August 1992 Issue



A System Gone Bad

Kenneth McDuff is just one among hundreds of violent criminals who never should have been paroled—but they were.


Masquerader of The Lost Ark

Who came first—Indiana Jones of Hollywood or Vendyl Jones of Arlington, the archaeologist who has spent years trying to dig up the fabled Ark of the Covenant?…


Free to Kill

Once, the State of Texas was going to put Kenneth McDuff to death as payment for his crimes. Instead, it set him free to murder again.



Rodeo Reliquary, 1991

After a visit abroad in 1987, Sean Earley transformed his art. He returned steeped in Italy’s ubiquitous religious imagery, eager to paint the icons of his home state’s country and western myths (see “Earley Texas,” TM, December 1990). In this memorial scene, the Rodeo Queen presides over ascending contestants. Set…

Roar of the Crowd

People’s Choice?

I WISH TO THANK PAUL BURKA for his enlightening article “Perot in ’92?” [TM, June 1992]. Mr. Perot may capture enough votes to throw a monkey wrench into the political machine, thereby requiring an overhaul in both parties, but I doubt that too many informed voters will take…

State Fare

State Fare

Treebeards does lunch. Not the hasty post-modern “Let’s do lunch” but the leisurely traditional “Will you join me for lunch?” Inside the flagship Market Square location (315 Travis) in Houston, ceiling fans waft a breeze across baskets of fresh produce while customers queue up to peruse the possibilities: shrimp étouffée,…


A Goode Idea

How the owner of Goode Company in Houston took the three basic Texas food groups—barbecue, Tex-Mex, and burgers—and built an empire.

Behind the Lines

Threat or Menace?

Ross Perot is a candidate for president because a lot of people want him to be. He has acted in a very clever, innovative way to arouse and build that support, but the support truly did arise and grow. That means that Perot’s campaign is a pure expression of democracy.


Sibling Revelry

Austin film-maker Robert Rodriguez has joined the growing list of up-and-coming minority directors.



The Puffy Taco

HIS HEAD IS A TOMATO CHUNK. HIS tortilla shell is surprisingly furry. His feet look like jalapeño peppers. And when kids tackle him during the sixth-inning footrace at the San Antonio Missions’ home games at V. J. Keefe Field, they sometimes send his shredded lettuce and grated cheese flying. What’s…



Cajun Gumbo

Chicken-and-Sausage Gumbo 2/3 cup vegetable oil 2/3 cup flour 2 cups each chopped white onion and bell pepper 1 1⁄2 cups chopped celery 1/2 teaspoon each salt, red pepper, black pepper, and garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon each filé powder, poultry seasoning, and beef base (or…


Jalapeño Cornbread

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup vegetable oil 5 cups grated cheddar cheese (about 1 pound) 5 cups yellow cornmeal 1 1/2 cups creamed corn 1/2 cup chopped white onion 1/3 cup sliced jalapeño peppers 6 tablespoons sugar…

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