PORTFOLIO TWO • Fame and Fortune
There is one star on Texas’ flag but many in its firmament. The portraits showcase Texans who skyrocketed to celebrity or success.
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There is one star on Texas’ flag but many in its firmament. This portfolio of 34 portraits showcases Texans who skyrocketed to celebrity or success. Many personify the promises implicit in Texas’ very name: bigness (basketball great Hakeem Olajuwon), likability (ex-governor Ann Richards), power (politico Bob Bullock), wealth (billionaire Ross Perot), strength (boxer George Foreman), independence (rocker Janis Joplin), and resolve (actor Tommy Lee Jones). But even lesser luminaries gain that extra little fillip of fame that comes from being a Texan.
These are people on the move, but they all managed to sit (or stand) still long enough to have their picture taken. The photographers—including Annie Leibovitz, Helmut Newton, and Keith Carter—often had star power themselves, as well as a flair for disarming their subjects and distilling qualities beyond the merely physical.
Images from the Twenty-fifth anniversary issue are not available online.
The Stories Behind the Pictures
Actor Tommy Lee Jones by Andrew Eccles
Arkansas, “The Fugitive” October 1993
I’M NOT SURE I’VE SPENT A DAY ANY MORE enjoyable than the one I spent with Tommy Lee Jones for a piece called “The Fugitive.” The movie of the same name would prove to be Jones’s breakthrough, the one that bumped him up that last notch from serious actor to Academy award–winning star, and he agreed to allow us to catch him at that moment, in freeze-frame. Still, I was nervous: I was unaccustomed to interviewing celebrities and had heard that he despised journalists.
What I found was a courtly, solicitous man who reminded me more of a West Texas cowboy than a Hollywood movie star. Jones allowed me to watch him rewrite script pages and film his scenes. We went shopping for folk art, ate Memphis barbecue, and tooled around the banks of the Mississippi in his chauffeur-driven car while he riffed on acting and fame. Initially, he’d told me that having a writer follow him around was “unseemly,” but he seemed to get used to it pretty fast.
Photographer Andrew Eccles’ experience was a little different. Jones also reminded him of a character out of the West—an extremely vigilant sheriff—and Eccles felt like a stranger in his town. “He hates to have his picture taken,” Jones’s then-wife had told me, a fact that no one but Jones would communicate to Eccles. At one point during the intense, competitive session, Eccles was stung by a wasp. “Tommy Lee stared me in the eyes,” he says. “I refused to flinch.” In the end, Eccles got the cover shot, and Jones had to admit he was happy with the image. “Tommy Lee wrote me a beautiful thank-you note,” he says. “He won, but I won too.” Mimi Swartz
Musician and Mystery Novelist Kinky Friedman by Will van Overbeek
Kerrville, “Long Live the Kink” August 1988
“NUDIE, THE FAMOUS HOLLYWOOD TAILOR, made this coat years ago for a mysterious man who ordered it but never picked it up,” Kinky Friedman says of this portrait. “Bob Dylan and I went into his store in 1976 while we were with the Rolling Thunder Revue, and Bob bought it. He wore it a little bit, not even out of the store, and then gave it to me. I then had about seven years of bad luck, both personally and professionally, with many people I knew going to Jesus in rapid succession.
So around 1990, I sold the coat at auction at Sotheby’s in London. It sold for much less than it should have—a jacket made by Nudie and worn by Bob and myself. It was a big disappointment to the Kinkster, not a financial pleasure. It went for something in the neighborhood of a quarter of a million dollars, and most of that was leeched away by my homosexual lover, Cleve Hattersley. Later I told Bob that I’d sold it, and he thought it was very bad karma. I have no idea where it is today. Last I heard, it was hanging at the Hard Rock Cafe in Tel Aviv.” Evan Smith
IN THE PAST DECADE, ANDREW ECCLES OF New York City has become one of the country’s best-regarded photographers of show business personalities. Dozens of magazines, including Texas Monthly, regularly hire him to shoot celebrity portraits. At our behest he was able to persuade the temperamental Tommy Lee Jones to sit still long enough for a photograph, he talked Dallas native Morgan Fairchild into wearing tantalizing black leather, and he asked Lou Diamond Phillips, who grew up in Flour Bluff (which is now part of Corpus Christi), to submit to head-to-toe painting in gold for his photo session.
Why gold? Phillips was featured in our September 1996 issue as one of the year’s twenty notable Texans for his portrayal of a disturbed Gulf War soldier in the movie Courage Under Fire and his Tony-nominated performance in Broadway’s The King and I. When Eccles attended the play, he noticed that most of the sets were painted gold. “I knew I wanted to use gold as some sort of theme in the photograph,” Eccles explains. “And there was also a lot of talk that year about Lou maybe getting an Oscar, which is also gold. And then—to show you how a photographer’s mind works—I was thinking about how I could get my shot on the cover of Texas Monthly. So I thought, ‘What about painting him gold and calling him Texas’ Golden Boy?’” Because Eccles loved Phillips’ haircut, he emphasized it by photographing the actor from behind. The resulting picture didn’t make the cover—we went instead with a shot of actor and martial artist Chuck Norris—but Eccles’ vision is indeed priceless. Skip Hollandsworth
ON OTHER OCCASIONS, I HAD SEEN the glamour of model Marla Hanson, but when I interviewed her in 1992, this was the face she chose to present. She had survived the infamous razor-blade attack in New York in 1986, and after many surgeries, the last glaring scar was the cruel furrow in her cheek. I wondered at her no-makeup message: Was there a hint of accusation? I shared the gender of the person to whom this beautiful woman’s face was the most hateful thing on earth. But as we talked—about her Texas roots, her upbringing in a charismatic faith, a modeling career destroyed in a parking lot awash in blood and terror, and the bizarre celebrity that resulted—I came to believe that her look was an overture of trust.
My state of mind was nothing compared to that of Michael Halsband when he set up this shot through an eight-by-ten camera. His head was under a cloak, and Marla’s image appeared upside down. A fashion and music industry photographer, Halsband had been helping her make a short film, and they became friends. “I loved her, yet I was trying to strip away emotion,” he says of this photo. “I was never affected by the scars. But they weren’t on my face, and they were definitely an issue with her. An eight-by-ten camera sees better than we ever can. I was after something that was not happy, not sad, not indifferent. Something beneath struggling to get to the surface.”
