The Checklist

EXHIBIT
Made In Texas: Art, Life & Culture, 1845–1900” (Beeville Art Museum, September 20–January 10, 2015)  
This exhibition of nineteenth-century decorative arts, paintings, and household items—most on loan from Houston’s Bayou Bend Collection but some from private collections previously unseen by the public—includes ant traps, a steer-horn rocking chair, a sauerkraut press, and something called a “poultry fountain.” Yes, life was dif

Tommy Maddox’s Life After Football

For nearly twenty years, Tommy Maddox lived for the thrill of a new football season. From his days as a quarterback with a national profile at Lawrence Dale Bell High School in the Fort Worth suburb* of Hurst, all the way through his nine years in the NFL, September signaled the start of a months-long adrenaline rush. So it was a hard fall when in December 2006, still clinging to a fading career, an invitation to a workout with his hometown team, the Dallas Cowboys, didn’t lead to a spot on the squad.

Hannah Overton’s Capital Murder Conviction Is Overturned

Today marked a turning point in the case of Hannah Overton, the Corpus Christi mother of five who has fought for eight years to prove her innocence. This morning, in a decisive 7-2 ruling, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned her capital murder conviction. The court stopped short of declaring Hannah actually innocent, but cited “the fundamental unfairness of her trial,” pointing to the ineffective counsel she received when she was prosecuted in 2007.

Rio Grande Valley Girl

Cristela Alonzo grew up outside McAllen in the sort of poverty that most of us can hardly imagine; for a while, her mother had to cook meals for Alonzo and her three siblings on a portable space heater. Today, the 35-year-old stand-up comic has risen far above her destitute childhood. She’s one of the most popular comedians on the college circuit, has appeared on Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show, and had her own half-hour special on Comedy Central. This month she’ll take her biggest leap.

San Antonio and Its Discontents

Dr. Diane Lawson Martinez’s psychiatry and psychotherapy practice in Alamo Heights sits at the top of a gently turning stairwell paneled with light-hued wood and illuminated by stylish groupings of small, square windows. By the time patients reach her sunlit office, they likely feel as if they have ascended to a high-end tree house rather than a professional space where a well-credentialed medical doctor—twelve diplomas hang from her wall—will plumb the depths of their troubled psyches. 

The Other White Meat

Two hours before go time at the World Championship BBQ Goat Cook-off, in Brady, a fellow judge and I are surveying the cooking rigs. The smell of lighter fluid hangs heavy in the air as we walk past the booth of one contestant, where a nearly raw half carcass is roasting on a spit. “I hope we don’t get that one at our table,” my colleague whispers to me, despairing of the possibility of tasting gas fumes when he bites into his lunch.

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