July 2005 Issue


The Best and Worst Legislators of 2005

IMAGINE A KITTEN, VERY CURIOUS BUT EASILY FRIGHTENED: That was the Seventy-ninth Legislature. It poked around school finance, pawed at tax reform, heard loud shouts of “No!”, fled to Mama, curled up, and went to sleep. Lawmakers did a lot of exploring, learned a lot about the world, even grew

The Mildcatters

The lessons of the eighties boom have been internalized by today’s energy entrepreneurs, who seem nothing like their risk-loving forebears. They’re happy playing it safe, which is why their preferred commodity is gas, not oil.


Angie Barrett Does Not Use Butt Cream

She shares that curious fact with you for posterior’s— er, posterity’s sake. What you really need to know about the shopgirl turned shoplifter is that her rehabilitation is continuing apace atop Dallas’ social heap. And thanks to a new reality show about her life, there’s no end in sight.


Exiles on Main Street

If you were a Somali refugee arriving in San Antonio—and America—for the first time, with a family in tow and no modern life skills to speak of, what would you do? Eat chicken, shop at H-E-B, and figure out how to pay the rent.


Behind the Lines

This Blog’s Life

The Ben Franklin of McGregor.



She’s Here. She’s Queer. She’s Fired.

When the girls’ basketball coach at the only high school in Bloomburg moved in with another woman, it cost her a job and at least a few friends. But the tumult over a lesbian relationship in this tiny East Texas town wasn’t the end of the story.

Music Review

The Hustler

Dense with smoke and sweating booze from its pores, the music on JEFF KLEIN’s THE HUSTLER (One Little Indian), his third album, completely inhabits New Orleans, the city of its inception. In reaction to his previous singer- songwriter-type efforts, Austin’s Klein has traveled to the Big Easy to make an

Music Review

Weather and Water

THE GREENCARDS—so named because they’re two Australians and one Brit—got together in 2002 in Austin, where their organic acoustic pop garnered instant acclaim. Recently they deserted their adopted hometown for Music City with an eye on the big time. A good idea? If you count touring with Bob Dylan and

Music Review

For So Long

Now and then, a young artist arrives with such confidence that you wonder where he or she has been hiding. In Robyn Ludwick’s case, it was in Bandera, where she learned to play, then in the anonymity of Austin’s open-mike scene, where she cut her teeth. Admittedly, she had a

Book Review

Mission Road

San Antonian RICK RIORDAN returns the Alamo City’s most offbeat private investigator to action in MISSION ROAD (Bantam), the most fully realized of his six Tres Navarre novels to date. The road in question was the scene of multiple unsolved sexual assaults and homicides. When the cases, cold for at

Book Review

No Country for Old Men

The 1,081 citizens of Terrell County will recognize their desolate swath of Texas-Mexico borderlands as the backdrop of NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (Knopf), CORMAC MCCARTHY’s first novel since 1998’s Cities of the Plain. It’s in this harsh territory—prime country for illicit trafficking—that retired welder Llewelyn Moss stumbles across the

Book Review

Lord Vishnu’s Love Handles: A Spy Novel (Sort Of)

There is a stylistic no-man’s-land where many an alleged comic novel has crashed with a resounding thud. But Dallasite WILL CLARKE navigates the terrain with reckless abandon in his wry and inventive debut, LORD VISHNU’S LOVE HANDLES: A SPY NOVEL (SORT OF) (Simon & Schuster). Meet Travis Anderson, whose psychic


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Under the Texan Sun

Writer-at-large Jim Atkinson on protecting yourself against skin cancer, checking suspicious-looking moles, and how he researches health topics.

Pat's Pick

Liquid Assets

Cool QuaffIf any drink is identified with the Fourth of July, it’s lemonade. And the best “lemonade” in Texas comes from famously quirky Houston Mexican restaurant Irma’s. This rustic pink refresher is made from fresh fruit— just about every variety in the universe—and while owner Irma N. Galvan’s exact recipe

Pat's Pick


It’s the Sistine Chapel wallpaper on the walls and ceiling of the entry that clues you in: “Hip” Riccardi’s is not. The Dallas establishment may be new, but its heart belongs to an earlier time—when restaurants looked like dining rooms, not stage sets; when waiters didn’t try to be

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The Short List

Senior executive editor Paul Burka and writer-at-large Patricia Kilday Hart on politics and the Ten Best and Ten Worst Legislators.

Texas History 101

Texas History 101

Texas and oil—it all started when bubblin’ crude spewed out of Spindletop on January 10, 1901.

Books That Cook

Books That Cook

She’s searched through ancient manuscripts, dined at the finest restaurants in cities like Bangkok and Paris, and traveled through mountain villages in the Andes and Himalayas. She’s painted the Capsicum pepper genus, grown as many as 81 varieties of peppers at one time, and published books entitled The Pepper Trail

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Lance, a Lot

Editor Evan Smith, who sat down with Lance Armstrong (above) for this month’s cover story, talks about the six-time Tour de France winner and the secret to getting a great interview.

Web Exclusive

Out of Africa

Freelance writer Jim Lewis on the Somali Bantu refugees in San Antonio and what they think of the United States.

Web Exclusive

The Gay Place

Senior editor Pamela Colloff on the lesbian partners in Bloomburg whose relationship got them fired by the school board.


Lance Armstrong

“There are some places where it wouldn’t matter if Pope Benedict XVI was winning the Tour. They would kill him. They would say he cheats, he steals, he has sex with little boys.”

Roar of the Crowd

E-mail Bonding

“Old-timers’ Day” [May 2005] is the best thing that’s been in Texas Monthly in years. I’ve always enjoyed both Gary Cartwright and Dan Jenkins, but this was like sitting and listening to them argue and tell stories over a long lunch. Please persuade, cajole, bribe, or threaten both these

Around the State

Around the State

July—People, Places, Events, Attractions07.02.2005In the summer of 1955 a Hollywood imperial army invaded the small West Texas town of Marfa. For five weeks acclaimed filmmaker George Stevens and a huge Warner Bros. cast and crew labored on nearby drought-stricken ranchland to create Giant, the story of the lordly Benedicts—played by

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