As a student at Alief Hastings High School, outside Houston, Kyleen Wright became, she says, a “noisy” pro-life activist, and the 54-year-old has since spent more than thirty years working for the cause. It can be rowdy work at times, as during last year’s debate over Texas House Bill 2, which introduced new abortion restrictions and prompted two special sessions and Wendy Davis’s famous filibuster.
“Mr. Connelly, a farmer, living near Dallas, was bitten on the hand by a rattlesnake… . He went home and drank a quart of whiskey; split the back of a live chicken and applied it to the wound. The treatment was successful.”
In late 1972 ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill were summoned to Johnny Winter’s Houston apartment. The Beaumont-raised Winter—whom Rolling Stone famously put on the map in 1968 by describing him as “a cross-eyed albino with long, fleecy hair, who plays some of the gutsiest, fluid blues guitar you’ve ever heard”—was an arena-filling draw four records into his career. ZZ Top, on the other hand, were still largely beardless and just getting started.
The College Station of my late-seventies adolescence had its share of record shops—mall mainstays like Musicland and mom-and-pops that came and went. But Hastings Entertainment was a destination. Its megastore in the Culpepper Plaza strip center, a short bike ride from my home, became the place to while away summer afternoons and shed discretionary income in proportions that only a teenager with part-time employment as a dishwasher could justify.
Wilfredo Gutierrez, of Houston, pleaded guilty to fraudulently passing himself off as a veterinarian. His dozens of clients apparently appreciated his willingness to make house calls and his cut-rate fees for spaying and neutering.
After four hectic months working remotely from Austin as the weekend editor for the New York–based news and entertainment website BuzzFeed, Summer Anne Burton accepted a full-time editing position with the company in 2012. For someone who loves creating and curating things on the Internet—she has an active Tumblr, a blog featuring her drawings of major league baseball Hall of Famers, and another blog devoted to obscure music from the fifties and sixties—it was a dream job.
Tom Westerberg would just as soon not answer another question about Allen High School’s Eagle Stadium. “It’s the same thing over and over and over,” the coach of the Allen football team says of the parade of journalists that has interviewed him over the past several months. They want to know about the extraordinary amount of money that was spent on the facility in advance of its 2012 opening. They want to know about the problems that forced the stadium to close this past February.
- High school engineering students in Mansfield developed a working prosthetic hand for a man who lost his fingers in a wood chipper.
- A San Antonio cemetery threw away Spurs-themed decorations that had been placed on gravesites after the team won the NBA championship.
- A pregnant elephant at the Houston Zoo was put on a diet to lose five hundred pounds in order to make the birthing process safer.
- Twenty-year-old West Tawakoni resident Lucy Millsap and her parents took three different top honors at noodling t
San Antonio’s Leticia Van de Putte may be a pharmacist by training, but her calling has been her work in the Legislature: she served in the House for ten years before winning a special election to the Senate in 1999, where she has served ever since. Now the 59-year-old Democrat stands as her party’s nominee for lieutenant governor. In the November election she will face Dan Patrick, a fiery Republican senator from Houston who defeated the incumbent, David Dewhurst, in a primary runoff in May.
I Got More Soul!, Bobby Patterson (Omnivore, July 22)