July 2008 Issue

On the Cover

True Grit

Once upon a time, before the pundits and the politicians hijacked it for their nefarious ends, “cowboy” wasn’t a dirty word. The lifestyle and worldview it suggested was seen as completely in line with the very finest Texas values: hard work, independence, honesty, decency, valor. For the sake of today’s generation of ranch hands and cattlemen, it’s high time we steal it back.


You’re Rick Noriega. Do You Approve This Message?

Since the Republicans took over Texas, every plausible Democratic candidate for high statewide office has been the subject of an obligatory profile in Texas Monthly. Here’s yours—only it’s a bit different. It’s a memo containing loads of free advice—the kind you can afford—on how you can beat John Cornyn.



When I enlisted in the military in 2001, I never imagined my first day of basic training would be remembered for the worst terrorist attack on American soil in history. I never imagined I’d find myself, and lose myself, in service to my country and devotion to my comrades-in-arms. And


Mimi Swartz

Tour de Farce

Only yesterday, it seems, my mother was taking me to visit colleges. A second later, here I am, enduring this rite of passage from the other side.


Music Review


After the stunning success of their 2003 self-titled release, San Angelo’s Los Lonely Boys settled in for a world-class sophomore slump. Sacred, in 2006, was formulaic and felt like a rush job; the record-buying public responded coolly. To a large degree, Forgiven (Epic) rights these wrongs: Its recaptured

Everything We Could Tell You About . . . A Happy Marriage

NAMES: Melvin and Minnie Lou Scott | AGES: 101 and 100 | HOMETOWN: Frankston | QUALIFICATIONS: Married eighty years ago on November 11, 1927 / The first of five living generations (one son, three grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren)• We married at a traveling marvel show. It was like

Kevin Hutchison, Fly-fishing Guide

Hutchison, standing, owns Hill Country Flyfishers and is the fly-fishing manager at Sportsman’s Finest, in Austin, where he has lived for twenty-plus years. He guides more than one hundred trips a year, helping clients catch a variety of bass, trout, and perch.Fly-fishing in Texas is underappreciated. When people think of

Texas Monthly Talks

Ricardo Sanchez

“Do I blame a single individual? Do I blame the nation for the mistakes we made that led us to Abu Ghraib and the abuses that occurred as a result of the actions we took? Do I blame the military or the Department of Defense for trying to contain this

Book Review

Alive in Necropolis

The real-world town of Colma, California—home to about 1,600 residents and more than two million corpses in seventeen cemeteries (motto: “It’s great to be alive in Colma”)— provides an odd but effective setting for Alive in Necropolis, the quirky debut novel from Austin resident Doug Dorst. To the

Book Review

Books: A Memoir

More than forty years into his career as an antiquarian bookseller (not to mention his other job as a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist), Larry McMurtry has paused to reflect on a life hawking secondhand tomes in Books: A Memoir. Given his accounts of the shops and bookmen who’ve succumbed

Author Interview

Sichan Siv

It took the San Antonio resident thirty years to write the memoir Golden Bones—a reasonable time, perhaps, to assess a life that includes an escape from Cambodia’s killing fields and stints as both a New York City cabbie and a deputy assistant secretary of state under George H. W. Bush.

Music Review

La Conquistadora

Cash-in reunions from chart-topping warhorses aren’t tough to predict: Few could feign surprise at, say, the Police returning to arenas for ticket prices equivalent to the average family vacation. But foreseeing a new collaboration by the members of San Antonio’s Krayolas—and their first full-length studio album in 21 years—was

Artist Interview

Kat Edmonson

The 24-year-old Austin singer created a grassroots phenomenon with her song and video “Be the Change” (written and produced with collaborator Kevin Lovejoy), which has garnered radio and television play, become a top local seller, and received more than 60,000 hits on YouTube. “Be The Change” YouTube video.

Music Review

Pinetop Perkins and Friends

Over the years, the ancestral line of prewar American bluesmen has just about vanished. Mississippi-born pianist Pinetop Perkins, who relocated to Austin in 2004, is one of the few survivors. A sideman for the majority of his career—most famously with Muddy Waters—Perkins turns 95 this month. Though much has

How to Customize a Cowboy Hat

The MaterialA cowboy hat is a beloved possession: It fans fires, it blocks the rain, it gives shade—and it lends authenticity at any honky-tonk or greased-pig contest. But it’s also an extension of one’s personality, so commissioning one takes serious thought (and serious dough: from $300 to $1,500). The first



Braised Rabbit with Port and Mushrooms

Recipe courtesy of Richard Knight, James Silk, and Meagan Silk, co-owners of Feast, Houston.1 rabbit, skinned and cut into quarters 8 ounces bacon or pancetta, roughly diced 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 large white onion 3 carrots, cut into small dice 4 celery stalks, cut into small dice 1 pound


Rum-Glazed Grilled Pineapple and Banana Split

Ice Cream1 pint vanilla-bean ice cream (not slow-churned style) 1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherriesIn a mixing bowl, allow ice cream to soften slightly, then mix in maraschino cherries. Refreeze (slow-churned style does not refreeze well).Pineapple and Bananas1/2 cup spiced rum 1/2 cup dark brown sugar pinch ground cinnamon 4


Spicy Grilled Shrimp and Scallops

Spicy Grilled Shrimp and Scallops With Margarita Butter Photograph by Beth PerkinsShrimp and Scallops12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on 12 large scallops, rinsed and side muscles removed 1 tablespoon prepared chili powder (such as Fiesta, Spice Islands, or McCormick’s) 2 tablespoons olive


Grilled Sweet Potato, Chorizo, and Corn Hash

Grilled Sweet Potato, Chorizo, and Corn Hash Photograph by Beth Perkins4 medium sweet potatoes 3 ears corn, shucked 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 pound Mexican chorizo, removed from casing 1/2 cup diced red onion 1/2 cup heavy cream 3/4 cup grated Gruyère 2 tablespoons


Grilled Romaine, Endive, and Tomato Salad

Grilled Romaine, Endive, and Tomato Salad With Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette and Point Reyes Blue CheeseVinaigrette4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil 1/2 cup sherry vinegar 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black

Web Exclusive

Sichan Siv Interview

It took the San Antonio resident thirty years to write the memoir Golden Bones—a reasonable time, perhaps, to appraise a life that includes an escape from Cambodia’s killing fields and stints as both a New York City cabbie and an ambassador to the United Nations. Diplomatic to the core, Siv


Roar of the Crowd

Cover Boy

Looking at your Willie cover, I see him praying, my wife sees him stoned, and my daughter sees him reflecting on a long, well-lived life. It is truly a work of art.James JolleyOdessaTwenty-four hours after literally being stopped in my tracks by its impact, I’m still left speechless by your

Editor's Letter

The War at Home

Of the many concerns I have about the Iraq war, one of the biggest is this: The media have done an inadequate job, abetted by the Bush administration’s no-images-of-flag-draped-coffins dictate, of covering the massive loss of life, limb, and livelihood these past five-plus years. This is true all over the

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