Scene: The second floor of the Marq*E Entertainment Center, a mall in West Houston, around midday. A fifteen-year-old girl, TAMI, and thirteen-year-olds PATTI and ANGEL are standing together in an arcade. Each is wearing tight hip-hugger jeans. TAMI is a petite, talkative girl with Irish features, a spray of freckles, and long hair that has been dyed the color of a plum.
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.
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.
Everything happened at once. Texans woke up to discover service stations running out of gasoline all over town. Highway travel was not the quick, easy bet it had been last year. At 55 miles an hour, motorists had the feeling that some giant hand had lifted Dallas and Houston and deposited them a good hundred miles farther apart.
“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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.