January 1997 Issue

On the Cover

The 1997 Bum Steer Awards

A year of absent atheists, barbecue bias, College Station Cinderellas, devilish Disney, exiting egrets, far-out fingernails, goatsucker galas, hysterical historians, indoctrinated inmates, junkie joinings, kosher konfusion, loaded lawyers, murderous martinis, naughty Nolan, outvoted orbiters, porcine psychics, quaff quarrels, rapture rifts, senile senators, tackling tarantulas, unconstitutional urine, variable vegetarians, Web site warnings, x-pired x-cursionists, yoicks! YA-HOO!, and zany zoning.


So Much to Learn, So Little Time

Today students at Southwestern Medical School in Dallas are expected to master more hard-core science than ever before. Yet after graduation, they’ll have to keep studying, and be counselors and business experts too. A hard look at the way we teach our doctors—and why it has had to change.

Write Lite

ANNA MEAGAN: THE AGGIE CINDERELLA STORY, by Cindy King Boettcher, published by Beraam Publishing Company, $16.95. The familiar fairy tale is retold incorporating the myths and traditions of Aggieland. The heroine is a coed studying to be a teacher; her harassers are not step-sisters but messy dorm mates; the Aggie

Fee Spree

JUSTICE IS BLIND. LAWYERS ARE NOTA team of lawyers led by John Cracken of Dallas sued Allstate and Farmers insurance companies over their method of rounding up the cost of automobile insurance premiums. The proposed settlement gives the lawyers $10 million while policyholders are entitled to apply for a refund

The Bum Steer Calendar

JANUARY Anna Nicole Smith The widow of oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II, tied up in a court battle over Marshall’s $500 million estate and owing an $850,000 judgment in a lawsuit that accused her of sexual harassment, files for bankruptcy. FEBRUARY Phil Gramm On February

The Awards

He Lost a Stroke Too Scott Browning of Houston was awarded $16,500 in damages from the Men’s Club in Houston after an exotic dancer who was assigned to be his “designated caddy” and cart driver during a golf tournament at the club became inebriated during the event and overturned the

The Honeymoon Is Over

In the last legislative session, George W. Bush’s moderate program won over Bob Bullock, Pete Laney, and other top Democrats. But this time, Bush’s agenda is more partisan, and Republicans are measuring his presidential potential—so Texas politics is going to get ugly.

Down on the Drag

Panhandling, digging through dumpsters for food, roaming the streets near the University of Texas campus: This is the life of Austin’s “gutter punks,” homeless kids with little money and even less hope.

Gift Shrift

“DOUBLE BUBBLE TROUBLE,” by Crooks and Gumm, CD-shaped bubble gum from Zeeb Enterprises in Fort Worth, available at Target and Wal-Mart stores for 99 cents; newest release: “Rebubble Smackentire.”SKIN PRO-TEC LOTION, offering protection from such afflictions as fire ant bites and the AIDS virus, marketed by acquitted capital murder suspect

Meal Deal

APPETIZER:Western Bar-B-Q sushi. Barbecued eel with shiitake mushrooms, cucumber, avocado, and sesame seeds, served at the Texas Rock and Roll Sushi Bar at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Waikiki, for $2.25 per piece.SALAD:Sweet Pea Guacamole. Recipe using frozen peas instead of avocado, excerpted by the Austin American-Statesman from The $5 Chef,


Testy Mail

IN NOVEMBER WE PUBLISHED A RANKING of 3,172 public grade schools in Texas, giving each school one of five grades, from four stars (the best) to no stars (the worst). This article provoked an unusual amount of mail. Some of the letters were barely restrained victory whoops from people connected

Cancer Patience

To perfect a promising new gene therapy, doctors at Houston’s M. D. Anderson need time. Unfortunately, that’s one thing people with malignant brain tumors don’t have.

What a Hall!

Rock, don’t run, to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, where Texas greats from T-Bone Walker to Sly Stone get their due.


Disc Golf

Feeling a little subpar? Stuck in a mental bunker? The Ben Crenshaw Golf Screen Saver (ProTour Productions, $19.95) will drive away the blues. This lively program contains more than 25 images of important moments in Crenshaw�s life that pop up on your computer whenever it is idle; select your favorite

Trinh Pham

Why hire an architect, an interior designer, a graphic designer, and an image consultant when one person can do the whole job? That’s the idea 29-year-old Trinh Pham has been building on since she earned an architecture degree from the University of Houston in 1991. Her first big job had

Stephen Herek

I went to the University of Texas at Austin to play baseball. In high school I wanted to be a pro baseball player, and I never really thought about movies outside of taking dates to them and stuff like that. And when I tried to walk on to the UT

CD and Book Reviews

Hot CDsIn the sixties, Mayo Thompson’s The Red Krayola was a Houston psychedelic band with a writer—Frederick Barthelme—for a drummer. Thirty years later, the amorphous experimental outfit has a new lineup that makes music with the help of such guests as Minutemen alumnus George Hurley, but time has not tarnished

War Stories

Mexico’s recent political unrest is the subject of a new CD-ROM from the University of Texas at Austin’s Advanced Communications Technology Laboratory, or ACTlab. The Revolution Will Be Digitized uses video, animation, art, and music to dress up an academic analysis of the Zapatista rebel movement. Due out this spring,


Salmon With Saffron Potatoes

Recipe from chef and owner Louise Lamensdorf, Bistro Louise, Fort Worth.Grilled Salmon4 teaspoons coarse sea salt 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons black pepper 1 cup fresh mint, chopped 4 six-ounce salmon filetsMix first 4 ingredients, rub on salmon, and marinate 2 to 24 hours. Grill (or sauté) filets for 3


Bum Rap

In 1989, after reading Texas Monthly’s annual Bum Steer Awards, Fort Worth resident Kevin Neal thought something was missing—namely, Fort Worth. Anxious to see his hometown razzed, the journalist started clipping stories from various periodicals, saving them “in a junk drawer,” and sending them to the Texas Monthly office; every

School Spirit

THANK YOU FOR LETTING ALL OF TEXAS know what I’ve known for years—that Roy Guess Elementary in Beaumont is a four-star school [“Our Best Schools,” November 1996]. I’ve been happy with our son’s educational environment at Guess, from the teachers and other staff to the building itself. Note that

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