Refugio, Texas, 1975. Midnight. I’m babysitting a drilling rig on the Tom O’Connor ranch, trying to find a station, any station, on my ten-inch portable television. I turn the set to the west and bend the rabbit ears in opposite directions. Nothing but snow. I decide to reboot: I kick the crap out of the TV. Eureka!
“A firm in [Corpus Christi] have received an order for 190,000 pounds of barbed wire, to fence Captain King’s new ranch in Cameron county, which consists of 670,000 acres, the largest pasture under one fence in the world.”
—Fort Worth Daily Gazette, November 4, 1883
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The Oscars, which air March 2, are a celebration of all things Hollywood. But they’re also a celebration of more than a few things Texas—like best actor nominee Matthew McConaughey and best documentary feature nominee Cutie and the Boxer. That makes the ceremony a fine cap to a year that saw Texas films and filmmakers achieve impressive results by any number of metrics. From box office returns to critical acclaim to a strong presence at various festivals, it’s obvious there’s a film boom happening right here, right now.
Five people were arrested on state felony charges when Hidalgo County police broke up a cockfighting match in a warehouse outside of Edinburg. The arrestees protested in vain that their activities were not illegal, citing a section of the Texas Penal Code that permits cockfighting intended as “bona fide experimentation for scientific research.”
In the midst of early January’s polar vortex, St. Vincent—the alter ego of Dallas’s Annie Clark—is tucked into one corner of a bistro booth in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, still bundled in a scarf and puffy black coat intended to protect her from the subfreezing temperatures. Her recently dyed silver curls peek out from beneath her black wool cap.
The point of the January 13 town hall meeting was to organize the locals. And since the locale was a smallish town in Texas—Azle, population roughly 11,000, just far enough from Fort Worth that it doesn’t quite feel like a suburb—that meant the first task, for the handful of fracking critics who led the meeting, was to gently address any reservations attendees may have had about the purpose of the gathering.
Our February issue included an account from Congressman Joaquin Castro on his freshman year in office. The mention of a certain expletive—uttered on the House floor by Speaker John Boehner in the days after Representative Steve King’s contentious comments on undocumented immigrants—quickly reverberated back to D.C.
While the Alamo and the Tower of the Americas are two of the more famous San Antonio attractions, the Tipsy Texan is drawn to another of that city’s architectural wonders: the tilting bar that stands (miraculously, it seems) at the corner of Josephine and Avenue A. One of the oldest bar buildings in town, it was built in the 1890’s as a dry-goods store and saloon.
I am sitting at Caracol—distracted by the lively buzz of conversation and the blur of servers hustling past—pondering a weighty question: Could this Houston dining establishment have existed before now? Twenty-five years ago, a seafood restaurant with dishes from the interior of Mexico would have catered to homesick exiles and a few fanatical purists in a strip center in southwest Houston.