CAPTAIN CLETE BUCKALOO? Even Hollywood couldn’t make that up. Why? Because Captain Buckaloo is Texas real, as are the rest of his fellow Rangers. One look at him should make any criminal think seriously about going legit.

HOW THE HECK did you ever get Big Tex into a suit?
Lawton, Oklahoma

I COMMEND PAMELA Colloff for her fine characterization of the modern Texas Rangers [“Law of the Land,” April 2007]. However, she is wrong in charging the Rangers with mishandling the Henry Lee Lucas serial murder case in the eighties. That circus was the product of a national media frenzy, a nationwide law enforcement frenzy to clear open cases, the erratic behavior of Lucas himself, and above all, the misdeeds of aspiring Texas politicians. While working on my history of the modern Rangers, Lone Star Lawmen: The Second Century of the Texas Rangers, I found no evidence that Sergeant Bob Prince and Ranger Clayton Smith carried out their “gatekeeper” mission in any but the most professional manner. Certainly, they “forced” not a single confession from Lucas nor even sought to encourage any of his hundreds of confessions. They emerged from the ordeal scarred by bad publicity but with their integrity intact.

Good Fellas

I AM EXTREMELY pleased with the way “The Gang’s All Here” was written [April 2007]. My dad is a member of the Hill Country chapter of the Bandidos, and this piece showed that there is more to the organization than meets the eye. It is definitely a brotherhood first and foremost, and despite what else is done, it all comes around to the fact that it was started by men who live to ride and ride to live.

To Anna, With Love

ISN’T IT INTERESTING that your April issue had an article treating the Bandidos motorcycle gang with a certain amount of awe and respect while another article treated the life and death of Anna Nicole Smith as one big joke [“The Punch Line”]? It would seem that the Bandidos’ “old ladies” should be pitied far more than Anna Nicole. These women may share a gang member and have no idea what he does or where he goes. Very liberated.

Anna Nicole Smith was indeed messed up. She learned very quickly that sex sells. She learned that to gain weight in this society is unforgivable. She learned that the public and press are harsh and judgmental. However, she was never referred to as any man’s “old lady.” She attempted to live her life on her terms.

She lost the person she trusted and loved most in the world: her son. Her support system was nonexistent. Doctors were willing to prescribe her anything and everything. And the people who were supposed to love her cared more about scrambling after her money than giving her a decent burial.

It seems odd to me that we still live in a time when men such as the Bandidos can get away with just about anything, while one lonely woman becomes an object of scorn and ridicule.

YOU WERE TOO hard on Anna Nicole. She was one of us and should have stayed in Texas, where she was among her own. Maybe, like Marilyn, she was too gentle to run among wolves.

Point of Order

REGARDING WILLIAM MARTIN’S thoughtful April column “The Damage Done,” needle exchanges have been proven to reduce the spread of HIV without increasing drug use. They also serve as a bridge to drug treatment for an especially hard-to-reach population. Drug users are not the only beneficiaries. U.S. Centers for Disease Control researchers estimated in 2002 that 57 percent of AIDS cases among women and 36 percent of overall AIDS cases in the U.S. were linked to injection drug use or sex with partners who inject drugs. This easily preventable public health crisis is a direct result of zero-tolerance laws that restrict access to clean syringes. In the interest of containing the HIV epidemic, let’s hope the Texas Legislature acknowledges the drug war’s tremendous collateral damage sooner rather than later.
Common Sense For Drug Policy
Washington, D.C.

Full Bluntal Nugity

I THINK I LIKE TED NUGENT [Texas Monthly Talks, April 2007]. He speaks his mind and doesn’t pussyfoot around with words. Which is why I’m glad that he didn’t bore us with any of the hollow arguments that hunters usually bring to rationalize their activity, such as killing wild animals in order to eat meat or doing animals a great favor, controlling their population, etc. It sounds to me like Ted hunts simply because he likes to. A natural man, satisfying a natural and primal urge. And I like that—at least he’s honest. But there’s just one thing, one important difference between Homo sapiens and the rest of the animal population: For us, it is part of our nature to resist our nature. For instance, recognizing the danger of an opponent prey and therefore throttling one’s killer instinct and self-defensive instincts, opting instead for the college deferment plan.

I HAVE ONE THING to say about April’s Texas Monthly Talks: Ted Nugent for president!

IF TED NUGENT IS SUCH a fan of the Constitution, he should try reading it sometime. There is nothing in there about a national language or disenfranchising people who don’t speak English. I am Mexican American, so I am used to hearing these bigoted tirades draped as “patriotism,” but his comments take the cake. Is it really the language that Ted has a problem with? I have a feeling that if a Latino approached Ted singing “Cat Scratch Fever” while waving an NRA banner and eating raw deer meat, Ted would still find something to complain about.
El Paso

Air Ball

HOW CAN YOU DISCUSS basketball enthusiasm in Texas at the high school, college, and pro levels—in particular the Dallas Mavericks and the Houston Rockets—and not once mention the three-time NBA champion San Antonio Spurs [Reporter, The Sports Authorities, April 2007]? Authorities? I think not.
San Antonio