I enjoyed your barbecue story and am planning my summer trips so that they include stops at some from the top five on your list. [“BBQ08,” June 2008]. But I must say that y’all missed a great one: Martin’s Place in Bryan.
Matt Wiederstein

. . . Angelo’s Bar-B-Que in Fort Worth.
George Pollock
Ransom Canyon

. . . Square’s Bar-B-Que in Abilene.
Paul Diserens

. . . Peete Mesquite BBQ in Marble Falls.
Bob Davis
Horseshoe Bay

. . . Hickory Stick Bar-B-Que in Everman.
Kevin Short

. . . Fred’s Barbecue in Monahans.
Orlando Mares

. . . Dat’s Good Que in Lewisville.
Chris Sims

. . . Big Jake’s BBQ in Texarkana.
Leslie Looney Williams
New Boston

. . . Inman’s Kitchen Pit Bar-B-Q and Laird’s BBQ, both in Llano.
Don Scott

. . . Texas Deadwood BBQ in Mason.
Gloria Cox

. . . Hardin Grocery Store in Hardin.
Bob Smith

. . . Cross-Town Bar-B-Que in Elgin.
Robert Mayberry

Editors’ Note: Cross-Town Bar-B-Que in fact cracked our top fifty, but just before press time, we learned of its closing and had to pull it from our list.

It was definitely a surprise to find Mann’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Q listed as one of the best in Austin. The first sentence of the summary made my stomach turn with disgust. How could pork ribs and pulled pork be appetizing? Especially pulled pork, which is a staple of the South but not Texas. A question arises: Are any of the reviewers from the Lone Star State originally?
Gena Hawkins

So you cover pulled pork, but you leave out beans in your issue of “Texas” barbecue? What kind of outfit are y’all running? Can we expect a story on clam chowder in the next BBQ roundup?
Matt Belew

I was shocked to see my favorite barbecue restaurant—Louie Mueller Barbeque, in Taylor—denied the first-place spot by a joint that is open only one day a week. Blasphemy, I say! Surely you must have sent a couple of yuppies with untrained palates to do this article. No real Texan would tromp on the bona fides of this great restaurant.
Rick Rogers
Franklinton, Louisiana

In the Name of the Father

I just finished your stellar article “The Man Who Wasn’t There” [June 2008]. What an insight into the forties and its effects on Mr. Burka and his family. I, at 63, feel extremely fortunate to still have my dad in my life, appreciating him even more upon reading your story.
Ken Steele
Malton, New Jersey

Security Counsel

I’d like to congratulate you on your article “The Risk Premium” [June 2008]. I have worked as an oil support helicopter pilot for well over thirty years now. I started in the North Sea, moved on to Iran and then to Nigeria, where I have spent most of my career. I found your article to be much better researched than others I have read, and it brought out a lot of what many of us working here feel about the place. I have so far survived three hijackings, two kidnapping attempts, and numerous armed attacks, but I carry on, as the money is reasonable and I have a wife and a nine-month-old daughter to support back in the UK.

There’s just one thing on which I’d take issue, and that’s your report on Oyibosonline.com. Most of us expats here love OOL. It gives us a great insight into the stories behind the news, and most of us rely on it to find out what’s really happening, since we get little or no useful information from our companies. I guess you didn’t register and therefore couldn’t see the security pages, open only to those who are members. This is the most up-to-date news you can get on security; they’re real-time reports from members who are involved in things as they happen. As for the T-shirts and mugs, we love ’em! I have all of the T-shirts and four of the mugs and coasters. When the kidnappings were really rife, it was our way of laughing in the face of danger and giving the finger to those who would deprive us of our liberty. Since then, OOL has evolved into a daily must-read for many of us out here.
Bob Evans
via e-mail

Support Hose

You mentioned in your latest installment of the Green Guinea Pig that you’re able to keep your flowers blooming with spot watering [June 2008]. When it comes to conservation, Xeriscaping and rain-barrel water collection are a perfect combination for minimal water usage during our long, hot Texas summers, and Austin has a wonderful rain-barrel program. We have purchased five barrels at a discount price from the city, placed them inconspicuously under the downspouts from our gutters, and voilà, we have plenty of free water for our gardens, flowers, dry spots in our lawn—even for washing our cars.
Marcia Arcuri

Fundamental Mistake

It is sad that the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints community continues to be plagued by coverage from reporters who fail to do a reasonable amount of research on the facts of the case and instead choose to believe Child Protective Services propaganda. Skip Hollandsworth’s article was more of the same [Behind the Lines, “Compound Fracture,” June 2008]. In it, he reiterated only CPS statistics that were eventually proved false in the family-service-plan hearings. It was a huge disappointment to see an article filled with such a lack of research and legal knowledge. There were some great media outlets that covered this story in a well-balanced and knowledgeable manner. Texas Monthly should have strived to be one of them.
Cynthia M. Martinez
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid