April 2006

Features

Liftoff!

Apr 1, 2006 By Stephen Harrigan

In this exclusive excerpt from Stephen Harrigan’s new novel, Challenger Park, a female astronaut confronts mommy-track issues on the way to outer space.

Tree Ring Circus

Apr 1, 2006 By S. C. Gwynne

Why did the feds spend seventeen years pursuing a baseless billion-dollar lawsuit against Houston financier Charles Hurwitz? To help environmentalists take away his old-growth California redwoods. Your tax dollars at work.

Gone in 15 Minutes

Apr 1, 2006 By Katy Vine

How the fire to end all fires obliterated Ringgold—and how residents of the tiny North Texas town are putting their lives back together.

75 Things We Love About Texas

Apr 1, 2006 By Texas Monthly

Including: the sopa azteca at El Mirador, in San Antonio; the spring-fed pool at Balmorhea State Park; the humidity; elbow room; free advice at White Rock Lake, in Dallas; county courthouses; boots-and- jeans-clad Academy Award–winner Larry McMurtry; and—seriously— quail hunting.

“Beldades” Of the Ball

Jan 20, 2013 By Pamela Colloff

Every February, on the weekend of Presidents’ Day, the daughters of Laredo’s most prominent families are presented to society in dresses that cost $20,000 or more at a colonial pageant that is the party of the year.

Reporter

Pete Laney

Apr 1, 2006 By Evan Smith

“There are a lot more people in the Democratic party who do what the Good Book says: Take care of the poor and the afflicted and the downtrodden.”

Hurts to Purr

Apr 1, 2006 By Jeff McCord

» BREAKUP WATCH: Hurts to Purr After three years and the recent release of its eponymously titled full-length debut (self-released; available through cdbaby.com), this Austin band is calling it quits. It’s a shame, as these relative newcomers have made an album so confident and assuredly cool that it…

Red Garland Trio at the Prelude

Apr 1, 2006 By Jeff McCord

For reluctant pianist RED GARLAND (he had really wanted to be a boxer), there was only one question: Was there life after Miles Davis? Garland, who was also leading his own sessions, had just finished four years in the mercurial trumpeter’s employ when he recorded his live At the Prelude.

You Don’t Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker

Apr 1, 2006 By Jeff McCord

I know what you’re thinking. You need a new WILLIE NELSON CD like Mack Brown needs a $400,000 raise. Well …… maybe. Don’t imagine another Red Headed Stranger, but YOU DON’T KNOW ME: THE SONGS OF CINDY WALKER (Lost Highway) does have a sound concept in mind. Though it seems…

Margaret Brown

Apr 1, 2006 By Jeff McCord

Austin director Margaret Brown, 34, has just seen her acclaimed film about legendary songwriter Townes Van Zandt, Be Here to Love Me, released on DVD. Was there a specific moment that sold you on making this film? The music struck me first. When I first heard the song…

Demon Theory

Apr 1, 2006 By Mike Shea

DEMON THEORY, we’re told at the outset, is STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES’s “three-part novelization” of a fictitious film trilogy, adapted from a best-seller “inspired by the case notes of Dr. Neider,” as originally published in the journal P/Q, as . . . well, you get the idea. The conceit is fairly…

Challenger Park

Apr 1, 2006 By Mike Shea

Everyday life is a complicated thing, and with his finely nuanced novel CHALLENGER PARK, Austinite (and Texas Monthly contributing editor) STEPHEN HARRIGAN makes it clear that the glamour boys and girls of NASA don’t handle the slings and arrows any better than the rest of us. Case in point: Lucy…

Come Together, Fall Apart.

Apr 1, 2006 By Mike Shea

Dallas’s CRISTINA HENRIQUEZ has assembled a heart-stopping collection of stories set in Panama in her first book, COME TOGETHER, FALL APART. She hints at the nation’s poverty—overcrowded homes, ramshackle furniture—but doesn’t dwell on it, instead finding rich narratives in mundane events. Take the poignant “Ashes,” in which young Mireya is…

Susan Wittig Albert

Apr 1, 2006 By Mike Shea

As one of Texas’s most prolific writers (thirty-plus works), the author of the best-selling China Bayles mystery books is still going strong: This month’s Bleeding Hearts makes fourteen in the herbalist sleuth series. Does China Bayles still surprise you? She certainly surprised me—surprised herself too—in this book, with…

Miscellany

Design of The Times

Apr 1, 2006 By Evan Smith

ONCE UPON A TIME, MAGAZINES redesigned every few years, in response to changing tastes and the possibilities presented by evolving technology. These days, if you want to ensure that the sell-by date on your most creative impulses doesn’t pass, it makes sense to redesign more often. This month, thanks to…

Game On

Apr 1, 2006 By Texas Monthly

I read your Bud Shrake/Gary Cartwright article while on a plane from Austin to Los Angeles (poignant in itself), and it literally brought tears to my eyes [“Perfect 10,” February 2006]. It not only took me back to that stellar night of January 4 but to the several nights…

Around the State

Apr 1, 2006 By Texas Monthly

Jordan’s Pick The Blanton Austin IT’S REALLY GOING TO HAPPEN this time. On April 29 the Blanton Museum of Art at last unveils its new home, the Mari and James A. Michener Gallery, at the University of Texas. After nearly three decades of planning, a wealth of soap-opera moments,…

Web

Happy Trails

Apr 1, 2006 By K.K. Young

A few miles into Junction, we hit our destination: South Llano River State Park, a true embodiment of the great outdoors.

Dolce Vita

Apr 1, 2006 By Patricia Sharpe

IT WAS RIGHT about the time I was tearing into the second hunk of homemade Italian sausage, while simultaneously reaching for the pizza and passing the Gorgonzola, that it hit me: I love Dolce Vita because it’s a shut-up-and-eat kind of place. Yes, it’s owned by Marco Wiles,…

Star Writer

Apr 1, 2006 By Brian D. Sweany

Contributing editor Stephen Harrigan talks about his new book, Challenger Park, which was excerpted in this month’s issue.

Texas Tidbits

Apr 1, 2006 By Katie O'Reilly

Washington’s Birthday Celebration has become a Laredo institution, its traditions embedded in the fabric of the community.

Texas History 101

Apr 1, 2006 By Katie O'Reilly

Under the Bracero Program (1942–1964), farm hands were taken from poor rural communities in Mexico and brought to fields in the U.S., where they picked fruit and cotton until their contracts expired and they were forced back across the border.

Into the Fire

Apr 1, 2006 By Patricia McConnico

Senior editor Katy Vine, who wrote this month’s story about the blaze that destroyed the North Texas town of Ringgold, talks about fire analysis, devastation, and rebuilding.

Columns

The Beat Goes On

Apr 1, 2006 By Gary Cartwright

Coronary artery disease is an old and much-hated enemy of mine. The beast attacked me without warning in 1988 as I strolled with my Airedales along Austin’s Shoal Creek hike-and-bike trail. Last November—sacre bleu!—it got me again.

Buy, Buy, Birdie

Apr 1, 2006 By Sarah Bird

Ladies’ fashion is nothing if not a fantasy inside an illusion wrapped in a thong. Every season, there is a new “look,” a new “trend,” a new “paranoid schizophrenic thought disorder.” And then there are returns.

North Toward Home

Apr 1, 2006 By Michael Ennis

As surprising as our immigrant-friendliness may be to many, it speaks to who we are. To be a Texan is to inhabit a vast bicultural frontera, one that extends far beyond the Rio Grande.