In 1993 Michigan native Mike Modano was playing for the Minnesota North Stars when the team became the Dallas Stars. Six years later, Dallas got a Stanley Cup parade. Due in no small part to Modano’s efforts on and off the ice, the city had become—and remains—a hockey town. By the time he retired, in 2011, “Mo” owned the record for most career NHL points by an American.
On a late September afternoon, Brady Blackmore stands at the business end of a few lengths of heavy-duty oil field hose, spraying a thirsty St. Augustine lawn in Wichita Falls’s Country Club Estates neighborhood with blasts of treated wastewater. Mounted on a gooseneck trailer behind his Ford diesel, twin pumps spray water from six 290-gallon tanks onto a yard whose owners can’t bring themselves to sacrifice it to the drought.
Two years ago, Anna Todd was a 23-year-old Army wife living at Fort Hood, attempting to be a college student. “I had no clue what I wanted to do,” she says over a honey-cream latte at Dominican Joe’s, a coffee shop near her new home in South Austin. “I tried nursing, I tried science, I tried English. I just kept bouncing back and forth.”
It's dawn at the site of Santa Anna’s capture, atop the Washburn Tunnel in Pasadena. Two fishermen are angling at the water’s edge, joined by a great blue heron, neck coiled and ready to strike. The greenish-brown water laps at the grassy shore, thanks to the tugboat Dixie Renegade’s wake as it nudges a chemical barge upstream, where tank farms dot the landscape.
Cody Harmon of San Antonio was born without tibia bones, and his legs were amputated when he was 3. At Wagner High School, Harmon spent four years on the wrestling team; to compete, he took off his prosthetic legs and wrestled on his knees.
Q: During my boyhood years, I would spend time at my father’s family farm, near Sardis, in Ellis County. The main meal was at noon and often featured fried chicken, and we kids wound up with drumsticks, wings, or “second joints.” It wasn’t until later that I learned a second joint was also called a “thigh.” I assume the shift was meant to be more decorous, since we also NEVER said “breast” but only “white meat.” Were these circumlocutions widespread?
Norman Roe, Cedar Park
Orangebloods descended on the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, on the University of Texas at Austin campus, to hear from men’s athletics director Steve Patterson. Part of the TM Talks series, the event pivoted off the September cover story featuring Patterson and new head football coach Charlie Strong.
Growing up in San Antonio, Linda Perez envied the girls who left school on Fridays saying, “See you Monday. I’m headed to the ranch.” She vowed to one day have a ranch of her own, and even after she left her home state to travel the world, teaching students in rural Zambia and conducting health care research in Peru, her longing for a piece of Texas remained.
To sound like a wild turkey, do the following: First, clear your throat. Next, hit a note near the top of your vocal range. Then, descend the scale while mimicking the action of gargling and waggle your tongue at the same time. Try not to feel ridiculous. Turkeys never feel ridiculous—of this I’m fairly certain.
Although Western novels started losing readers in the sixties, don’t blame the waning interest on Texas writers, who have since provided the flagging genre some of its best moments. Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove, the 1986 Pulitzer Prize winner, was followed by Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses, which won the National Book Award in 1992.