Abnormal Mycology

It all started with a dog. My friend’s bulging-eyed, pointy-eared terrier that I said looked like a gremlin. Or was it a mogwai? As the hour and the wine waned, she explained the difference between the two, a conversation that put me in mind of gnarly creatures that emerge when conditions are just right.

Old News

“Beaumont has made a record for herself that has perhaps not been equaled before in any other city in the state. Beside the disagreeable distinction of claiming the heaviest snowfall, she also thinks she can claim the distinction of having had used on her streets the first snowshoes ever used in Texas.”
Galveston Daily News, February 17, 1895

 

Justice Was Overserved

After DWI charges against Justice Nora Longoria, of the Thirteenth Court of Appeals, were dismissed, outraged Hidalgo County Republicans pointed out that Longoria and the district attorney and district court judge who decided to let her off are all Democrats—and a police dash-cam video that showed her bombing her field sobriety test went viral.

The Dogs of War

In the farm country just outside Commerce, the front door of a red-brick-and-limestone house opens and a stout dog with a black face and pricked ears emerges. Its wide, shining eyes are fixed on a 22-year-old man wearing a thick black suit of padded, densely handwoven linen. Matt Davis squares his shoulders and glares at Tigo, a Dutch shepherd.

Death and Twitter

The truth is an elusive, much disputed, and highly valuable commodity in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, a sprawling border city fifteen minutes south of McAllen. Residents witness a shootout that leaves dozens dead, and the government reports a minor disturbance. A businessman receives a call from “kidnappers” demanding immediate ransom, then discovers there is no actual kidnapping. Fireworks are mistaken for grenades. Grenades are mistaken for fireworks.

Meanwhile, in Texas . . .

•  A Richmond woman suffering from lingering injuries caused by the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing wrote a lighthearted “breakup note” to her leg before it was amputated.
•  Houston fans of the violent video game Grand Theft Auto were held up at gunpoint while standing in line awaiting the release of the game’s latest edition.
•   A Weatherford bus driver was fired for sunbathing nude next to a middle school.

It Takes a Thief

In 1997 sixteen-year-old Darius Clark Monroe and two accomplices robbed a bank in southwest Houston. An honor student with an after-school job, Monroe stunned his parents by leaving a shoebox full of cash on their bed, his attempt to solve the financial problems that had dogged his family for most of his life. After serving three years in prison, Monroe went to the University of Houston and then to New York University’s prestigious film program.

The Checklist

Exhibit

La Belle, the Ship That Changed History (Bullock Texas State History Museum, through May 17)
For more than three hundred years, this ill-fated French ship lay on the floor of Matagorda Bay, before it was rediscovered in 1995, excavated, and subjected to thorough study, resulting in this multimillion-dollar exhibit, which includes more than 115 artifacts, such as a dolphin-handled brass cannon and a rat skeleton.

The Last Hole

On a crisp mid-November afternoon, six blank membership applications sat perfectly arranged on the welcome table of the Glen Garden Country Club, in southeast Fort Worth. That was part of the business-as-usual approach that the staff and members had taken for months, though business at the club had been anything but usual.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Reporter