Marla is now married to a man working in movie production, and a few months ago she had a baby. “She sounds very happy,” Michael says. “I think she’s finally found some peace.” Jan Reid
Fitness Guru Susan Powter by Greg Watermann
Dallas, “The Skinny on Susan Powter” November 1993
AT FIRST, SUSAN POWTER AGREED to give Dallas photographer Greg Watermann only an hour and a half to shoot a series of photographs for the November 1993 cover story about her transformation from pudgy high school dropout to national fitness guru. She set out many other conditions as well: She needed extraordinary amounts of sushi and bananas, she preferred to be photographed only from one side of her face, and she didn’t plan on living up to any stereotypical expectations that Watermann, a male, might have had about how she was supposed to look. After all, anger—especially anger toward men—was the shtick of this crew-cut woman who identified herself as the “used-car salesman of feminism.”
In the end, however, Powter couldn’t resist posing. This is a woman who was once a topless dancer, who gets a physical high out of leading women through a series of aerobic exercises, who is addicted to the spotlight. Posing is her destiny. “We started putting her in these beautiful clothes—Calvin Klein suits and Victor Costa gowns—and immediately she just came alive,” Watermann recalls. “It was like a personality transplant.” The shoot stretched to six hours and Powter stopped for only a bite or two of sushi. Watermann provided what she had really hungered for: attention. “I would just toss out an adjective like ‘happy’ or ‘angry’ or ‘embarrassed,’ and she would give me that expression,” he says. “I had the feeling she could be anything I wanted her to be.” Jan Jarboe Russell
Musician Don Henley With Bald Eagle by Laura Wilson
Malibu, California, “The Texas Twenty” September 1995
THE SHOOT WITH DON HENLEY TOOK PLACE high on a ridge in Malibu overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I had been thinking for some time about a portrait with a bird of prey when art director D. J. Stout called with the assignment to photograph Henley. At first, shooting the most famous of the Eagles with an eagle seemed obvious—dumb, even. I couldn’t believe it hadn’t already been done. But it hadn’t.
As a national symbol, the eagle is on millions of quarters, stamps, and mailboxes. But the real thing is rare and wild. When my assistants and I started trying to locate one, we found that in all of Texas, there’s not a single bald eagle that is tame. We did find a feisty San Antonio man who owned a golden eagle. Don Henley knew the man and knew the bird. He let it be known that this was who he would work with. So we set out to fly them to California.
But endangered species can’t be moved about at the whim of photographers and rock stars. I had to obtain a complicated set of permissions from the federal government: first, for the bird to leave Texas; second, for it to leave the Southwest; third, for it to enter the Pacific Coast region; and fourth, for it to enter California. After about two hundred phone calls, the first three permissions were granted. But the query had ruffled California’s feathers: No Texas bird was coming into the state, officials declared. Don Henley was ready to call the governor, expenses were mounting, and no one had actually moved from his perch.
About this time, D.J. called to say he didn’t care what bird was used. “We’re running out of time,” he warned. “Just get an eagle in Hollywood.” But Don Henley seemed to be the only eagle left in Southern California, so I called San Francisco. My assistant there tracked down the perfect bird—a bald eagle with a good attitude—and then drove south for seven hours with the eagle and its handler to Malibu, where I was waiting. When the van arrived, I looked in the back, and there in the dim light I saw what looked like a buzzard: huge body, wizened head. My heart sank, but the handler reassured me. The bird had been tightly hooded for the entire time; the blindfolding kept it calm. The handler said before we could photograph, the bird needed “to get to know Don Henley so he can relate to him.” I thought, “Oh, God!” but said, “No time. We have to shoot right away.” The handler then said, “The eagle bites.” I couldn’t believe it. I asked, “You’re kidding me?” He laughed and said that everyone knows all eagles bite. I thought, “This is a recipe for disaster.”
Then the handler took the bird out of the van and removed the hood. The bird immediately spread its wings, which spanned almost five feet. It was magnificent, absolutely breathtaking—white head, yellow beak, dark body the color of tree bark—and it eyed each of us, arrogant and imperial.
Up on the ridge in that late-evening light, Don Henley and the eagle looked great. I started shooting. After about 45 minutes, the handler said the bird needed a break. I knew we already had the cover and a strong opening shot as well, but after a few minutes I urged the handler to put the eagle back on Henley’s arm for just three more shots, which was all I had left on the roll. The scene was so beautiful—the amazing view, the perfect light—that I couldn’t bear to stop. “No, I believe he’s had enough,” said the handler. At that exact moment, the eagle, without provocation, lunged at the handler. I was horrified. That ended the shoot, and I remember thinking that Don Henley’s guardian angel must have been watching out for him. Laura Wilson
AT AGE 26, WITH JUST TWO ALBUMS under his belt, Kirk Franklin was already the biggest thing ever to have hit gospel music when he was named to Texas Monthly’s “Texas Twenty” in 1996. He was also a man constantly on the move. After several missed connections, Dallas photographer Laura Wilson was granted a 45-minute session with the Fort Worth native just before he left for England. She wanted to capture the energy and emotion of the gospel firebrand’s concerts, but he arrived wearing loose, floppy pants that obscured the shape of his body—and with his bags packed for his tour, he had nothing better to change into. Still unaccustomed to posing for portraits, Franklin didn’t understand why the pants were a problem, but he took Wilson’s word. It was late, and most stores were closed, so they had to visit three malls before finding something that worked—in the window of a women’s boutique. Franklin wouldn’t leave the dressing room in the tight, pegged pants, so Wilson had to come to him to approve the fit.
