Most summers, the 367 miles of Texas that front the Gulf of Mexico offer a stunningly scenic backdrop for a much-needed beach getaway—the fine white sand, the deep blue-green ocean, the cloudless sky dotted with a smattering of gulls gliding effortlessly upon a gentle sea breeze. Caw. Caw.
“An irate gentleman went for the city editor of the Dallas Herald a few days ago, but was met with a six-chambered apology-maker. It might as well be understood now that all local editors in Texas have their pants made with pistol pockets in them.”
—San Marcos Free Press, June 19, 1884
As he sat at the broad wooden table next to his godmother, Kim Whitsitt, Kelvin Cletus Green looked like a student working through an algebra problem with his tutor. But the sandy-haired eighteen-year-old, whose skin is as smooth and tanned as a brand-new pair of calfskin boots, wasn’t working on an assignment for math class. On this particular June evening, he was running his first city council meeting as the newly installed mayor of Archer City.
The five members of the Dallas County Commissioners’ Court unanimously voted for a resolution commemorating Juneteenth without realizing that it also endorsed reparations for slavery. Aside from Commissioner John Wiley Price, who put forth the resolution, none of the other commissioners had bothered to find out what was in the proposal before voting for it.
Billy Joe Shaver celebrates two major milestones this month, and it’s hard to say which deserves the longer parade. On August 5 the Corsicana-born singer-songwriter will release his seventeenth studio album (and his first in seven years), Long in the Tooth. But the record’s title indicates what may be the greater accomplishment: eleven days later, the one outlaw-generation songwriter who everybody agreed was out of his mind and not long for this world will turn 75.
In a small visitation room with painted cinder-block walls and one-way mirrors inside an El Paso immigration detention center, Gurbinder Singh sits at a metal table fiddling with his blue ID bracelet. Printed on the plastic band are the 26-year-old’s grainy mug shot, his birth date, and, perhaps most important, his “date of arrival,” May 20, 2013. That was when Singh walked north across a bridge that spans the Rio Grande and, in the little English he knew, asked a border guard for political asylum.
It’s been an eventful year so far for Richard Linklater. In January the Austin filmmaker received an Oscar nomination for co-writing the screenplay for his film Before Midnight.
Neon Icon, Riff Raff (Mad Decent, June 24)
The Houston-gone-Hollywood rapper—often referred to as “the most viral human being in music” because of his pioneering ascent by way of YouTube—releases his official debut album, featuring guest appearances from home-town heroes Slim Thug and Paul Wall and, no doubt, plenty of near-random wordplay about cars, girls, foodstuffs, personal grooming, and B-list celebrities.