January 2009 Issue

Features

Feature

Children of the Storm

After Hurricane Katrina, Rhonda Tavey selflessly opened her Houston home to a New Orleans evacuee and five of her children. She fed the kids, bathed them, and grew to love them so much that when their mother tried to take them back to Louisiana, she wouldn’t let them go.

Feature

Holding Garmsir

Fighting the Taliban, the 130-degree heat, the boredom, the homesickness, and the weight of history with the Marines of Mustang Platoon in Afghanistan.

Feature

The 2009 Bum Steer Awards

It was a year of abbreviated Aggies, bamboozling boxers, charged Cuban, dumb district attorneys, estrogen-packed elevators, famished firemen, graveyard ganja, half-wit husbands, imaginary illegal immigrants, Jessica jests, koncert kayos, lawn-watering Lance, muddled Moron, next-of-kin-offending newspapers, oblivious operators, pornographic prom dresses, questionable quiz takers, repulsive Roger, stolen shih tzus, tasteless team…

Web

Web Exclusive

Legalize It?

The El Paso City Council may override the mayor’s veto to create a debate on the current U.S. drug policies. In these interviews, the mayor, council members, and others explain their views.

Recipe

Roasted Sea Bass

6 eight-ounce sea bass filets salt and pepper to taste flour as needed 6 tablespoons olive oil 3 tablespoons scallions, sliced 3 tablespoons garlic, sliced 3 ounces white wine 3 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons lemon juice 3 ounces fish stock Season…

Recipe

Rotisserie Roasted Chicken Flatbread

1 pizza shell, free form about 7 inches (see recipe below) 2 to 3 ounces basil pesto (see recipe below) 2 tablespoons green chiles, roasted, peeled, and seeded 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced 3 ounces rotisserie roasted chicken, pulled 2 tablespoons Pepper Jack cheese, shredded…

Web Exclusive

The Science of Murder

Someone killed Melissa Trotter and dumped her body in the Sam Houston National Forest. But according to six forensic experts, that someone was not Larry Swearingen.

Web Exclusive

Robb Walsh

Sex, Death & Oysters: A Half-Shell Lover’s World Tour captures the Houston food writer at his best, offering culinary insight, scientific fact, and offbeat humor as he travels the globe in search of the truth about oysters (including their alleged resemblance to the female anatomy and occasional fatal effects). His…

Erika Wennerstrom

The 31-year-old leader of the Ohio-based band the Heartless Bastards—which earned critical praise for the albums Stairs and Elevators and All This Time and toured with Wilco and Lucinda Williams—disbanded her three-member group and relocated to Austin in 2007. The vocalist and guitarist has now assembled a new lineup (bassist…

Recipe

Bar Steak Sandwich

Blue Cheese and Garlic Mayo 4 garlic cloves, roasted (see For Roasted Garlic recipe below) 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese 1/2 cup mayonnaise fresh lemon juice to taste kosher salt to taste For Roasted Garlic Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel 4 cloves of fresh garlic.

Reporter

Chad Jistel, Locomotive Engineer

Jistel was born and raised in Austin and has worked for Union Pacific Railroad for fifteen years. He lives in Austin but commutes to depots in San Antonio and Taylor, where he runs freight trains to cities across the state. I grew up going to the depot in Giddings with…

Erika Wennerstrom

The 31-year-old leader of the Ohio-based band the Heartless Bastards—which earned critical praise for the albums Stairs and Elevators< and All This Time and toured with Wilco and Lucinda Williams—disbanded her three-member group and relocated to Austin in 2007. The vocalist and guitarist has now assembled a new lineup (bassist…

Music Review

Matter and Light

Everywhere in indie rock, from the hushed voice of Dripping Springs’ Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) to the arranged pop of Denton’s Robert Gomez, or even beyond our borders to Midwest wunderkind Sufjan Stevens, it has become cool to turn it down. There have always been practitioners of what was…

Music Review

Haymaker!

Their country roots music is as welcoming as a pair of old slippers, but on closer inspection, you find the slippers are full of boiled squash. If that imagery is strange, it’s at least in keeping with the Gourds, who have spent the past fifteen years mining such weird…

Music Review

Seasoned Wood

In jazz, those lacking a distinctive style can often go unnoticed. Dallas-born Cedar Walton is neither a barrelhouse-blues roller nor an edgy avant-gardist, but the pianist-composer, who turns 75 this month, possesses workmanlike skills and an innate musicality that has never dimmed. If that sounds, well, boring, his evolution…

Robb Walsh

Sex, Death & Oysters: A Half-Shell Lover’s World Tour captures the Houston food writer at his best, offering culinary insight, scientific fact, and offbeat humor as he travels the globe in search of the truth about oysters (including their alleged resemblance to the female anatomy and occasional fatal effects). His…

Book Review

We Agreed to Meet Just Here

A sense of imminent and unskirtable dread hangs like woodsmoke over Texas native Scott Blackwood’s finely wrought first novel, We Agreed to Meet Just Here. Not for the chronically depressed, it is a downbeat parable about life in a middle-class Austin whose residents were born under the proverbial…

Sheila Jackson Lee

“When his political people run the numbers, they see a different Texas, an emerging Texas. One that includes some of our more-conservative elements—God bless them, I respect them—but younger Texans as well. A Texas that is looking for change.”…

How to Rope a Calf

The Rationale Ask a ranch hand how to tell if someone’s a good cowboy and he’ll say the proof is in his lassoing. The rope has always been “the long arm of the cowboy,” writes Midland native John R. Erickson in Catch Rope. Though roping began on the ranch as…

Book Review

The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes

They were dubbed Texas’s Big Four for the long shadows they cast across the oil business. And Bryan Burrough, in his eminently readable biography The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes, cuts through the not-entirely-false oilman stereotypes to tell us exactly how…

Columns

Michael Ennis

The New New Deal

What University of Texas historian H. W. Brands’s new biography of Franklin Roosevelt tells us about the Obama administration.

Behind the Lines

Emergency!

Why are the UT regents letting Galveston’s only hospital die?…

Miscellany

Roar of the Crowd

Texas Vexes

Your story concerning Longhorn athletics really brought back memories [“Come Early. Be Loud. Cash In,” November 2008]. I remembered how my wife and I struggled for eight years to put our two children through the University of Texas, scrimping and practicing the frugality learned in our careers as educators…

Editor's Letter

The E Decade

With this issue we begin the final year of the Aughts, also known as the Two Thousands, the Zeros, the Naughts, the Ohs, the Oh-ohs, or, as seems recently to be the case, the Oh-nos. Before long we’ll be heading into the Tweens, trying to make sense of the…

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