Them's Fightin' Words!

UNTIL AMERICA INVADED IRAQ, it was possible to go through life for long periods without falling victim to the Texas stereotype. Trips to New York could pass uneventfully, without anyone asking me why I didn't have an accent. A New England foray could elapse without anyone insisting that I "couldn't possibly be from Texas," because I was familiar with a particular novel, furniture style, or menu entrée. I could get through a week in Europe without anyone asking whether I knew J.R.

War Torn

Senior editor Gary Cartwright will always "Remember the Alamo." After fielding phone calls and e-mails from members of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) for this month's article "Divine Secrets of the Alamo Sisterhood," he'd probably be scared to forget it. Here Cartwright discusses the raging battle between the whiners and evildoers, the intense passion these women feel for a Texas landmark, and why he'll be avoiding Odessa in May.

Dingus Dishes

Don't challenge Anne Dingus to a contest of Texas trivia—you'll lose. This Texas Monthly senior editor discusses her Panhandle upbringing, Encyclopedia Texanica, and why Texas is so (damn) special. What exactly is "Texana"?

Statues of Limitations

SOMETIME THIS SUMMER, PEDESTRIANS NEAR the intersection of Sixth Street and Congress Avenue in Austin will come upon a huge bronze of a berserk woman firing a cannon. No, she's not trying to blow away the Goddess of Liberty perched on the Capitol dome, though that's not altogether a bad idea. The bronze will commemorate an Austin innkeeper named Angelina Eberly, who, on that very spot in 1842, set it off, as they say, to warn her fellow citizens that a band of Texas Rangers was stealing the government archives.

Pure Country

The great country singer George Jones was best-known for his longtime association with Nashville, where he earned his reputation as perhaps the greatest country singer who has ever lived. But Jones, who died this morning at the age of 81, was a product of East Texas—born in Saratoga, raised in Vidor, busked on the streets of Beaumont, and worked at a radio statio in Jasper. Here's an interview we conducted with him in 2004.

Blazing Brushstrokes

BESIDES THE BIBLE AND A DICTIONARY, the bookshelves in my relatives' houses were sure to contain a few paperback westerns. And unlike the Scriptures and Webster's, they had colorful cover art—hard-eyed heroes, cowering cowgirls, leering desperadoes—that was sure to attract my attention. For a kid, the Old Testament had its lively moments, to be sure, and certain dictionary entries were extremely eye-opening, but for reliable good-guy-bad-guy action, cheapo westerns were the way to go.


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