You Lose Again!

YOU LOSE!” SO READ the headline of the cover story of TEXAS MONTHLY in June 1993, the first anniversary of the Texas lottery. Author Robert Draper told of the huge odds against winning the lottery and lamented how Texas had forsaken its petro-past.

The Pitch

ON A SUNNY THURSDAY MORNING LAST OCTOBER, a twelve-person team from GSD&M—Austin’s hot homegrown ad agency—boarded a chartered plane at Robert Mueller Municipal Airport. They were headed for Irvine, California, on a quest for the advertising industry’s Holy Grail: a major car-brand account.

Tortilla Flat

Few restaurant chains in Texas are as storied as Ninfa’s. When her husband died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1969, Ninfa Laurenzo found herself with the family tortilla factory to run and five children to support. To supplement her income, she gathered up some pots and pans from her kitchen and in 1973 opened Ninfa’s, a ten-table Mexican food restaurant in the front room of the factory on Navigation Boulevard, in Houston’s east side barrio.

Business • Michael Dell

DESPITE THE GRAY FLANNEL SUITS they wear as camouflage, the greatest businessmen are boys at heart. They approach their work with the same absorption, chutzpah, and steely love of competition that Michael Jordan brings to basketball, because they know that, above all, business is a game. It’s simply a matter of squashing the competition.

Food for Thought

ALLEGO’S MEXICAN FOOD RESTAURANT in Alpine is not—or, I should say, was not—the sort of place to catch a traveler’s attention. Nothing about the nondescript white building on the south side of U.S. 90 suggested that it was a cultural and civic icon. Had I not been looking for it, I might have missed it.

Corporate Makeover

COLORS AND SHAPES FLASH AND ZOOM across computer screens in a dim, wall-less office that looks like a nerd’s rec room. In one corner sits a somewhat unusual private conference space: a blue Geo with a small refrigerator and a coffeemaker in the hatchback and a phone next to the driver’s seat. Nearby, a table tennis table does double-duty as a conference table.

Hang Like a Bulldog

CELEBRITY HANGS IN THE AIR almost forever. This is particularly true when that celebrity is connected with money. Even though it has been more than a decade since his daring raids on Wall Street landed his photograph on the covers of Time and Fortune and made his company millions of dollars, Boone Pickens on a recent Tuesday night was still a presence in a smart restaurant in Dallas.

Mutual Admiration

THERE’S A PHOTOGRAPH TED BAUER likes to show people who ask about the humble beginnings of his investment company, AIM Management Group. It’s a blurry snapshot of him and co-founder Gary Crum sitting in an empty office in the Marathon Building in downtown Houston in 1976. “The telephone didn’t work,” 78-year-old Bauer recalls. “Those are Gary’s chairs, and that’s my card table. That was about it.

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