Katy Vine joined the editorial staff of Texas Monthly in 1997 and became a staff writer in 2002. She has written on a range of topics, including the West fertilizer plant explosion, barbecue pitmasters, Warren Jeffs, the moon landing, the Kilgore Rangerettes, bass fishing, a three-person family circus, chess prodigies, and a reclusive musician named Jandek. Her stories have appeared 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. She has contributed to the Oxford American, the Texas Observer, and the radio program “This American Life.”
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.
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?
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.
How the fire to end all fires obliterated Ringgold—and how residents of the tiny North Texas town are putting their lives back together.
Katie Wernecke is many things: a precocious, freckle-faced Bible-drill champ; the valedictorian of her seventh-grade class in Banquete; and—since she was diagnosed with cancer last year—a pawn in the custody battle that pits her parents against the State of Texas.
The prison affected me personally. I grew up parking cars at the prison rodeo. I had a stepfather who was a prison guard.
For going on five years, my admiration has grown for the weekly paper in the tiny Panhandle town of Miami (above). The New York Times it ain’t, but it tells me everything I could ever want to know about local births and deaths, windblown mail, bad potholes, and good yards. And Theo.
As mythical creatures go, Bigfoot is right up there with the Loch Ness Monster and the Abominable Snowman. But in Jefferson, the search for the hairy, hulking beast with the, er, big feet is big business—and deadly serious.
Bobbi Jo and Jennifer were young, in love, and on the road, with the wind at their backs and a happy future ahead of them. All that stood in their way was a dead body back in Mineral Wells.
A one-on-one with Brooklyn Pope reveals her to be—off the court, at least—a fairly typical fifteen-year-old girl. But when the game clock starts, she’s the future of women’s basketball. Maybe basketball, period.
From humble Oak Cliff roots did a hip intellectual giant grow. In this oral history, friends and fans remember the late Grover Lewis, one of the great magazine writers of our day.
Meet the 22-year-old hooker who, with her fellow “massage therapists,” scandalized Odessa
For several months, TV shrink Dr. Phil McGraw has been picking apart— in full view of his national audience—the life choices made by residents of the Central Texas town of Elgin, who are apparently too fat, too horny, and too domestically violent for their own good. The diagnoses have not been, shall we say, well received.
Although some might consider the Kilgore Rangerettes an anachronism, every summer dozens of fresh-faced teens from around the state flock to East Texas to perfect a seemingly effortless hat-brim-touching high kick—and preserve one of the state’s great traditions.