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IT’S ABOUT TIME THE MOVIE INDUSTRY recognized what a wonderful and versatile place our state is [“Hooray for Hollywood, Texas,” May 1998].
AS MUCH AS I ENJOYED YOUR ISSUE on the movie business coming to Austin, your failure to credit Bill Wittliff is like bragging about the cherries and froth on top of a sundae and not mentioning the ice cream underneath.
IS HOLLYWOOD, TEXAS, EXCLUSIVELY a lily-white non-affirmative-action Hopwood-like non-inclusive anti-African-American town? Your cover story ï¿½at out neglected African American filmmakers in this state. Simple media racism? The story featured dozens of Texans and put Greg Carter in a segregated neighborhood with a lukewarm negative review, rating his work amateurish [Behind the Lines: “Getting Out”], and did not mention the works of Lawrence-Virgil Williams of Fireï¿½y Films Production, out of Houston.
LOVE THE HOLLYWOOD ISSUE, but it was Howard Hawks, not John Ford, who directed the classic Red River, and it was shot in Arizona, not Monument Valley [“We Are the World”].
I HAD THE CHANCE TO EXPERIENCE Sandy Bullock on a daily basis in high school [“The Starlet”]. Seeing her in the halls could put a smile on the face of the loneliest of students. She has always been willing to express a certain amount of openness about her life as well as the joy and sadness that she has felt as a result of becoming a star and just attempting to have some semblance of a normal life. She’s clearly older and wiser but just as beautiful. Austin and Texas are fortunate to have her.
IN AN EFFORT TO EXTEND SOME TEXAS hospitality, I’d like to volunteer myself and my friends to help Sandra Bullock move into her new Austin-area home, and help break into that rolling beer cooler.
“THE GRANDEUR OF TEXAS HIGH school football is fading fast. . . . District championships are almost irrelevant . . . ” [“Glory Days”]. Really? In 1997 District 26-5A play, the New Braunfels Unicorns were the underdog come-from-behind champions. Thousands from New Braunfels cheered at playoff games in San Marcos, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and finally, the Astrodome. All that faded fast was years of feeling second to the best. Our district championship never seemed even almost irrelevant.
Andrew and Douglas Gray
A PRODUCTIVE, POSITIVE INFLUENCE in the community has been transformed into a burden to society [“The Hero Had Two Faces,” May 1998]. When are we as a society going to stop worrying so much about what is right and deal with what is wrong. Tim Kingsbury has paid for his crime a thousandfold and will for the rest of his life, not counting what his ex-wife has added to his burden. She is seeking vengeance, not justice. Leave Tim alone. He has changed. Can’t our society accept this, or must we be like crabs and drag each other back into the barrel?
KENNETH STARR AND MANY OF THE attorneys he hired at the taxpayers’ expense are conducting a sleazy investigation of the sexual activity of President Clinton [“The Lone Starr State,” May 1998]. In the old days, the sexual activity of consenting adults was a private matter. Current popularity polls of the president indicate the public would like it that way again for him and everyone.
Cloyde I. Brown
THE ARTICLE “FLAG POLL,” though well composed, failed in its research of the Texas ï¿½ag’s origin [Texana, May 1998]. The birth of the ï¿½ag was in Montgomery County. As our Republic struggled to define itself, the leadership became aware of our need for a unifying symbol. Dr. Charles Bellinger Stewart, one of the three men appointed to a committee to create an official ï¿½ag, sketched a draft on vellum—three rectangles of equal size, one vertical and the other two horizontal—and labeled the rectangles blue, white, and red.
A Texan First
YOUR ARTICLE ON TEXAS WOMEN expatriates struck a chord of eerie similarities and parallels to my own life [Books: “The Texpatriates,” May 1998]. Yes, there is something inimical for some women about Texas culture, whether they are writers or not. It is ironic when you consider the reputation Texas has for growing strong, iconoclastic women. I too ï¿½ed Texas after a bad marriage, feeling I was living someone else’s idea of what my life should be, and with a wish to pursue a childhood dream—I have a memory of climbing into a tree outside an old oil-well lease house in Duval County and imagining what wonders lay over the horizon. After living in such far-ï¿½ung places as New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, and India, I came back to Texas in February to visit family and found that my response to my home state had altered. I have no quick answer for my friends all over the world when they ask why I’m moving back to Texas this summer. Maybe the simple truth is that I have always been one of the 23 percent who consider themselves a Texan first and an American second.
Editor’s note: In “State of the Heart,” June 1998, we misidentified Dr. Michael Mack as William Mack. Texas Monthly regrets the error.