Although the preparation took much longer than the allotted time, the shoot, with Franklin moving to his own music, was easy. “I liked how smart he was, how savvy,” Wilson recalls. “He was very amused by my insistence on having the right look, but he responded to it right away. He responded to my intensity and realized it was important.” John Morthland
Rock Band ZZ Top by Michael O’Brien
Humble, “How They Do It” April 1993
IT’S PRETTY MUCH A TRUISM IN SHOW business that the biggest jerks are the ones who least have the right to be—and the friendliest folks are the ones who could get away with being jerks. Certainly that was the case with Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard of the world-famous rock band ZZ Top, who “couldn’t have been nicer,” photographer Michael O’Brien says. The hirsute Houstonians came, sans entourage, to the fittingly named town of Humble to pose in an old-time barbershop; each drove himself to the shoot in his own car. (Beard was a little late because he got a speeding ticket on the way.) When they arrived, “they were extremely professional,” says O’Brien, whose legendarily methodical work style didn’t put them off. “They were completely focused, and they weren’t impatient. They had no egos at all.” And after a long day in front of the camera, they stayed to sign autographs for the legions of fans who pressed their nose against the barbershop window. “For a change,” O’Brien says, “it’s a subject I can’t tell you a bad story about.” Evan Smith
Rock Star Janis Joplin by Jim Marshall
San Francisco, “O Janis” October 1992
JANIS JOPLIN ATTRACTIVE? ABSOLUTELY, says veteran photographer Jim Marshall, who estimates that he captured the Port Arthur native on film twenty times. “She wasn’t the most beautiful girl in the world, but she became beautiful in front of the camera,” he says. “She was really open in front of it, like Mick Jagger. There were no restrictions on what you could do.” At this 1966 shoot for the now-defunct teenybopper magazine Teen Set, Marshall—a self-described gun freak—suggested that Joplin pose with a rifle that belonged to a member of the Grateful Dead. The photo never appeared in print until the October 1992 issue of Texas Monthly. “I live in San Francisco, where guns don’t go over so well,” Marshall says, “but I thought it was appropriate for Texas.” Evan Smith
Tejano Singer Selena by John Dyer
San Antonio, “The Texas Twenty” September 1994
“I TOOK THIS SHOT IN MY STUDIO IN SAN Antonio in 1992 for a magazine that doesn’t exist any more,” says John Dyer. “It was called Más, a Spanish-language People-style magazine owned by the same people who run the Univision network. It was a cover story with a large spread inside, so I had Selena all day in my studio. She arrived in her little red Porsche, which was crammed with her wardrobe and gear in boxes. She started carrying the stuff in all by herself. She was very easy to work with, not at all uppity. Her mom arrived in another car and spent most of the shoot in the reception area.
“The editor of the magazine, an Anglo guy, flew in for the shoot. When he saw the outfits she was wearing, he started using words like ‘dominatrix’ and began insinuating himself into the shoot. I finally had to calm him down and explain that she was only a young tejano singer, that this wasn’t Berlin 1935.
“The photograph is certainly erotic. That’s the funny dichotomy with Selena—the way she looked when she performed in tight, tight pants, and the almost puritanical way she felt about herself. She looked like a Mexican soap opera star—really heavily made-up, teased hair, pointed bra—but her dad would get terribly angry if anyone made any salacious comments about her when she was wearing her skimpy outfits.”
Texas Monthly reprinted this image from Dyer’s shoot when Selena Quintanilla-Perez was recognized as one of “The Texas Twenty” in September 1994. Six months later, the 23-year-old was dead, shot by the jealous and angry founder of her fan club. Joe Nick Patoski
Cosmetics Tycoon Mary Kay Ash by Danny Turner
Dallas, “The Texas 100” August 1989
ONCE HE IS SET UP, DALLASITE DANNY Turner is known for his fast work—“Let me shoot two or three rolls of film, and I’m out of there,” he says—but even he was amazed at how quickly he snapped this photo of Mary Kay Ash for an August 1989 story on the hundred richest Texans. He assumed it might take a while to persuade the grande dame of cosmetics to pose in front of her famous pink bathtub with Greek columns. But she politely assented, then walked into the bathroom wearing a long black evening gown. The effect was so surreal—and so perfectly symbolic of nouveau Texas wealth—that Turner realized he had a unique shot. It was. “All I had to do was focus the camera,” he recalls. Total time for the entire session? Less than twenty minutes. Skip Hollandsworth
Heiress-Hotelier Caroline Hunt Schoellkopf by Helmut Newton
Dallas, “Portraits in Power” December 1985
IN THE MID-SEVENTIES HELMUT NEWTON irrevocably changed fashion photography with his sexually suggestive, psychologically charged images. Critics’ opinions were divided: Some considered his work perverted; others saw it as sensual. The controversy continued as Newton concentrated more and more on portraits of Europe’s jet-setters and social elite, including Catherine Deneuve, Paloma Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Andy Warhol. His settings were contrived scenarios in which the subjects portrayed images representative of the Newtonian ideal—an aberrant world of excess, privilege, and style. As a consequence, Newton was a natural— if eyebrow-raising—choice to photograph such Texas legends as Bum Bright, Trammell Crow, and John Connally.
Newton’s images reflect a synergy between his own preoccupation with power and his interpretation of the Texas myth. He envisioned in his subjects a larger-than-life quality with more than a hint of romance. But, as with most fantasies, there is an element of truth—Texans dream big and achieve big. Newton’s metaphor of bigness is most overt in this portrait of hotelier Caroline Hunt Schoellkopf (now Caroline Rose Hunt) in the model for Dallas’ Crescent, which, at the time, was her latest project. “It was Gulliver’s Travels, you see,” Newton says of the photo’s inspiration. “Since I was a child, I have been interested in the themes of that story. I asked the charming, sweet, elegant lady to stand in the model. And she did just that.” Newton’s metaphor has withstood the test of time: Today Hunt’s Rosewood Hotels and Resorts looms large in the luxury hotel business. Jane Dure
Sarah Lea With Her Portrait by Husband Tom Lea by Danny Turner
El Paso, “A Brush with Life” March 1989
FOR “A BRUSH WITH LIFE,” DANNY TURNER composed photographic portraits of nine Texans and their painted portraits. For this particular picture-within-a-picture, he trekked to El Paso to arrange a shoot with Sarah Lea, the wife of legendary artist Tom Lea and the subject of his painting Sarah in the Summertime. “They live in a very modest house,” says Turner, “and there wasn’t much room inside to shoot her with the picture. So I asked if we could take it to the front yard, which is in the foothills of the mountains. Mr. Lea was a little reluctant at first—hey, it’s artwork, man—but he agreed. Mrs. Lea was very gracious about posing. My assistant was hiding behind the canvas, holding it up.”
The juxtaposition is striking: Mrs. Lea, dignified and serene, in the background twilight; the sun-filled painting of her as a young wife, shy yet sensuous, up front. Lea based the life-size work on a photo of Sarah he carried throughout World War II, and his love infuses every stroke; he spent 26 days painting the flowers alone. And when was this tribute completed? “Just a minute,” the subject, now 85, said recently, pausing to look. “In 1947. It’s hanging right here in the living room.” Anne Dingus
Writer Sarah Bird by Mark Seliger
Austin, “Funny Business” July 1990
“TO BE HONEST, I DON’T REMEMBER the details of the shoot,” says Mark Seliger, the Borger-bred photographer who captured rib-tickling Texans for our July 1990 issue on humor. It’s not surprising that he’s a little foggy on the particulars of one single assignment; after all, as a photographer for Rolling Stone since 1987, Seliger has snapped innumerable celebrity portraits, including rapper
Ice-T—who penned the controversial song “Cop Killer”—in a policeman’s uniform, and John McVie and Mick Fleetwood dressed as bride and groom. His clever style and his native-Texan status made him ideal to photograph our comedic stars, such as Tunamen Joe Sears and Jaston Williams, cartoonist Buddy Hickerson, and novelist Sarah Bird, the smiling subject of this photo. “We shot that in Sarah’s back yard in Austin,” Seliger says. “I wanted it to be a surreal scene, and her yard was green and jungly and overgrown—a great setting.”
