For reasons less obscure than you might think, we’re having a Comanche and Texas Rangers moment. One of this summer’s most highly regarded reads is The Son, the second novel by Austin writer Philipp Meyer, a sprawling Texas saga whose protean protagonist, Eli McCullough, is kidnapped as a boy by Comanche, eventually joins his captors’ atrocity spree, and just as opportunistically becomes an Indian-hunting Texas Ranger and then the paterfamilias of a great cattle and oil dynasty.
1. How Dry We Are
When the heat has even the grackles lying low, the pleasure of a swimming hole cold enough to knock the breath out of you is limitless. Alas, water is not, a truism sorely evident to the residents of the Hill Country town of Wimberley, where proposed development may spell the end for the beloved Jacob’s Well, already stagnant due to too little rain and too much pumping.
Al Jourgensen just deposited a few specks of red wine onto my cheek. I can’t be sure, but I suspect they flew off one of his two vampire fang–shaped dental implants.
Mario Mandujano had finally chosen his Jesus. “I was looking for the long hair, tall, with a beard,” the 46-year-old volunteer director of San Fernando Cathedral’s Passion Play said last March. But Mandujano also sought dedication. For months he’d been working with two unpaid contenders. Finally, with ten days to go until Good Friday, Mandujano selected his savior, Elmendorf city worker John Austin.
JAKE SILVERSTEIN: Some people know you and your food from watching Top Chef, some people from eating at Uchi or Uchiko. For people who don’t know you, how do you describe your food?
This is part one of a two-part interview. Part two can be found here, and a condensed version of the entire interview can be found in the June issue of Texas Monthly. The interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
JAKE SILVERSTEIN: You became a regent in 2009, and you were elected chairman in 2011. At the time, what were your expectations of the job?
Fat Tony’s show is not going well.
A few months ago, my son, Sam, was home in Houston for a very abbreviated spring break, and we were out having lunch in between his incoming and outgoing text messages. Suddenly he looked at his phone and blanched. Before I had a chance to ask what was wrong, he typed a response, a new message beeped, and he clutched his heart and fell back in his chair with relief. Beaming, he turned his phone toward me. I squinted at a photo of something that looked like a wedding announcement, on cream-colored paper with fancy italics.