NAME: David Thomas | AGE: 48 | HOME: Frisco | QUALIFICATIONS: Senior vice president of research and development at Dr Pepper Snapple Group / Holder of fifteen patents in ingredient and product technology / Ph.D.
I know that President Bush authorized the construction of a border fence. Then I heard critics say it wasn’t going to be built. What’s the story? In October of last year, just before the midterm elections, the president signed the Secure Fence Act. It authorized the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to stop illegal immigration and drug smuggling and prevent terrorists from sneaking into the country.
AT FIRST GLANCE, THE SOUTH TEXAS TOWN OF ALICE hardly looks like the sort of place that changed the course of history. Other than the decaying grandeur of the Rialto movie theater and the carved limestone facade of the Texas State Bank Building—now bearing a For Sale sign—there are few clues that Alice has a story to tell.
The narrow road outside Jasper where James Byrd, Jr., was chained to a truck and dragged to death winds deep into the East Texas piney woods. Grass has grown high in the ditch where his head and right arm were discovered one June morning in 1998; the rest of his body was strewn for several miles. Almost three years later, the scene of one of the nation's most notorious racial killings—Byrd was black, his three murderers were white—is bucolic. Wildflowers dot the roadside.
In talking to Dean Fearing, it doesn’t take long to realize that the James Beard award–winning chef is just as passionate about cowboy boots as he is food. Boots (an embroidered pair) get a signature spot on his chef’s coat, and when the Texas heat isn’t in full force, they get a place in his kitchen, as his go-to shoe of choice. While others swoon over his barbecued-shrimp tacos and famous tortilla soup at his namesake Dallas restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton, the 56-year-old swoons over hand-tooling and stitch patterns.
Evan Smith: Your restaurant, Fearing’s, at the Ritz-Carlton in Dallas, was just named number one in the country in hotel dining by the Zagat Survey. What does recognition like that say to you?
The first notable thing about the border wall between the United States and Mexico is that the damned thing exists. Unless you live in the most southwestern reaches of America, you may have assumed, as I did, that the whole thing was merely a proposal, one of those preposterous ideas that are floated in Washington by politicians hotdogging for their constituents, only to be shot down by saner minds.
The Dallas-born singer, who turns 45 this month, became an overnight success with the release of her 1988 debut with the New Bohemians, which went double platinum thanks to the hit single “What I Am.” In 1992 she married Paul Simon and eventually put her career on part-time status to raise their three children.
Edie Brickell never seemed to like her fifteen minutes of pop stardom very much, so perhaps it's fitting that the return of the original New Bohemians should end up such a well-kept secret. The same lineup that helped revitalize Deep Ellum in 1985—and made "What I Am" one of secretary-rock's first anthems—has ever so quietly regrouped and gone the indie route to offer up The Live Mantuak Sessions, a collection of eight new tunes written and recorded in a five-week span last summer.
The finest bands create not only great songs but also mood, and no one gets that like Austin’s Monahans. The four-piece group named itself after the tranquil West Texas oasis, but the band’s tone is dark and unnerving, like a storm rolling in— all pounding drums and big guitar riffs, alternately thunderous and eerily ambient.