So why the outdoor bedroom, a writer in her nightclothes, and a naked baby? For details, we have to defer to the subject. “When Mark first called me,” Bird recalls, “he said he wanted to do something that expressed how I work. So I said, ‘Well, I usually work in my pajamas.’ So they brought these striped pajamas from Neiman Marcus that cost $175.” No, she didn’t get to keep them: “In fact, they kept telling me, ‘Don’t sweat in them!’ And it was a hot day. After Mark had finished shooting several rolls, I asked if—as a favor to me—he would take one with my then ten-month-old son. He said sure, as a favor, because he was not wild about putting a baby in the picture. But as soon as my son was in the shot, Mark loved it! He said it was so Rousseauian! And having the baby there did something to me. I mean, it’s hard to smile for a bunch of strangers, but it’s real easy for a mother to smile for her child. I still think it is the most perfect picture. It’s me, dressed in stripes, with my baby against this idyllic backdrop. It expressed what motherhood was like for me—like being a prisoner in this beautiful experience.” Erin Gromen
Oilman Oscar Wyatt by Pam Francis
Houston, “Meaner Than a Junkyard Dog” April 1991
OSCAR WYATT IS A TEXAS TOUGH GUY, but one of the toughest challenges of photographing him was keeping his beloved German shepherd, Tasa, awake for the entire shoot. “The dog had just come back from a grooming,” recalls Pam Francis, the Houston photographer who did this portrait of Wyatt and his dog for the April 1991 cover story. “She’d had a massage and a warm bath and was feeling so relaxed that she kept nodding off.” There Francis was on the rooftop of the headquarters of Coastal Corporation, the
$10 billion energy company Wyatt started in 1955, with him and Tasa sitting cheek by jowl against the Texas sky. It was the perfect setting to illustrate the point of the story: how Wyatt made it to the top in a dog-eat-dog world.
The trouble was, Tasa wasn’t looking terribly ferocious. To get the shot, Francis had to pose Wyatt and the dog nose-to-nose several times. Then, as she got into position behind the camera, her assistant would jump up and down and shout, “Wake up, Tasa! Wake up!” Wyatt, who is notorious for hating to have his photograph taken, enjoyed the shoot. After agreeing to give Francis only a limited amount of time, he ended up spending several hours with her.
If the portrait had been just of him and not of his dog, Wyatt might have been stingy with his time and resources, but when it came to Tasa, the sky was the limit. The dog—who died in 1996—went to the office with him, rode in his car, and had the run of all his houses. Wyatt said of her during an interview for the story: “She’s the only woman in the world I truly trust.”
This unabashed love for his dog is something that Francis instinctively understood: She has two dogs that accompany her to her studio every day. Wyatt so loved this picture that he ordered several copies. Later he hired Francis to photograph him for his company’s annual report, but none of the subsequent portraits was as winning. “He would just grin and say ‘sex’ and ‘cheese’ whenever I pointed the camera at him, and the results weren’t the same,” Francis says, which only goes to prove the lofty place Tasa occupied in Oscar Wyatt’s heart—higher than either food or sex. Jan Jarboe Russell
Southwest Airlines CEO Herb Kelleher by Mark Hanauer
Dallas, “A Boy and His Airline” April 1989
FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER MARK HANAUER, a veteran of corporate portraiture, is used to dealing with CEOs who deign to shoehorn a photo session into their busy schedules. Then he met Herb Kelleher. In a shoot that lasted an entire day, Hanauer followed the Southwest Airlines honcho around the Dallas Love Field terminal and snapped a series of costume changes and screwy poses: Herb in a white Elvis-like leisure suit, unzipped to mid-torso, acting like a happy escapee in front of disbelieving terminal passengers; Herb lying on the floor with fifty smiling Southwest employees crouching over him; Herb in a yellow rain slicker standing in front of a wall of video monitors. And Herb in the cockpit of a Southwest plane with three lit cigarettes between his fingers and a look of pure smoking satisfaction on his face. “He’s a rarity,” says Hanauer. “He really enjoyed himself and put a lot into the session. He saw it as good publicity.” The smiles on the faces of the flight attendants and pilots were genuine, Hanauer asserts. “It wasn’t just for show, for the camera. Everybody loved him.” For the picture with the flight attendants, Hanauer bunched them all together and put the ones in the back on a railing—which broke, sending everyone tumbling and laughing onto one another. As for the shot of the smoke-wreathed Kelleher in the cockpit: “Smoking was starting to become politically incorrect in those days—I think that’s why he liked doing it. He’s a bit of a rebel.” Michael Hall
Stanley Marcus Of Neiman Marcus by Scogin Mayo
Dallas, “Life of a Salesman” December 1992
WHEN DALLAS PHOTOGRAPHER SCOGIN Mayo was asked to shoot Stanley Marcus for a December 1992 story, “Life of a Salesman,” he was determined to get a photograph that captured Marcus’ historic eminence in American retailing. “When you are dealing with a revered, famous figure,” says Mayo of the Neiman Marcus potentate, “you want to do something that goes beyond the basic superficial portrait that you’ve seen a thousand times.”
But when Mayo arrived for the photo shoot, he still had no idea how he was going to portray Marcus, who was only able to allot him less than a day for the session. During the morning, Mayo photographed Marcus getting his hair cut. The scene was charming, but Mayo wasn’t satisfied. That afternoon, he accompanied Marcus to his grand East Dallas home. Still searching for the perfect image, Mayo wandered the house until he saw the den, where sunlight was filtering through a window and playing across a bench. “Right then, I knew what the shot would be,” Mayo says. He asked Marcus to sit sideways at the end of the bench and lean on his cane. “Sometimes when you have the subject of your photograph look away from the camera,” says Mayo, “you feel as a viewer that you have more permission to really look at the subject—to study him.” Indeed, through this unique photograph, a viewer is able to see a new side of Marcus—not the legendary salesman but the contemplative guru of retailing whose ideas helped transform American fashion. Skip Hollandsworth
Portraitist Paul Linwood Gittings by Andy Vracin
Dallas, “The Gittings People” March 1983
DEPENDING ON HOW YOU WANT TO LOOK AT IT, this picture by Dallas’ Andy Vracin is either an homage to or a goof on the Gittings portrait, a ubiquitous Texas institution that constitutes the look of the state when it’s in a somber, official mood. The subject is the then 83-year-old founder of the Gittings studio, Paul Linwood Gittings, photographed with all the self-important dignity that he imposed on most of his subjects.
