FOR US TEXPATRIATES, JOHN CAMPBELL was an excellent choice for “The Texas Twenty” [September 1999]. We miss a lot about Texas and, in particular, Austin. Sadly, friends and co-workers in Southern California don’t get it when we rhapsodize about Central Market: “A grocery store? Whatever.” We try to explain the concept and wide variety, but they’re stuck in the straight-aisled world of limited choices. Any trip to Austin includes a stop at the store. Our carry-on baggage gets more than a few strange glances from airport security, but we don’t care—we’ve been to Central Market.
Kay and Michael Kardos
I TOO APPRECIATE THE HUMOR and whimsy in Louis Sachar’s books, especially Holes. I was surprised that you failed to report that Holes won the 1999 Newbery Medal. Not only is Mr. Sachar an intriguing Texan, he is also a talented Texan.
I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT YOU DIDN’T have more on Stone Cold Steve Austin. He’s the biggest influence there is today.
AFTER READING YOUR ARTICLE on Stone Cold Steve Austin, I now realize what he has contributed to our young people. He has taught them to cuss, drink copious amounts of beer, and flip the bird. Oh, yes, and there was that recent story of the Dallas seven-year-old who killed his younger brother while imitating a wrestling move he learned on TV. Thanks, Steve.
Roger W. Scott
I APPRECIATE YOUR TIMELY AND INFORMATIVE piece on Barbara Foorman. Reading skills are an essential component of academic success, and early detection of problems can mean a world of difference in a child’s life. The Texas Primary Reading Inventory is exactly the kind of tool needed to lay a foundation for achievement for every student.
YOUR FEATURE ON KAREN HUGHES, the governor’s director of communications, gives us a better insight into the governor. We wish her well, for it is apparent that she is spinning more than fancy phrases; she is spinning the fabric of the Bush campaign and perhaps even the next presidential vision of our country.
MICHAEL HALL’S BRIEF PROFILE OF Tim Duncan manages to insult Duncan’s stunning and genuine self, San Antonio, and the vast legions of fans both here and elsewhere who adore Tim’s calm, contemplative manner as well as his exquisitely graceful, knockout style. Don’t listen to these people, Tim! We like you just the way you are!
Naomi Shihab Nye
I ALWAYS LOOK FORWARD TO “the Texas Twenty,” but in the profile of Dr. Edward W. Guinn, the writer, Gary Cartwright, categorized the Stop Six neighborhood Dr. Guinn’s practice is in as a hellhole filled with “run-down homes and abandoned buildings.” Just how much of Stop Six did Mr. Cartwright see before making this assessment? I found this insulting and, I might say, racist. Of course there are parts of Stop Six we wish did not exist, but there are also beautiful parts of our neighborhood. A lot of us live in comfortable middle-class homes, we keep our lawns neat, and we are proud of the history of our neighborhood. Yes, we have crime in our area, just like other neighborhoods, but for the most part, we are law-abiding citizens.
HOW CAN ANDY LANGER WRITE about former Daily Texan staffers and UT journalism majors [Media: “Schmooze Paper,” September 1999] without mentioning Joseph C. Goulden (class of 1956)? His books, such as Monopoly, The Superlawyers, The Bench Warmers, The Curtis Caper, Truth Is the First Casualty, The Money Givers, and Meany, are examples of his excellent investigative reporting skills.
William A. Lewis
THE DAILY TEXAN IS NOT CELEBRATING its one hundredth birthday—only its ninety-ninth. “Born” on October 8, 1900, the Texan, as of October 8, 1999, turned age 99 and completed volume 99. The paper will be one hundred years old on October 8, 2000.
William G. Noble Editor, the Daily Texan, 1946-47
WHEN I WAS ON THE BOARD OF TEXAS Student Publications, there were three legs to that “stool.” One was the Texan, another was the yearbook, the Cactus, and the third was the humor magazine, the Texas Ranger. Journalism students were required to work for the Texan as part of class assignments. The other two publications used all volunteers. Some say magazines are not true journalism, but the Texas Ranger did its share of reporting on campus as well as spreading a little joy and humor.
Bill Bridges Editor, the Texas Ranger, 1950-51
Fort Huachuca, Arizona
WHAT GOES LARGELY UNSAID IN Andy Langer’s piece is the dirty little secret elite journalism schools from Texas, Missouri, New York, and elsewhere in the country have known for years. The number of prestigious alumni an institution can boast is purely a function of economics. Push enough bodies (er, graduates) out the door, and some are bound to find good jobs.
A Bayou Runs Through It
GREGORY CURTIS’ BEHIND THE LINES on Buffalo Bayou made quite a splash with me [“In, Not On, the Bayou,” September 1999]. Being a Houston native and a sponge for its early history, I have always wanted to make that journey down the waterway that brought us to this place in time. But after hearing about the critters and Mr. Curtis’ spill, I may never make the trip. Still, I heartily agree that the bayou is a symbol of the twists and turns of Houston’s past, the unpredictability of its future, and the trash that sometimes overshadows its present.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ARTICLE on my cousin Sharon Tate [Texas Primer, August 1999]. Sharon was indeed born in Dallas but, being an Army brat, lived a lot of different places and always called Houston home.
Sharon’s father, Paul, was to begin his military retirement on the day of Sharon’s murder. He spent his first retirement months assisting the police in the search for Sharon’s murderer. Sharon’s mother, Doris, was one of the founders of Parents of Murdered Children. Until her death, she testified at each of Charles Manson’s hearings to help ensure that he was not granted parole. President Bush presented her with a Point of Light award shortly before her death. Sharon’s younger sister Patty has taken up the family fight to keep Manson behind bars.
Ronald H. Cobb