Mention the name Forest Whitaker, and several extraordinary, wildly disparate performances usually leap to mind: his breakthrough as jazz legend Charlie Parker in Clint Eastwood’s Bird (1986), in which the actor brought a sweetly haunted tenderness to a figure often remembered as a hopeless junkie. His lovelorn British soldier in The Crying Game (1993), a performance that seems all the more wily once the film’s classic twist is revealed.
There’s one!” Page Parkes exclaimed, right before I lost her in a sea of tween-age Saturday shoppers at Dallas’s NorthPark Center mall. It was a November morning at the area’s hottest hangout for the hashtag generation, and Parkes was on what she calls “a human treasure hunt.” She was searching for fresh faces to feed to her network of modeling agencies and schools in Austin, Dallas, and Houston.
Update: On Friday, August 2—several weeks after this story went to press—FEMA reversed its earlier decision to deny the City of West additional federal disaster aid and approved a major disaster declaration for the town that will bring as much as $20 million in additional federal funds.
1. Abbott Forming
The moment Rick Perry announced that he was not running for a fourth full term as governor, all eyes turned to Attorney General Greg Abbott, who instantly became the most powerful Republican in the state.
The Texas brown tarantulas have always scared me. They’ve got huge snake fangs, a knot of beady eyes, and more leg hair than an indigo girls concert. But when you actually crouch down and talk to a young fella like Clarence here, you get a different picture. He’s polite, shy, even a little nervous. And for good reason: he’s about to have sex for the first time.
Update #2: On August 2, 2013, a special committee announced that Michael Dell and his partner, the investor firm Silver Lake, amended their buyout agreement in a move that some anticipate will please shareholders enough to ensure Dell can take his computer company private. The fight continues, but not without some savvy business thrusts and parries.
JASON COHEN: At the University of Houston, you went from being an underpaid “quality control” assistant to being offensive coordinator in two seasons. Now, after just a few years as a coordinator at U of H and Texas A&M, you’ve got the top job at Texas Tech, making you, at 33, the second-youngest head coach in the country. Were you sure you were ready?
It is the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and the Houston airport is spilling over with people. One of them is running for president of the United States, but to the rest he remains anonymous, just another holiday traveler carrying his own suitcases. Substitute any of the glamour candidates—John Connally or Ronald Reagan or Ted Kennedy—for the tall, efficient-looking man in the gray suit and there would be instant focus: whispers, glances, gestures, timorous approaches, and hopeful self-introductions.
It might have been the most unexpectedly revealing acceptance speech in Oscar history: “Did I really earn this?” Sandra Bullock asked, claiming her Best Actress prize for The Blind Side in 2010. “Or did I just wear you all down?” On its surface, the question was a sly, self-deprecating joke: the Austin-based actress had staged one of the more dogged awards campaigns in recent memory, turning up on countless talk shows, magazine covers, and red carpets in the run-up to Oscar night.
Marquez, who’s lived most of his life in El Paso, spent his childhood at a bakery his parents purchased in 1971, when he was five. Today Marquez owns and operates two of the family’s three bakeries (his brother owns the other), which are known to have some of the best pan dulce in the area.
I was a little kid when I started working in the bakery—and I’ve never done anything else. Forty-something years later, I’m still hanging out in the kitchen.