The Education of Laura Bush

I met Laura Bush for the first time in early May 1995. An interview I had scheduled with the governor had to be changed from afternoon to evening and from the Capitol to the Governor's Mansion. I was invited to a casual dinner, along with my wife. Mrs. Bush would be there. The interview was a lost cause, but the evening wasn't.

Weed All About It

WHAT IS IT ABOUT MARIJUANA that makes politicians hallucinate? The faintest whiff of “the weed of madness” (as government propaganda used to call it) causes them to see distorted images of things that aren’t there and never were: law and order, justice, reelection. But they don’t see the obvious. The war on drugs was lost years ago, and pretending otherwise only makes the problem worse.

Hi, Society!

"OH, YOU MUST COME. You simply must come," Becca Cason Thrash exclaimed. I had called her to see if I could get myself invited to the party she was throwing in April to benefit Houston's Stages Repertory Theatre. "We're calling the night 'A Celebration of American Fashion,'" she said, her voice as creamy as vichyssoise. "Anna Wintour [the editor in chief of Vogue] will be here, and some of the great American fashion designers are coming—Diane von Furstenberg, Mark Badgley and James Mischka, and Carmen Marc Valvo."

Girl Gone Mild

I assume the Secret Service agents will arrive first, checking out everyone in sight. But suddenly the door opens, and in she comes, all alone, dressed casually in an inexpensive gray dress with a matching cotton sweater, her sandy-blond hair held back with a rubber band.

“So is this okay? Mexican food?” asks Jenna Bush. “I figured it might make you feel more at home.”

Happy Trails

Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States. Of course, a city of this size offers a little bit of everything—professional sports, art, dining, shopping, clubs, theater, and more. Naturally, someone visiting Houston might need some direction from a person in the know (hey, I was born and raised there). Here's my take on fun things to do in H-town.

My Life

If there is one person who embodies Texas style, it is Lynn Wyatt. Tall and forever blond, glamorous without being pretentious, simultaneously sweet and shrewd, with arguably the most famous whiskey laugh in the world, she rose from a comfortable Houston childhood—her family started the Sakowitz specialty store chain—to become a global symbol of Texan hospitality and grace. In 1963 she married Oscar Wyatt, the infamous founder of Coastal Oil and Gas.

Everything Must Be Perfect

It was Saturday night in Dallas, and beneath the towering crystal chandeliers at the W hotel bar in Victory Park, personal concierge Gary Jackson was working three smartphones and two groups of clients on opposite sides of the city. Forty-four-year-old Jackson—known around town simply by his surname—gets you past the velvet rope.

How Millionaires Celebrate End-of-Days

Elvira Butz, a septuagenarian adventurer who has dived to the Titanic aboard a Russian submersible, trekked solo through the rainforests of Papua New Guinea, and searched for meteorites in Antarctica, spent the final minutes of December 21, 2012, the day the Mayans supposedly predicted the world would end, dancing to “Gangnam Style” at the base of a 30-foot replica of a Mayan pyramid built on the shore of Lake Austin.

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