Senior Editor John Spong holds a B.A. and a J.D. from the University of Texas. In 1997, after working two years as a civil litigator, he joined Texas Monthly as a fact-checker, then moved into a staff writing position in 2002. He was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2010 for his story on Texas dance halls, “Step Right Up” and has twice won the Texas Institute of Letters’ O. Henry Award for Magazine Journalism—for “The Good Book and the Bad Book,” about a censorship battle at a private school in Austin, and for “Holding Garmsir,” about a month he spent with a platoon of U.S. Marines fighting in Afghanistan. He is the author of A Book on the Making of Lonesome Dove, and his stories have appeared in numerous collections, including Best Food Writing 2012 (Da Capo Press, 2012) and The Best American Sports Writing 2009 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009). Inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters in 2013, Spong also sits on the advisory council of the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University. He lives in Austin, his home since 1971, with his wife Julie Blakeslee and their son, Willie Mo.
As a “recovering” attorney with a mixed record at picking juries, I always wondered what made them tick. After receiving a summons this year, I’m still deliberating.
To change the way recording contracts are created, the Dixie Chicks are taking their act to the courtroom.
Once upon a time I thought I wanted to be a bullfighter (and not the kind that wears sequined tights). A legendary cowboy named Leon Coffeeand an animal named Pretty Boychanged my mind.
Russell Erxleben and Brian Russell Stearns were first-rate frauds who cheated scores of unsuspecting investors. So how did the prominent law firm of Locke, Liddell, and Sapp get stuck footing a $30 million bill?
Corpus Christi’s Manuel Bañales believes that some sex offenders should post warning signs in their yards. He says it’s about good law; his critics say it’s about good publicity.
Texas is changing before our eyes, but fried pies, drive-in movie theaters, and other vestiges of earlier days are all around. To find these treasures, we risked life, limb, and cholesterol count-and had a blast from the past.
Austin’s new Bob Bullock museum sports six bas-reliefs that tell the story of Texas. Here’s how a sculptor and a team of artisans made them, like the museum’s namesake, larger than life.