The best high fives are more than a slap; they linger slightly before turning into an embrace. That’s the kind of high five Sarah Jarosz and Chris Thile shared the final night of this year’s Telluride Bluegrass Festival. After playing with his band the Punch Brothers, Thile, the mandolin virtuoso who rose to fame as a member of the acoustic trio Nickel Creek, took to the lobby of the Sheridan Opera House for an impromptu duet with the 22-year-old Wimberley native and fellow mandolinist he’d helped mentor.
Gray is a seasonal wildland firefighter who works in places like California and Colorado during the summer and with Lake Travis Fire Rescue, an emergency services district in Lakeway, just west of Austin, in the winter. In 2011, at age eighteen, she joined the Bastrop Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter and just a few months later helped battle the most catastrophic wildfire in Texas history.
One Tuesday morning last fall, ninety-year-old lumber magnate Homer DeFord waited in a cramped, dim room in Duncanville for his associate, Rick Wilkins, to arrive with a package. Decades ago, the room had been his office. Today, the windows are boarded shut, and the building is dwarfed by the sprawling warehouses and storage yards that make up the modern headquarters of DeFord Lumber Company. There are nicer spaces on the premises, but Homer, a round man with wisps of white hair, likes the room where his empire was born.
1. I’m Gonna Git You, Soccer
Latino Americans, the three-part, six-hour PBS documentary airing in September, is at many turns a gut-wrenching chronicle of bias, injustice, and cheated dreams. But it’s also an inspiring tale of often-spontaneous yet skillfully orchestrated Latino political activism, a saga that includes the American G.I.
On October 2006, at a global food trade show in Paris, several representatives from the U.S. pecan industry found themselves pursuing something of a fool’s errand. They were seeking a European market for their product. The Europeans have flatly rejected the pecan since colonial times, preferring the taste of walnuts and chestnuts to that of America’s only edible native nut.
NATE BLAKESLEE: You retired from Congress in December, though most people would not describe what you’re doing as retirement. You are creating a new online news channel, you’ve got a new book out, you’ve got a new institute. Where does all the energy come from?
They’re called prairie dog towns, but some were cities. The largest was in Texas, with a population of 400 million. That’s almost half the rat population of Manhattan. The most famous these days is in Lubbock. Skip was on sentry duty when we chatted.
Click here to read more about the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog.
Amanda Shires carefully steps from one rock to another as she makes her way down the trail to the Res, a swimming hole in Sewanee, Tennessee. Hickory trees and various oaks loom overhead, and muddy patches of ground occasionally prompt Shires to take a short leap so she can avoid getting her shoes mucked up. It’s a sweetly bucolic scene, for sure. Or at least it would be, if there weren’t business to attend to.
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.