Prudence Mackintosh, Mike McGregor and Jan Jarboe Russell.
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For more than three decades, contributing editor Prudence Mackintosh has written stories for Texas Monthly about raising her three sons. So it’s only natural that her debut column on the back page centers on another topic close to her heart: her two grandchildren, Owen and Nathan (“Generation Exit,”). Aside from writing about her family, she recently completed a three-year-long book project for the University of Texas Press about the architecture and history of the Park Cities, where she has lived since 1971. Still, her life as a writer seems remarkably similar to the old days. “I have a house full of kids this week,” she says, “and my next column is due tomorrow!”
New York photographer Mike McGregor will never forget meeting Dallas County district attorney Craig Watkins (“Craig’s List,”). “When he walked in for the shoot, he asked if I knew who he was,” McGregor said. “I told him, ‘I assume you’re Mr. Watkins.’” Wanting to play a prank, Watkins insisted that his name was Billy and that he was the district attorney’s assistant. “Watkins is eccentric,” Watkins said with a grin, “so I’ll help keep him in line for you.” Watkins finally fessed up to his identity, but the casual atmosphere helped McGregor capture some amazing images. Still, there was one complication: “I had a habit of calling him Billy,” McGregor said.
“When Lady Bird died, I felt, like many people did, an inexplicable void, a personal connection to the loss,” says writer-at-large Jan Jarboe Russell, who, like the former first lady, grew up in East Texas. “To be able to go back over memories of her was a wonderful gift.” For her cover story this month (“A Lady First,”), Russell, who has been writing for Texas Monthly since 1984, revisited the time she spent interviewing Mrs. Johnson for her 1999 biography, Lady Bird. That book began as an article for this magazine (“Lady Bird Looks Back,” December 1994) and turned into a years-long undertaking. “Lady Bird always said she looked for work that would sing to her heart,” Russell says. “And that’s what this whole project has been for me.”