Gittings, who died in 1988, began his career as the man in Texas for Bachrach, the big East Coast photographic studio that created the signature look for captains of industry. During the Depression, he bought out Bachrach’s Texas operation and, over the years, built it up into a parallel Sunbelt universe. Gittings portraits were noticeably brighter, brassier, and showier than Bachrach portraits, though no less artificial.
As part of the research for this story, I had my own portrait made by Gittings, but the experience wasn’t much fun—I felt I was being fitted into a template of acceptable expressions and poses, rather than being understood for who I really was. (Maybe that’s the point of official portrait photography.) What was fun was meeting Paul Gittings. After we talked for a while, he hauled out an album of fine-art photographs, including nudes, that he had taken decades earlier. Clearly this was the work closest to his heart, though he wouldn’t allow it to be published; somewhere along the line, he had decided to put his efforts into portrait photography. But that decision is what made the studio take off. It filled a real need: The kind of Texans he photographed needed to look established and important, but without surrendering their Texanness. Gittings understood how to do that. Nicholas Lemann
Governor Ann Richards by Annie Leibovitz
South Padre Island, “Sadder But Wiser” April 1994
DURING THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION OF 1993, I had a conversation with Governor Ann Richards during which I mentioned that she didn’t seem to be approaching her job with the same enthusiasm she had exhibited during her first year in office. “If you mean, am I sadder but wiser, the answer is yes,” Richards responded. That line stuck in my mind, and when nothing seemed to have changed by the following spring—by which time she was running, somewhat halfheartedly, for reelection—I wrote an article about the reasons for her mood and titled it “Sadder but Wiser.” This Annie Leibovitz photograph was a perfect match for the story. It couldn’t have been planned any better, but in fact, it wasn’t planned at all—not by Texas Monthly, Ann Richards, or Annie Leibovitz.
Leibovitz took this photograph as part of an all-day photo shoot for a Vanity Fair portfolio on powerful women. (Richards recalls that Leibovitz’s next subjects were Wilma Mankiller, the first woman to head the Cherokee Nation, and Gloria Steinem.) Richards was relaxing on a couch at a friend’s condo on South Padre Island, so engrossed in conversation with the famed celebrity photographer that she hardly noticed the camera clicking away. “I never expected to see this photograph in a publication,” says Richards, who is now a Washington lobbyist. “It wasn’t posed or set up with a lot of to-do.” Leibovitz had brought a bevy of assistants—“At least five,” Richards remembers—to carry lights, cameras, lenses, and props, and they all talked constantly about what equipment to use for the “real” shoot. “She’s lots of fun, very engaging,” Richards says of Leibovitz. “She’s lean and lanky and makes you feel very relaxed. She told me she loved Padre Island; she never imagined that Texas looked like this. I told her, ‘That’s what people say about every place in Texas except Amarillo.’”
Richards does not share my affection for the photo: “One of the photographs that ran in Vanity Fair is the favorite one I’ve ever had made. It’s a profile, and I look like a weathered old West Texas lady. But this one makes me look sultry and indolent. That’s not me. I was taken aback when I saw it.” Did she object to our using the photograph? “No, I figure when you’re in public life, you’re pretty much public property. They can do with you what they want to.”
“Before you go,” I said, “how about a little off-the-record political speculation?” “Uh-uh,” she said, as drawn out and emphatic as one can make those two simple syllables. “I’m gladder and wiser now.” Paul Burka
Billionaire Ross Perot by Barbara Laing
Lake Texoma, “Can Ross Perot Save America?” December 1988
WITH THEIR GRIMLY STERN SELF-IMAGE and penchant for absolute control, wealthy businessmen are the natural bane of creative photographers. Ross Perot, possessing a hyperabundance of such tight-lipped qualities, has long been the worst of them all. Getting him to pose unclenched—away from a desk, out of a suit, and nowhere near a flag or a statue of an eagle—is well-nigh impossible. So how did Barbara Laing of Midland get the testy billionaire to let his short hair so far down? She reminded him of one of his daughters. Less than an hour after the two first met, Perot ordered his son, Ross Junior, to crank up their private chopper, and they all whirled off to the family’s private weekend compound on Lake Texoma.
Surrounded by expensive toys—parasails, jet skis, supercharged boats—Perot began to focus his legendary intensity, like a laser beam, on cutting loose. “Before we knew it, we were on the cigar boat, and he wanted to go fast,” Laing recalls. “He forgot I was there. I just kind of buried myself under the dashboard, and took pictures.” She adds, “He’s the most difficult person I ever photographed. You can never get Perot to do anything. You just have to catch him while he’s doing it.”
Laing’s photograph accompanied Texas Monthly’s December 1988 cover story on Perot titled “Can Ross Perot Save America?”—a piece which mused at length about what kind of president Perot would make. (Answer: an unsuccessful one.) The story was prescient. Less than four years later, Perot launched his ill-fated third-party candidacy for the White House. But America decided it didn’t want to be saved—at least not by Ross Perot. Peter Elkind
Oilman and Gubernatorial Candidate Clayton Williams by Curtis Wilcott
Midland, “Texas Humor” July 1990
“I CAPTURED THIS IMAGE OF CLAYTON WILLIAMS here in 1990,” recalls Midland photographer Curtis Wilcott. “He was hoping to run for governor. It was a highly vocal campaign, and every eye in Texas seemed to be on Clayton Williams.
“The day I made the picture, Clayton and his wife, Modesta, were going to their precinct to cast their vote in the Republican primary. Television crews were present, but I was the only still photographer on the scene. After voting, they stopped for a short question-and-answer session with the media. Just as they were leaving, a journalist asked, ‘Why do you think you have gotten so popular so quickly?’ Williams turned around, smiled Texas-big, and raised his hands up to his ears as he said, ‘Cause I got big ears and I listen to what people say.’
“I still had my camera to my eye. I fired off two frames. None of the television shooters was rolling, so I was the only one who captured that unusual moment on film.” Anne Dingus
WHEN I SAW THIS DREAMY COVER PHOTOGRAPH of Henry Cisneros and his infant son, John Paul, my first thought was “uh-oh.” I had just written a long profile of Cisneros, who at the time was at the height of his gilded tenure as the mayor of San Antonio, and after spending several weeks in his company, I had come to realize he was every bit as naive as he was savvy. His willingness to pose in this cloud-kingdom setting with his gravely ill baby struck me at first as an error in judgment. I worried that the chronically unguarded Henry was being lured into something, and that if the picture didn’t work, it would make both him and Texas Monthly look campy at best and creepy at worst.
