Dick J. Reavis is a former staff writer at Texas Monthly. He has written about motorcycle gangs, undocumented immigrants, guerrillas, convicts, coal miners, security guards, and banks for publications as diverse as Soldier of Fortune and the Wall Street Journal. He is a professor in the English department at North Carolina State University.
Travels through the Trans-Pecos—splendor in the Big Bend, the greening of the Alpine grasslands, today’s version of profitable ranching, escape from the rat race in South Brewster County, innkeeping Indians in Van Horn—to El Paso, way out on the edge of Texas.
From the harsh landscape of the Permian Basin, whose residents find their faith in free enterprise tested by hard times; to the subtropical city of San Antonio, whose Hispanic citizens have gone gaga over Goyo-Goyo; into deepest South Texas, where the old times of the Parr machine are not forgotten.
Back from the Gulf and along its coastal bend, picture-book towns offer scenes that have nearly vanished from urban Texas, not to mention the most confusing sign, the best noontime stop, and the most Shakespearean site.
Passing (slowly) through Kendleton. Then on to Houston, where student murals record the march of time and Vietnam vets gather; to a meal so good it’s kept under lock and key; and finally to the (formerly) Golden Triangle.
Tales of the Piney Woods: the original kinds of the forest, the Bright way to get a chicken in every pot, the gamble of today’s Tenaha. Plus: an unusual graveyard, a haunting ruin, a chilling church name.
Across pastoral northeast Texas, where Baptists debate the niceties of immersion, truckers and hookers turn the airwaves blue, and bass have their private lives laid bare by electronic snooping.
In search of elusive Central Texas: along the Cold Beer trail, inside Killeen’s soldier shops, through the hills of Toy Texas, deep within a nameless cave.
In the Mesquite Kingdom, where the coyotes howl, the wind blows free at the MacArthur Academy of Freedom, an honest face gets you a phone and immigration throws mariachi parties.
Out itinerant reporter visits with a Lubbock man determined to preserve the American Way of Life; the doughty clan that brought beer to Levelland; a windy lady fascinated with the weather and a rusticated professor gone to seed.
When a rural Texas says, “It looks like rain,” he’s really meditating on the nature of the universe.
A glowing beacon near Haynesville; broomweed royalties in Foard County; Archer City’s decorated dump; curative waters and a grand hotel in Mineral Wells; faux Alamo in Farmersville.
The assignment was the chance of a lifetime to see the whole state once and for all. At times pure pleasure and at times a feat of will, it was always and foremost a writer’s dream come true.
On the eve of the Mexican elections, the country’s dwindling middle class prefers fatalism o Fabianism.
Among the harsh mountains of Chihuahua, Mennonite immigrants and Tarahumara Indians maintain their ancient ways.
The parallels between Mikhail Gorbachev and Mexico's Carlos Salinas just might end when it comes to their effectiveness at achieving reform in their nations.