Katy Vine

Katy Vine has been a staff writer at Texas Monthly since 2002. She has written on a range of topics including barbecue pit masters, spelling bee champs, Warren Jeffs, the moon landing, bass fishing, a three-person family circus, chess prodigies, and a reclusive musician named Jandek. Her stories have been anthologized in The Best American Sports Writing 2005, The Best American Sports Writing 2006, and Best Food Writing 2011. Her 2005 feature story about an Odessa prostitution parlor was the inspiration for the Lifetime television series “The Client List.”

Stories

With God On Their Side

Last year’s child custody battle between the State of Texas and a fundamentalist Mormon sect prompted many people to wonder how 437 kids could have been ripped away from their parents. When the criminal trials of a dozen sect members get under way this month, the question may become, Was it really safe to send them home?

Walking on the Moon

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made history as the first humans to set foot on the surface of the moon. Forty years later, the researchers, astronauts, engineers, scientists, and NASA officials who made the voyage possible remember the day the Eagle landed.

This Man Is Having So Much Fun!

For Steve Kemble, having as good a time as humanly possible as often as humanly possible is very serious business.

How Well Do You Know Your State Board of Education?

Find out by taking our quiz.

Bass-O-Matic

How a fish called Ethel (seventeen pounds, ten ounces) caught by a fishing guide named Mark (Stevenson, in 1986, on Lake Fork) revolutionized a once-sleepy sport.

Faith, Hope, and Chastity

Texas receives more federal funding for abstinence education than any other state. But is teaching kids not to have sex the same as sex education?

The Class of 2017

The future according to third-graders.

The Glorie of Defeet

What Samir Patel learned in five years of not winning the national spelling bee (other than the root words of “eremacausis”).

The Glorie of Defeet

What Samir Patel learned in five years of not winning the national spelling bee (other than the root words of “eremacausis”).

The Music Man

How Dirk Fowler became the state’s latest, greatest poster artist.

“Oh, My God! It’s Our Children!”

On March 18, 1937, the residents of New London, southeast of Tyler, endured the worst small-town tragedy in U.S. history: an explosion at the combined junior-senior high school that killed some three hundred students and teachers.

Check Mates

Fernando Spada and Fernando Mendez are the Karpov and Kasparov of Brownsville: chess champions whose lifelong competition has produced a rivalry every bit as fierce as those of Ali and Frazier, McEnroe and Borg, or Nicklaus and Palmer. Did I mention that they’re in the fourth grade?

Acting Up

At the Giddings State School, violent teenagers come to terms with their horrific crimes—and learn how to avoid committing them again—through role-playing exercises in a jailhouse version of group therapy. This is what your tax dollars are paying for? Well, it works. For a while, at least.

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