Executive Editor Katy Vine joined the editorial staff of Texas Monthly in 1997 and became a staff writer in 2002. She has written dozens of features on a range of topics including rocket scientist Franklin Chang Díaz, hip-hop legend Bun B, barbecue pit masters, cult leader Warren Jeffs, refugees in Amarillo, dirty cops in McAllen, the moon landing, the Kilgore Rangerettes, bass fishing, a three-person family circus, chess prodigies, and an accountant who embezzled $17 million from a fruitcake company. Her stories have been anthologized in Best American Sports Writing and Best Food Writing. Her feature story about a West Texas sting operation was the inspiration for the 2012 television series The Client List.

Articles by Katy Vine

Corps Values

May 8, 2015 By Katy Vine

Alyssa Michalke was recently named the first female commander of Texas A&M’s corps of cadets. It’s been a long time coming.

Family Traditions
Revisiting the Family Circus

Oct 8, 2014 By Katy Vine

Eight-year-old Giovanni and six-year-old Victor can ride the Globe of Death, spin plates, and transfix large audiences. As the eighth generation of the Flores Family Thrill Show, it’s their birthright.

Pumped-Up Kicks

Aug 14, 2014 By Katy Vine

When throngs of shoe fanatics descend on Houston for the annual Sneaker Summit, it’s the perfect time to understand the sole of a man. And if you happen to be a high school junior named Adam, the goal is finding the right pair of Nike Galaxies for a mere $750.

Bloodless Sport

May 9, 2014 By Katy Vine

Every year, some of Mexico’s very best matadors travel to a remote South Texas bullring—one of the few in this country—for no-kill fights. Their pageantry draws spectators by the busload.

The Line of Fire

Aug 13, 2013 By Katy Vine

When flames erupted at the West Fertilizer Company plant, the members of the local volunteer fire department pulled on their bunker gear and jumped in their trucks, just like they always do.

Our Guide to Central Texas Barbecue

Mar 13, 2013 By Patricia Sharpe and Katy Vine

You can’t go home and tell your friends that you came to Central Texas and never ate any barbecue. It would be like going to SXSW and not listening to any music. But there are so many briskets and so little time! How do you sort it all out? No worries, here is our opinionated guide to the best of the best.

F1, Take One

Feb 12, 2013 By Katy Vine

Learning to love the foreign, overcharged, crowded, obsessive, and actually pretty exciting world of Texas’s newest major sport.

Remembering Neil Armstrong

Jan 21, 2013 By Katy Vine

The famous astronaut was notoriously shy about granting interviews to the press, but in 2009 he answered a few questions sent to him by senior editor Katy Vine. Here is her unedited Q&A with Neil Armstrong.

Mother Knows Least

Jan 21, 2013 By Katy Vine

I was thrilled when my daughter began learning a second language at day care. But what was I supposed to do when my three-year-old started engaging in conversations I couldn’t understand?

Girls Love Me

Jan 21, 2013 By Katy Vine

Austin Mahone is sixteen years old. He doesn’t have a record contract, a tour bus, or a backing band. But he does have more than 650,000 followers on Twitter and the email addresses of 2,000,000 fans. Meet San Antonio’s answer to Justin Bieber.

The Lighthouse Drive

Jan 21, 2013 By Katy Vine

ROUTE: Port Arthur to Port AransasDISTANCE: 308 milesNUMBER OF COUNTIES: 11WHAT TO BRING: A pair of binoculars I started as far east as you can go on the Gulf Coast and still be in Texas. And since the Sabine Pass Lighthouse, which is technically across the state…

Of Meat and Men

Jan 21, 2013 By Katy Vine

John Mueller was the heir to one of the great Texas barbecue dynasties. Aaron Franklin was an unknown kid from College Station who worked his counter. John had it all and then threw it all away. Aaron came out of nowhere to create the state’s most coveted brisket. Then John rose from the ashes.

Feature
With God On Their Side

Jan 21, 2013 By Katy Vine

The child custody battle between the State of Texas and a fundamentalist Mormon sect prompted many people to wonder how 437 kids could have been ripped away from their parents. When the criminal trials of a dozen sect members got under way this month, the question became, Was it really safe to send them home?

The Skirmish Will Be Followed by a Ladies’ Tea

Jan 21, 2013 By Katy Vine

The Civil War may be 150 years old, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still stir up a fuss (Confederate license plate, anyone?). Just ask one of the hundreds of very accurately uniformed reenactors who descend on Jefferson every year to die for the cause.

Emanual-birdman-1-feature
The Birdman of Texas

Jan 21, 2013 By Katy Vine

Victor Emanuel can find you a hooded warbler, a horned guan, or maybe even an Eskimo curlew. But his real genius is that he can get you to really look at a grackle.

“Oh, My God! It’s Our Children!”

Jan 20, 2013 By Katy Vine

On March 18, 1937, the residents of New London, southeast of Tyler, endured the worst small-town tragedy in U.S. history: an explosion at the combined junior-senior high school that killed some three hundred students and teachers.

Rangerettes perform a hand routine
Alive and Kicking

Jan 20, 2013 By Katy Vine

Although some might consider the Kilgore Rangerettes an anachronism, every summer dozens of fresh-faced teens from around the state flock to East Texas to perfect a seemingly effortless hat-brim-touching high kick—and preserve one of the state's great traditions.

Almost Famous

Jan 20, 2013 By Katy Vine

When Jacob Isom swiped a Quran from an angry evangelist, he figured a few of his friends would enjoy the prank. Two months and one million YouTube views later, his life may never be the same.

Abel Gonzales
I Believe I Can Fry

Jan 20, 2013 By Katy Vine

How a mild-mannered database analyst from Dallas became the undisputed king of extreme competitive deep-frying in Texas—which is to say, the world.

Scenes From A Mall

Jan 20, 2013 By Katy Vine

And not just any mall. The Marq*E Entertainment Center is a marvel of marketing: a teen-friendly hangout where kids from all over the city flock to shop, flirt, skateboard, and otherwise act their age.

Whose Life Is It Anyway?

Jan 20, 2013 By Katy Vine

Katie Wernecke is many things: a precocious, freckle-faced Bible-drill champ; the valedictorian of her seventh-grade class in Banquete; and—since she was diagnosed with cancer last year—a pawn in the custody battle that pits her parents against the State of Texas.

Bass-O-Matic

Jan 20, 2013 By Katy Vine

How a fish called Ethel (seventeen pounds, ten ounces) caught by a fishing guide named Mark (Stevenson, in 1986, on Lake Fork) revolutionized a once-sleepy sport.

Web Exclusive
Fundamental Arguments

Jan 20, 2013 By Katy Vine

On October 26, the first FLDS criminal trial in Texas begins. What legal strategies remain for the defense?

The Biggest Burger Ever

Jan 20, 2013 By Katy Vine

It may well be at Arnold’s, in Amarillo. Think twenty pounds of unseasoned meat and some forty slices of American cheese (if you please). Can anyone say “supersize”?

Keep it Simple

Jan 20, 2013 By Katy Vine

Last week, I caught up with Steve Bett, the editor of the Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society and moderator of a discussion group on Foolswisdom. Bett is a retired professor living in Austin who joined the 99-year-old international organization in the late eighties believing, as most simplified…

Check Mates

Jan 20, 2013 By Katy Vine

Fernando Spada and Fernando Mendez are the Karpov and Kasparov of Brownsville: chess champions whose lifelong competition has produced a rivalry every bit as fierce as those of Ali and Frazier, McEnroe and Borg, or Nicklaus and Palmer. Did I mention that they’re in the fourth grade?