Meanwhile, in Texas . . .

  • The Brenham owner of the world’s largest barbecue pit, which can cook four tons of meat, put the grill up for sale on eBay with a starting price of $350,000.
  • A first-grade teacher in New Braunfels announced that she would donate one of her kidneys to a six-year-old student suffering organ failure.
  • The Rosenberg Police Department released a sketch of a robbery suspect wearing a ski mask.
  • Texas Tech students protested as a bulldozer knocked down an eleven-foot-tall “snow penis.”

The Fixer

James A. Baker III has seen it all. The Houston lawyer didn’t get involved in politics until he was 40, but since that time he has commanded the national and international stage like few others: running five presidential campaigns (one apiece for Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan and three for George H. W. Bush) and serving as White House chief of staff, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of State, and all-around political fixer.

The Checklist

Books

Unplayable Lies, Dan Jenkins (Doubleday, March 17)
Contrary to what the subtitle says, this is probably not “The Only Golf Book You’ll Ever Need.” There are, of course, all the other golf books Jenkins has written. Still, here are forty pieces, half of them new, half of them revised and republished from Golf Digest, showcasing the master’s deep golf expertise and (if you can bear the occasional tedious bout of PC-bashing) sharp wit. 

Chico and the Postman

Last October, as Leila Melendez navigated her way through El Paso International Airport, she stopped and noted how heavy her suitcase was and began to laugh. She laughed because inside her luggage, alongside toiletries and changes of clothes, were items that would have baffled anyone who wasn’t from El Paso: twenty pounds of chorizo, asadero cheese, and tortillas from Barron’s Superette, in El Paso’s Mission Valley neighborhood.

iRoberson

When Chris Roberson first outlined his comic-book series iZombie, he was thinking Hollywood. “I was very mercenary about it,” the Duncanville-raised writer says. “I structured iZombie as the pitch of a TV show.” For instance, in the comic’s first five issues, there are only three interior locations, which would cut down on a show’s production costs.

A Tale of Two Sites

Jackie Young turns her car into the parking lot of the Food Town grocery store in the Houston suburb of Highlands and pulls up near the entrance. “Let’s people-watch,” she says. Within a few minutes, a woman carrying a shopping bag falls in the parking lot, her legs buckling beneath her. Two men help her to her feet. Then Young’s mother, Pamela Bonta, arrives and begins passing out health flyers to shoppers.

She Got Game

Half an hour before tip-off in the December 10 matchup between the New York Knicks and the San Antonio Spurs, assistant coach Becky Hammon was at work on the floor of the AT&T Center passing basketballs to Spurs players. Hammon, a star in the WNBA for sixteen years who has never lacked for confidence—a necessity, perhaps, given that she stands at a modest five feet six inches—moved nimbly around the court.

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