What has to be remembered about this picture is that when it was taken no one knew how long John Paul would live. He had been born less than three months before with a badly deformed heart, and the prognosis hovered somewhere between guarded and grim. “What if the baby dies while the magazine is on the newsstand?” someone—perhaps me—asked during one of our many editorial debates about this cover. It seemed to me that we were skirting uncomfortably close to the edge of sensationalism with this picture, and yet there was also something genuinely, honestly compelling about the image that couldn’t be denied; one by one, the arguments for withholding it finally evaporated.
As it turned out, my squeamishness was unjustified. James McGoon’s portrait of Henry and John Paul Cisneros has turned out to be one of Texas Monthly’s signature photographic statements.
“It’s amazing to me how many people were touched by it,” Cisneros told me recently when I called him to discuss the picture. “Of all the photos in my whole public life, none has generated more comment than that one. Even today, ten years later, I’ll be at a speaking engagement somewhere and someone will come up to me in a reception line and ask me to sign a ten-year-old copy of Texas Monthly. And invariably these people who hold it out for my signature and comment on it as if it were yesterday tend to be mothers. I think it taps into an instinct about caring and nurturing children.” It also reminds them, perhaps, of a time when Cisneros was a venerated political commodity who seemed certain to ascend as effortlessly as an angel into the highest reaches of public office. But less than a year after this issue appeared, his career was splintered by the news of his angst-ridden love affair with a woman named Linda Medlar. This notorious misalliance has dogged him emotionally and legally ever since. As Bill Clinton’s nominee for Secretary of Housing the Urban Development, he underwent a background check. Subsequently, the allegation that he misled federal investigators about the affair led to the appointment of a special prosecutor and Cisneros’ recent indictment for obstruction of justice.
Cisneros spent four years in the Cabinet, resigning last year to take a high-paying job as the president of Univision, the nation’s largest Spanish-language television network. After a turbulent decade, he and his wife, Mary Alice, are still together. They now live in Los Angeles. Their daughter Teresa, a graduate of Yale and New York University’s law school, recently passed the California bar and is working as an advocate for children in the San Francisco court system. Her younger sister, Mercedes, graduated from Stanford last June and is teaching third grade in the Los Angeles public school system. And John Paul? He’s now ten years old. When he was six, his defective heart was successfully reconstructed in an intricate and risky operation. “He plays Little League,” Cisneros told me, “he takes tennis lessons, he and I play catch. He’s not going to be an athletic star, and he still has some stamina problems that arise from his heart-lung interaction, but on the whole, he’s now a normal child.”
Speaking over the phone from his Century City office, Cisneros professed homesickness for his native state—“I have a real affection for Texas I’ve not overcome” was, curiously, the way he put it—and overall he sounded like his essential Henry self, only more so: filled with the familiar energy and vision for his new job, but with an even deeper vein of that strange wistfulness that once made him—and may make him still—one of the most intriguing politicians in America. “The relationship that this picture addresses,” he said, referring to the cover photo again, “has been key in the cementing of our family relations. My relationship with my son and his role in the family, and his role between my wife and me, has a lot to do with our weathering of hard times and surviving the mistakes I made.” Stephen Harrigan
Former President George Bush and Millie by Keith Carter
Houston, State of the Art February 1994
GEORGE BUSH ONCE OCCUPIED THE MOST powerful office in the world, but there’s no doubt that Millie, the family pet, is top dog in this 1993 Keith Carter photograph. Carter had photographed the newly retired president for a story in Washingtonian magazine, which ran a different shot of man and dog, one that showed more of Bush’s face but less of his emotion. Later, art director D. J. Stout heard about the photo shoot from Carter and asked to see the outtakes.
This photograph from the session at Bush’s Houston home appeared in Texas Monthly on a page called State of the Art.
“I wanted to create a page that let photography speak for itself,” says Stout of State of the Art, which ran from July 1990 through September 1995. “We are one of the few magazines that emphasize editorial photography—photo essays and documentary work—but even so, there were a lot of great Texas photographs that were falling through the cracks. What I love about this particular photo is that it captures an unposed, unrehearsed moment of affection from a man we’re used to seeing only in stiff, formal situations.”
Some of Texas Monthly’s best-remembered photos appeared in State of the Art, including four in this issue. But magazines change, and in Stout’s 1995 redesign of Texas Monthly, State of the Art metamorphosed into Face, a page for Texas personalities on the verge of fame. “You have to be contemporary,” Stout says, “but I’ll always miss State of the Art.” Paul Burka
Environmental Enforcer John Hall by Wyatt McSpadden
Austin, “The Texas Twenty” September 1994
THIS PORTRAIT OF JOHN HALL, THEN THE state water pollution regulator, is so unusual that the Wall Street Journal ran an article on how photographer Wyatt McSpadden coaxed his subject into posing. “I was tricked,” Hall told the Journal. But originally it was McSpadden who found himself in over his head. “I kept thinking, ‘How can I show what this guy does?’” McSpadden recalls. “Finally the idea comes to me that I have to get him in the water. He shows up at Lake Austin by the Loop 360 bridge before dawn on Sunday morning, dressed in a suit that he intends to wear to church. I start shooting him when he is up to his ankles and keep saying, ‘Deeper, deeper.’ He’s playing along, but he’s not liking it. Finally I get him to take off his jacket. Now there are boats on the lake. Wakes are splashing around him. All the time I’m thinking, ‘How far can I take this before he says he’s through?’ The photograph that we used was in the last two or three frames out of two hundred. That was one of the best sales jobs I ever did.” McSpadden did offer to clean Hall’s suit, but Hall didn’t want dry cleaning—just dry land. Paul Burka
Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock by Wyatt McSpadden
Austin, “The Texas Twenty” September 1994
HE’S A LAME DUCK NOW, but when this photograph was taken in 1994, Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock was at the height of his power. Democrats still ruled the Senate, and Bullock still ruled the Democrats—and the Republicans too. During the renovation of the Senate Chamber, Wyatt McSpadden persuaded Bullock to pose on the vacant dais where the lieutenant governor’s thronelike desk would soon be installed. But Bullock makes the setting look as if it were crafted for him; he is a living statue, a Roman tribune in a modern forum. McSpadden, however, sees his subject in a different historical setting. “He looks like a gunslinger to me,” he says, “the way he throws his shoulders back and his hand holds the gavel. He just oozes confidence and power. I chose the spot, but he fell naturally into the pose.” A little more than a week later, McSpadden went to his post office box and found an awkward-looking box inside. He opened it to discover a gavel from the Texas Senate bearing a brass plaque that read “With best wishes from Bob Bullock.” Paul Burka
Ann Richards Riding High by Jim Myers
Dallas, “Ann’s Plans” July 1992
WHAT YOU SEE AIN’T ALWAYS WHAT YOU SEE. The photograph of Ann Richards as White Hot Mama is a Texas Monthly icon, maybe our most memorable (and controversial) cover ever, but it’s a fake—not our first fake, by the way. Through a computerized process called digital manipulation, a photo of Richards’ head, taken by Kevin Vandivier of Austin, was attached to the body of a model astride a motorcycle in a Dallas studio. The resulting image was of a woman “riding high,” a description that at the time—July 1992—perfectly fit Richards: She was about to chair the Democratic National Convention and was being talked up as our first woman president.
