How the West Was Won
How the West Was Won
The news last Friday that former Williamson County district judge Ken Anderson would have to serve jail time and forfeit his law license for withholding exculpatory evidence in the Michael Morton case was initially heralded as historic and unprecedented.
Our November cover, a two-panel photo illustration evoking the euphoria and seemingly boundless horizon of Texas’s most current oil boom, drew a jubilant collection of feedback: Time reporter Sam Gustin tweeted, “That’s one hell of a great cover,” while @SecretTxLege weighed in by tweeting at us with a YouTube clip from Ocean’s Eleven titled “That Is the Sexiest Thing I Have Ever Seen.” And while we’re grateful for the praise, we’re most appreciative of this reminder from @Jennifer_Hiller, who reports
No beast on this planet eats bitter produce, unless forced by dire circumstance. But man eats grapefruit, and therefore is no beast. Grapefruit is bitter because it contains a flavonoid called naringin, one of many bad-tasting compounds Mother Nature created to protect plants from hungry animals and to let animals know which plants are likely to hurt them. Naringin can, in fact, hurt us: it interacts in unpredictable ways with many common medications, including antihistamines and blood-pressure drugs.
Were it not for the fact that it looked a little weird on the cover, I would’ve insisted that we call this a food issue, not the food issue. Magazines are always putting out what they call “the Food Issue,” and this is precisely what we set out to do six or so months ago. But almost immediately we were confronted with the problem of there being too much Texas food for us to fit into a single issue. Our eyes were bigger than our page count, as it were.
Brian D. Sweany: I was interviewing former state senator Florence Shapiro in 2004 when Governor Perry appointed you to be chief justice. She was thrilled when she heard the news and thought you were a terrific choice. Obviously you had already been on the Supreme Court, but take me back to that moment and tell me what your expectations were for yourself as chief justice. How did you envision leading the court?
As executions go, Michael Yowell’s was not destined to be particularly notable. Fifteen years earlier, in Lubbock, he had been convicted of shooting his father and strangling his mother while trying to steal drug money. He left a gas jet on, which set the house on fire, and his grandmother, who could not escape, died in the blaze.
My mother was not nostalgic about many things in life, but when it came to cornbread and beans, she was a sentimental fool. She and my father had been teenagers during the Great Depression, and the memory of those hard times was still raw when they married, in 1942. “Many a day, cornbread and beans was all we had to eat,” one of them was likely to say. Neither of them had ever gone to bed hungry, but they came close.