I ENJOYED EVERY WORD OF “ 75 Things We Love About Texas ” [April 2006]. There are so many you could not include because of a lack of room. A few that occurred to me: the very shape of Texas, the ceaseless arguments over how to make real Texas chili, Friday night football, a blue norther after a long, hot summer.
… barbecue in Lockhart, the Van Cliburn competition in Fort Worth (and Van Cliburn too), Christmas on the River Walk in San Antonio, and the pure perfection that is a double-meat Whataburger with cheese and jalapeños!
… Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Pat Green, Lone Star, and Shiner.
… the Tyler roses.
… Big Red in a float over Blue Bell’s Homemade Vanilla.
… Texas women.
Carson City, Nevada
… the great things in El Paso: the oldest active missions in the country, Chico’s Tacos, a scenic mountain in the middle of town, Texas’s only NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, and dry heat, without the humidity.
New York City
Out on a Limb
S. C. GWYNNE STATES IN “ TREE RING CIRCUS” [April 2006] that I “assured them [the FDIC] that even though they did not feel they had a plausible case, they could win simply by scaring Hurwitz.” This is totally false. I never assured the FDIC of anything of the sort. The FDIC was determined to recover the $1.6 billion that the failure of Hurwitz’s United Savings cost the taxpayers. They believed their case to be plausible or they wouldn’t have pursued it.
Gwynne goes on to quote me as urging FDIC officials to “convince” Hurwitz that they had “a claim worth $400 million” that “could be a hook into the holding company.” I never uttered those words or anything like them.
U.S. Representative (retired)
EDITOR’S NOTE: The source paraphrased and then quoted in our story was not former congressman Hamburg but FDIC deputy general counsel Jack Smith. We apologize for the error.
Gown and Out
AS A RECOVERING HAVE-NOT FROM LAREDO, I was greatly surprised that your article on the beldades dared to delve into the reality of the Washington festivities [“ Beldades of the Ball ,” April 2006]. I always found it laughable that having an obscure lineage and money could enable these folks to spend an inordinate amount of time and energy expounding on how much better they were based on pedigrees that no one outside of Webb County cares about. Yet, in trying to do a cheap imitation of great families, they fail to recognize that Washington, Vanderbilt, Astor, and company left behind a true legacy. These Martha types’ claim to fame will be about ribbons, fabrics, and hair extensions.
I COULDN’T HELP BUT NOTICE the stark contrast between the photos in your story, especially those two spreads with the families on the left and the debutantes on the right. Wouldn’t it be a fine day when one of these debutantes would speak up and say, “You know, instead of spending all this money on a dress I’ll probably wear once or twice, I’ll give the money to the schools, where it’ll be well spent.” Then, maybe, there wouldn’t be such a stark contrast.
IMELDA B. ROBLES
EDITOR’S NOTE: Nuevo Laredo’s Cadillac Bar was incorrectly reported as having gone out of business. In fact, it is still in operation but at a different location. We regret the error.
LIKE A GREAT NUMBER OF TEXANS, I was born in the United States but grew up in Mexico. Even though I have lived in the El Paso–Juárez area all my life, I have traveled extensively and felt the pulse of other parts of North America. Michael Ennis’s article “ North Toward Home ” [April 2006] is one of the most accurate, inspiring, and to-the-point articles on immigration I have ever read. I am proud of Texas, warts and all, because I know we’re not paranoid about legal or illegal immigration from Mexico or any other friendly country. We in Texas embrace the rich Mexican culture, because we know how to blend it with what prevails in the Lone Star State.
THE ARTICLE BY PAUL BURKA APPEARING in your April issue is as namby-pamby as you can get [Behind the Lines, “ Maybe Not ” April 2006]. If he is doubtful as to the faults of President Bush, what in the world would it take to persuade him to join the 65 percent of Americans who disapprove of the Bush presidency?
BUSH BELIEVES THAT PUBLIC RELATIONS is more important than performance, and reality seems to escape this president as he fantasizes his way through the issues. He continues to make campaign-style speeches, which certainly make him a fine cheerleader, but 65 percent of the American public now realizes that he is a failed quarterback.
JESSE H. OPPENHEIMER
Listless in La Grange
IT’S EASY FOR YOU TO SAY that we can get information about where to go and what to see without Around the State [Editor’s Letter, “ Design of the Times ,” April 2006]. The Fayette County Record does not cover these things. What am I supposed to do? Search Web sites of every town in Texas? If you can tell me one Web site that has all the information I relied on Texas Monthly for, I will be very grateful.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Our comprehensive Around the State listings are fully available on our Web site at texasmonthly.com/travel/events/all.