are alive today. I remember my thoughts when the bull appeared at the top of the street: “Good God, he is huge; I thought he’d be littler. He is wild, and I am crazy, the only woman in the street. Why are the boys taunting him so? He just stuck a kid in the ribs. He’s coming right toward me. I’m a fool; I am going to be killed.”

At that moment, a tall young Mexican man stepped in front of me and spread his arms (like Christ on the cross). I felt the heat of his back on my bosom and then a horrific thonk! The bull had lunged with all his force and gored the man in the chest, and I saw the man shoot straight up in the air, crumple over, and land on his head. I fell back and crawled to a safe cove.

For the record, the man who died next to Geoff was the man who saved my life.
San Antonio

HOW SAD THAT IT TAKES the tormenting of innocent animals for Geoff Winningham “to be fully alive.” Real men don’t find pleasure in perpetuating cruelty to animals.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Washington, D.C.

Picks and Pans

WITH REGARD TO “the best and the Worst Legislators” [TM, October 1991], I would like to correct a misstatement concerning my colleague Robert Eckels. While I agree that Mr. Eckels is “the Good Samaritan of the House” and deserves to be named one of the best legislators, he did not save the City of Houston $250 million in punitive fines as reported.

When I offered legislation to force the City of Houston to provide water and sewer services to annexed areas as an amendment to the environmental bill, Mr. Eckels expressed concern that the $1,000-a-day fine for noncompliance would be placed in the state’s general revenue fund. He wanted the monies to be earmarked for the city to provide these essential services to its residents. During the regular session of the Legislature, when I introduced this bill, a committee report created a special account for the funds. Mr. Eckels offered a similar amendment.

Finally the City of Houston must provide water and sewer services to areas it has annexed, some more than 35 years ago. For that I thank Mr. Eckels and my colleagues in the Texas Legislature.
State Representative

AS AN ACTIVE CONSTITUENT of State Senator Gene Green’s, I was upset to find him listed among the Ten Worst legislators. I have lived and worked in the area now represented by Gene Green for most of my life; never have we had a state senator who listened more than he does. The article suggests that he is indifferent to public policy, yet obviously no one spoke to the general public from his district! The problem of crime in Houston is not a product of hysteria; it is real—and growing each day. While we cannot carry handguns concealed, we can and must carry them to protect ourselves.

We send elected officials to Austin to represent the people in their district. Why blast Senator Green for trying to look out for the best interests of his constituents? These past legislative sessions have addressed extremely important problems. The 181 men and women who chose to be sent to Austin, to work for a pittance, deserve more from their constituents than a label of “Ten Best” or “Ten Worst.” They deserve our encouragement, patience, and prayers.

I DISAGREE WITH THE ADDITION of Temple Dickson of Sweetwater to the Ten Worst list. First of all, there is no validity in criticizing a senate committee chairman for burying a few bills at the bottom of his docket. It’s a perfectly legitimate application of parliamentary power that every committee chairman, lieutenant governor, and house speaker who has ever sat in a legislature has used. Chastising Senator Dickson for such behavior is like reprimanding a cop for making an arrest or a teacher for giving a pop quiz: It doesn’t make sense.

Also, describing the tort reform bills that he stifled as legislation that would have “improved the economic climate for business” shows a lack of knowledge about the content of those bills. The truth is that the only “economic climate for business” that would have been improved is the economic climate of a few large manufacturers of dangerous products, products that would have been allowed by those bills to injure Texas citizens, leaving them with little or no recourse in the courts.

Life in the Fast Lane

MANY THANKS FOR ALAN TENNANT’S “Unsung Hero” [Sports, TM, October 1991]. Great athletes like Kevin Schwantz need more exposure in the States, and such articles will make that a reality. I beg to differ with the statement that Kevin is the only Texan to reach the upper echelon of the 500cc Grand Prix class. Lubbock native and three-time grand national champion Bubba Shobert was well on his way before an accident on the cool-down lap at the Laguna Seca Grand Prix in 1988.

Another Texan who deserves attention is Denton’s Doug Polen, who wrapped up the world superbike championship this year.

Conference Calls

THIS TEXAS TRAVELER from Camp County hopes Paul Burka’s Wild West Conference [Sports, “New Ball Game,” TM, September 1991] restores football in the Southwest to national glory. Ground ball lost the high-flying splendor of Doaker and Layne and the Dutch Meyer Spread.

A long time ago, nationally popular football teams and network TV learned that viewers love footballs in the air. After years under a cloud of dust, the teams in Mr. Burka’s conference need help going airborne. True, they do throw now and again, mostly in desperation and sometimes with precision. But after a few interceptions and drops, the football goes back in the burrow. Only air ball will put an end to this misery.

The Wild West Conference can help bring about the cure by negotiating a network TV contract that includes an “air ball motivator” clause, requiring that extra money be paid for pass completions and pass interceptions.
Miami, Florida

Hot Stuff

I FOUND JOHN MORTHLAND’S “fire Power” [Food, TM, September 1991] interesting, especially since I am a pepper eater. Jeff Campbell should get a copy of Jean Andrews’ Peppers: The Domesticated Capsicums. Andrews tells how she accidentally discovered an antidote for habanero burn. After handling some habaneros, she plunged her burning hands into a bleach solution she had been using for something else, and she experienced immediate relief. The solution she recommends is one part ordinary bleach to five parts water. I have not had to try this remedy, but if I get careless with hot chiles and get burned, it will get an immediate test.
Assistant Professor of Biology Emeritus
University of Houston—Downtown

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