Art director D. J. Stout conceived the image after the governor remarked that she’d like to celebrate her upcoming sixtieth birthday by riding a Harley-Davidson. The quote caught the attention of not only the press but also the motorcycle manufacturer, who gifted Richards with one of its bikes. Her staff tentatively approved Stout’s idea, and the art director assigned the project to Dallas photographer Jim Myers, who, coincidentally, collects and restores vintage motorcycles as a hobby. Planning the image, however, was a lot easier than executing it.
Busy with convention duties, the governor had no time to pose for the photograph. “Why not fake it like you did before?” one of Richards’ aides suggested. Why not indeed? During the gubernatorial campaign, Stout had used the same technique to produce the October 1990 cover photo of her “dancing” with her Republican opponent, Clayton Williams. The model who had subbed for Richards then was rehired for the motorcycle shoot. A Hill Country seamstress who sews for Richards created the spangly white leather outfit (as it happened, the model was the same size as the governor—though slightly older!). A bigger problem was locating the monster white Harley that Stout envisioned. “The bike that the company gave her was too wimpy and the wrong color,” the art director recalls. Dealers in Dallas weren’t interested in helping. “They were mad at the manufacturer for giving a bike to the governor,” Myers remembers. “They couldn’t get enough to satisfy their own demand.” Eventually, one agreed to lease a large—and largely white—Harley for the shoot; thanks to more computer magic, the blue hue of the tank was digitally changed to white to suit the White Hot Mama theme.
The image was an immediate hit and soon developed a life of its own. Texas delegates to the convention showed up wearing T-shirts stenciled with the photo of White Hot Mama. On Late Night With David Letterman and everywhere else she appeared that week, Richards was asked about the picture; the magazine was flooded with calls from readers wanting to know where they could buy T-shirts and posters. But the image also sucked Stout and Texas Monthly into a growing national debate over the ethics of faking photographs. Hollywood has long gotten away with computerized illusions, but magazines that practice photojournalism are held to a higher standard. National Geographic caught flak when it shuffled the pyramids of Egypt to fit its cover format, and Time may have crossed the line when it darkened the face of O. J. Simpson. A number of newspapers, including the New York Times, have maintained policies prohibiting the use of digital manipulation. “I don’t think we did anything wrong,” says Myers. “It was a spoof, something whimsical. If there was a problem, it was that the photograph was so believable.”
Richards—who loved the picture—is still asked to sign copies of the cover and poster. Says the former governor: “People come up to me in airports—mostly overweight men—and ask not how I’m doing but how’s my Harley. I have to explain that I donated it to the Department of Public Safety.” Gary Cartwright
Jesus at Photo Shoot by Ron Scott
Austin, “The Baptists Want You!” February 1977
IN THE EARLY DAYS OF TEXAS MONTHLY, when each issue could have been our last, one decision that helped guarantee our survival was having Ron Scott shoot most of our covers. Ron gave visual form to our instincts. For this cover he, art director Sybil Broyles, and I met to discuss a challenge: How to illustrate a story on the marketing of religion?
“What’s the point of the story?” Ron asked.
“Well, that they are trying to sell Jesus like they sell cigarettes,” I said.
“Selling Jesus,” Ron said.
“Yeah, nothing is sacred.”
Ron and Sybil looked at each other, thinking the same thing at once. This photograph is the result, one of the two most provocative covers of the seventies (the other being his shot of writer Richard West as a flasher).
Our goal was to make covers work on several levels. First was the grabber, the immediate impact that got the reader’s attention and conveyed the gut message of the cover story. And then we would try for another level: the ironic detail. Notice here, for example, that the stylist sewing the hem is up to her ankles in water while “Jesus” seems to be standing on it.
In those early days, tight budgets led to improvisation. For this shot we recruited the artist Steve Durke to be Jesus. Actually, it’s a shot within a shot. The frame of the photograph is pushed out so we can see the stylist, the director, the plastic tank of water. Everything works to convey the point of the story: Marketing has taken over religion. Nothing is too sacred to be packaged—not even Jesus Himself.
What we can’t see is what lies beyond our own frame. We can’t see Ron fanning the smoke machine himself and checking the level of dry ice to create just the right amount of haze. We can’t see him finding the man who made the famous neon sign atop the old Gulf building in Houston to fashion the neon halo or fretting about the high voltage and the right look on Steve’s face and the lighting and precisely the right color saturation. We can’t see him worrying about getting everything right.
