Personal Essay

Being Texan |
April 1, 1998

Taxi Driver

I was my own boss, set my own hours, and came and went as I pleased. I was a Houston cabbie, and though it was hack work—literally—it paid the bills.

Books |
August 31, 1997

My Willie

Willie Nelson and I have been friends for years, so why did I decide only now to make him a character in one of my mystery novels? The plot thickens.

Being Texan |
June 1, 1991

Voices From the Dark

Before Dawn was caught in the terrifying grip of schizophrenia, she had been a talented jazz singer. Now her son-in-law tells her story of no place to go.

Film & TV |
February 1, 1990

Lost in Space

Locked away in NASA’s storage vaults was some of the most glorious footage ever filmed. I thought turning it into a movie would be a snap. Ten years later I’ve revised my opinion.

Being Texan |
August 1, 1989

The Sundown Kids

Once upon a summer, children whiled away their twilight time with outdoor games like Piggy Wants a Whistle, Witch o’ Witch, and Fox Across the River.

News & Politics |
December 1, 1988

The Line

Visitors to the Harris County Jail resign themselves to the hours they must spend waiting in line to get fifteen precious minutes with an inmate.

Hunting & Fishing |
July 1, 1986

Man to Man

The son’s ultimate selfishness is to see his father only as his father—not as a man. But on our first fishing trip in 25 years, I began to see my father—and myself—as the grown men we’d become.

Being Texan |
November 1, 1985

Preacher’s Kids

My father had to have an answer for everything—adultery, spiritual crises, the pigeons defecating in the church gutter. No wonder I didn’t become a preacher. The miracle is that my sister did.

Being Texan |
April 1, 1984

The Hub Cafe

It wasn’t the classiest place in Pharr to grow up, but it had tough truckers, sassy waitresses, and some of the best fry cooks in the Valley.

Travel & Outdoors |
March 1, 1981

Going Under

For a man and his daughter out for a pleasant day’s fishing, the first sign of danger was a man’s hat floating silently down the stream.

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