December 2008 Issue

On the Cover

The 40 Best Small-Town Cafes

Our exhaustive, exhausting, strictly scientific (and lamentably fattening) survey of the finest home cooking around, from Maxine’s on Main, in Bastrop, to El Paraiso, in Zapata.



He Saw the Light

Wyman Meinzer takes the most amazing pictures of Texas skies you’ve ever seen. Here are seven unforgettable shots from his new book.


The Fugitive

Friends and family knew Deborah Murphey as a mild-mannered nurse and a loving wife and mother. Then a U.S. marshal knocked on her door.


Before and After

For some residents of Mount Pleasant, the April 16 immigration raid on the local chicken plant was no more than a segment on the evening news. For others, including many legal residents of the tiny East Texas town, it was the moment everything changed.


19 Honorable Mentions

Angleton | pop. 18,640 Hometown Cafe Catfish dredged in just the right amount of cornmeal served on tables fashioned from tire-tread-embossed sheet metal. 979-849-2809Center Point | pop. 3,766 Vicki’s Burger Barn Be sure to say hi to Vicki, who started off as a waitress and now


The Regulars

  ANN DICKENSON, 61 TEACHER’S AIDE Eats at: Donald Citrano’s Coffee Shop Cafe, McGregor“We go to the Coffee Shop Cafe every Friday and Saturday night. They always reserve a table for us, so we call if we’re not coming. It’s always the same table—the round one in


Anthony Mack, Letter Carrier

Mack was born and raised in Galveston, where he has been a U.S. Postal Service employee for 28 years. As the local union president, he helped coordinate letter carriers’ efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.To be honest with you, I never believed in my wildest dreams that I’d be

Jeff  Guinn

At 735 pages, The Christmas Chronicles might inspire a deeply felt ho-ho-ho-hum from the Santa-averse. But don’t shun these three newly compiled “as told to” Yule novels from the Fort Worth author (The Autobiography of Santa Claus, How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas, and The Great Santa Search). With their

Book Review

Mission: Black List #1

Before his 2003 deployment to Iraq, Army staff sergeant and San Antonio resident Eric Maddox was a military interrogator with virtually no field experience in his area of expertise. Mission: Black List #1, written with Davin Seay, tells the story of his on-the-job training in Tikrit, where

Book Review

The Messenger

Ghosts, cemetery dogs, and immortals populate The Messenger, a supernatural thriller from mystery writer Jan Burke, a Houston native best known for her award-winning series starring flesh-and-blood reporter Irene Kelly. The Messenger features Tyler Hawthorne, whose 2008 Los Angeles mailing address belies his 1815 service as a

Music Review

Hommage á Nesuhi

In 1955 Nesuhi Ertegun joined his brother, Ahmet, and producer Jerry Wexler at Atlantic Records to form one of the greatest triumvirates the music business has ever seen. Ahmet and Wexler were already known for their R&B successes; Nesuhi was brought on to give jazz a real foothold at

Music Review

The Soul of Rock and Roll

The Soul of Rock and Roll (Monument/Orbison/Legacy) marks the first comprehensive collection of Roy Orbison’s career, and hearing the Vernon native’s work in sequence over four CDs is eye-opening. His operatic High Plains voice shines through the early bare-bones, amphetamine-paced sessions with Norman Petty and Sam Phillips.

Mark Seliger

“I always approach it as if I’m going to take the picture and, for whatever reason, that’s it. There won’t be another chance.”


Editor's Letter

In With the New

Let me say a few words about the modern world, the last on the subject—or any subject—that I expect to be writing in this space in the foreseeable future.For nearly 36 years, the editor of Texas Monthly had one job. Our founding editor, Bill Broyles, presided over the publication of

Roar of the Crowd

Dazed and Confused

I know it’s easy to get wrapped up in Matthew McConaughey’s dreamy eyes and pearly whites, but another cover story for this guy [“Dude!” October 2008]? What did he do this time, make another bad movie? Look, as a fellow Texan on the West Coast, I appreciate his


Letter From Austin

The Unusual Suspects

The arson of the Governor’s Mansion in June was as mystifying as it was heartbreaking. Could Austin anarchists have been to blame?

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