“Today you would do most of the effects in this photograph digitally,” Ron says, “but it wouldn’t feel the same. First comes the big idea, but the reality of the details is what makes it work.” William Broyles
I’VE NEVER LIKED THIS PICTURE. IT IS powerful, it is dramatic, but it is not Walker Railey. The model who posed for it, Jerry Biggs, is an eerie dead ringer for the infamous Dallas preacher who >so many believe got away with the attempted murder of his wife, Peggy. Railey himself did not consent to pose for Texas Monthly. It troubles me that some people who see this picture believe that he did, despite the small type crediting the modeling agency. Although we live in an age when the manipulation of images is absurdly easy and increasingly common, people still tend to believe what they see with their own eyes—that’s why photography is such a powerful and nearly irrefutable medium. This photograph carries a journalistic message that undermines the intent of the article. In the minds of those who think that the picture is Walker Railey, it says that the man is sufficiently callous to sit in a studio in the shadow of a cross in order to get his picture in a magazine. In the minds of those who guess that it is not Railey, it poses a subtle question about what today’s standards of truth are. Lawrence Wright
Nurse and Convicted Baby Killer Genene Jones by Robert Latorre
Kerrville, “The Death Shift” August 1983
WHEN SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES USHERED Genene Jones into the small jailhouse room where Robert Latorre took this chilling portrait during the summer of 1983, she wasted no time trying to convince the photographer that she was not a baby killer. “I didn’t do it!” she blurted. Jones, a pediatric nurse, was in the Kerr County jail awaiting trial on charges of murdering fifteen-month-old Chelsea Ann McClellan with injections of a paralyzing drug—and she was under investigation for more than a dozen other mysterious emergencies in a pediatric intensive- care unit in San Antonio. To Latorre, who was allowed just ten minutes with the accused nurse, “the picture doesn’t lie. I took twelve exposures—and every one of them showed guilt written all over her face.” Two Texas juries agreed. Jones—whose duty hours at Bexar County Hospital had become known among doctors and nurses as “the death shift”—was later convicted of murder in the McClellan case and, in a second trial, for one of the San Antonio episodes, of injury to a child. Why did she do it? Testimony suggested that Jones was an inveterate thrill-seeker who craved the excitement of being at the center of “code-blue” emergencies. When her work didn’t provide enough crises naturally, Jones induced them herself by injecting patients with powerful drugs. After the publication of the Texas Monthly story and Jones’s trials, the case inspired two books and a TV movie. Jones, who received concurrent sentences of 99 and 60 years, remains in the Texas prison system today. Peter Elkind
Golf Legend Harvey Penick and Writer Bud Shrake by Michael O’Brien
Austin, “The Old Man and the Tee” December 1993
IN ONE BRILLIANT SNAP MICHAEL O’BRIEN captured an image as timeless as the game itself. The late golf legend Harvey Penick, the subject of a December 1993 profile, and Bud Shrake, who coauthored with Penick a best-selling series of golfing tips, seem eternally framed by Austin’s blue sky, green grass, and a surreal spill of range balls. Enfeebled by age, Penick had to pose seated. “Harvey was so sweet and humble, and Shrake was so caring and protective,” recalls O’Brien. “But the nicest touch of all was when they sat down and I realized the dramatic difference in their size.” Gary Cartwright
Lady Longhorn Cobi Kennedy by John Huet
Austin, “A Whole New Ball game” March 1994
AS ONE OF THE COUNTRY’S PREMIER sports photographers, John Huet knows the pressure of getting the perfect shot at the perfect time. But even he didn’t know how good his timing was when he came to Lubbock via California to photograph women basketball players for the March 1994 issue. “Because the availability of some of the Texas Tech players changed, we flew in late Sunday night instead of on Monday,” says Huet, who calls Boston home. “When we woke up the next morning, we learned that we had missed one of the worst earthquakes in Southern California history by about six hours.” Fortunately, no close calls threatened the Texas project, which took Huet from Lubbock and Levelland to Austin, where he netted this photo of Lady Longhorn Cobi Kennedy, hands clutching her shorts, legs dripping with sweat. “The whole reason I did that shot was to emphasize the tattoo,” says Huet, “but that pose is one that any basketball player can identify with.” Best known for his vital, impassioned photos of street players, the veteran photographer admitted that women’s basketball was, for him, a brand-new game. “I didn’t want to treat the women any differently than I treated men,” he says. “I used black and white because I didn’t want the shots to have a bright, happy color. These girls work hard and they sweat, and I wanted the photos to reflect that.” Brian D. Sweany/p>
Houston Rocket Hakeem Olajuwon by Arthur Meyerson
Houston, “The Texas Twenty” September 1994
HOW DOES ARTHUR MEYERSON DESCRIBE SEVEN-FOOT, 255-pound Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston’s “Eighth Wonder of the World”? “Hakeem was like a kid in a candy store walking around the studio,” the photographer says. “I thought that he would just do the shoot and leave, but he stayed and wanted to look at all the photographs I had taken that were hanging in the studio.” Even though this September 1994 “Texas Twenty” portrait was the first time the two had worked together (Meyerson has since photographed Olajuwon for other projects, including his autobiography), the session came off without a hitch. “The photo almost has the feel of a piece of African sculpture, with a sense of dignity and pride,” says Meyerson. “There’s nothing there that signifies that this man is a basketball player, but when I looked through the viewfinder, I knew we had something special.” Meyerson’s work wasn’t done, however, when the shoot was over. That night at the Summit, Olajuwon was named the NBA’s most valuable player, so Meyerson rushed to frame a photo he had taken in Hong Kong that the Rockets star had admired earlier that day. In return for his generosity, Meyerson snagged courtside tickets to the Rockets playoff series. Not bad for a day’s work. Brian D. Sweany
Football Star Roger Staubach by Kent Kirkley
Dallas, “The Aging of the All-American Boy” October 1977
THE GAZE AND BODY LANGUAGE CONVEY the grudge. In 1977 I jumped at the chanceto write a profile of Roger Staubach, but months earlier, another Texas Monthly writer had pronounced the Dallas Cowboys quarterback the state’s “best wimp.” “I had nothing to do with that,” I assured his publicist. “I’m a fan!” Still, when I reached training camp, Staubach let me know this was not coverage he much desired. He was a perfect gentleman, though, and one day after practice he let his guard down. “I just don’t understand where they got that word,” he said. “To me a wimp is some skinny little guy that wears glasses—you know, an accountant. Somebody like Woody Allen.” I winced inwardly, knowing that I would use the line, and that he would not forgive or forget.
I winced again when I heard that the magazine had assigned a Dallas photographer to pose the clean-cut Staubach waving an American flag. “I was not a sports fan at all,” Kent Kirkley recalls. “I knew
a little about him because my ex-wife’s brother had gone to the Naval Academy with him—but not enough. I did some portrait shots, stalling, then finally got out the flag and broached the subject. He was very polite but indicated that was not what he wanted to do. Now what? I noticed a big bandage on his elbow. He’d gotten a bad abrasion at practice. That detail”—which affords the photo its subtle flair—“was the only thing that identified him as a football player.” Jan Reid
Heavyweight Contender George Foreman by Don Glentzer
Houston, “How George Foreman Finally Beat Muhammad Ali” September 1989
ASSIGNED TO SHOOT A STORY ON GEORGE FOREMAN’s comeback attempt, Houston photographer Don Glentzer arrived at the boxer’s no-frills gymnasium with a thirty- by forty-foot American flag. The flag had become the forty-year-old’s personal symbol, and he gladly posed in front of it. However, Foreman refused to remove his shirt because he was 35 pounds overweight, and when the photographer asked him to look menacing, Foreman’s reaction was to smile. “He’s basically a teddy bear,” says Glentzer, who after the shoot donated the huge flag to brighten up the combination gym and neighborhood youth center. Gary Cartwright