July 2009


2009: The Best and Worst Legislators

Jun 30, 2009 By Paul Burka and Patricia Hart

It was a new era at the Capitol, with a new Speaker and a new mood of peace, love, and bipartisanship in the war-torn House. But the eighty-first legislative session turned out to be a lot like the eighty that came before it—some heroes, some villains, and enough hot air to last until 2011.

Oral History
Walking on the Moon

Jul 20, 2009 By Katy Vine

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made history as the first humans to set foot on the surface of the moon. Forty years later, the researchers, astronauts, engineers, scientists, and NASA officials who made the voyage possible remember the day the Eagle landed.

sangria san antonio
That’s the Spirit

Jan 20, 2013 By Jordan Breal

Not that you’re looking for an excuse, but these five original cocktails concocted by Texas bartenders using local liquors are a thoroughly acceptable reason to pour yourself a drink. Or three.

Ted or Alive

Jan 21, 2013 By John Spong

In the late seventies, Ted Nugent (a.k.a. “the Nuge” or “Uncle Ted”) had the country’s biggest hard-rock touring act—a wild-ass blend of in-your-face energy, obscene language, and a well-placed loincloth. Now he’s the country’s biggest gun rights advocate—and all that’s changed is the loincloth.

The Best and Worst Legislators 2009

Jul 3, 2013 By Natalie Harms

The Eighty-First Legislature was like Seinfeld: a show about nothing. It was dominated by an event that was a year away, the looming 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary battle between Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison, and by issues that were political rather than substantive, none more so than the session-long battle…


Artist Interview
Rhett Miller

Jun 30, 2009 By Jeff McCord

The Austin-born, Dallas-raised lead singer for the Old 97’s has led a fruitful double life as a solo artist with the albums Mythologies (1989), The Instigator (2002), and The Believer (2006). He has just released his fourth album, Rhett Miller (Shout! Factory). You actually began as a solo artist, making…

Music Review
Beautiful Day

Jun 30, 2009 By Texas Monthly

From his public sparring with the Nashville establishment to his marriage to (and subsequent divorce from) Dixie Chick Emily Erwin, Charlie Robison has often attracted more attention for his personal life than his music. Which is a shame, because the Bandera-raised singer is a sharp, natural talent with an…

Music Review
Coconut Rock

Jun 30, 2009 By Texas Monthly

As pseudo-realist dub/funk/Afrobeat/hip-hop/Latin ensembles go, it’s tough to beat Ocote Soul Sounds and Adrian Quesada. Okay, so they’re unique—but as a spin-off of two genre-bending bands, you’d expect nothing less. Ocote Soul Sounds is a pseudonym for Martín Perna, the founder and saxophonist of NYC’s Antibalas, the dozen-member group…

Music Review
Song Up in Her Head

Jun 30, 2009 By Texas Monthly

How did you celebrate your high school graduation? Wimberley’s Sarah Jarosz marked the occasion with a debut album, Song Up in Her Head (Sugar Hill). The eighteen-year-old overachiever has been well-known regionally for years, appearing at numerous festivals and even with the Austin Symphony. Yet unlike a lot…

How to Pack a Cooler Tube

Jun 30, 2009 By Andrea Valdez

Some things never change, like the irrepressible desire to float a Hill Country river on a 100-degree day—with, most naturally, a cooler of beer. And while the basic art of loading one’s booze boat also remains the same (use a separate inner tube with a bottom, pump it with extra…

Susie Q., Mystery Shopper

Jun 30, 2009 By Texas Monthly

Susie Q. (not her real name) has been reviewing hotels, restaurants, and retailers anonymously for about six years. She works for several market research companies, such as Sinclair Customer Metrics, to whom she reports her findings after posing as an everyday customer and testing out products and services. She has…

Julián Castro

Jun 30, 2009 By Evan Smith

“The great cities of the world are not defined by one or two ethnicities, religions, or backgrounds. It must be that way for San Antonio as well.”

Author Interview
David Liss

Jun 30, 2009 By Mike Shea

The San Antonio author has exhibited an impressive sense of worldliness with his literary mysteries, the settings of which range from seventeenth-century Amsterdam to twentieth-century Florida. The Devil’s Company, his sixth novel, returns to eighteenth-century London, where pugilist-turned-PI Benjamin Weaver—who first appeared in A Conspiracy of Paper and later…

Book Review
The Crack in the Lens

Jun 30, 2009 By Mike Shea

It took four novels for Steve Hockensmith to steer his sleuthing ranch hand brothers, Gustav “Old Red” and Otto “Big Red” Amlingmeyer, to Texas, but the budding town of San Marcos circa 1893 proves a fine fit for The Crack in the Lens and its unpretentious brand of…

Book Review
Vanilla Ride

Jan 21, 2013 By Mike Shea

There’s no more-welcome sign of the summer reading season than Joe R. Lansdale’s Vanilla Ride, featuring the troublemaking and problem-solving escapades of Hap Collins and Leonard Pine. The unlikely pair of crime fighters (Hap is a white, determinedly heterosexual, underemployed construction worker; Leonard is a black, loudly queer,…


Web Exclusive
Unhealthy Living

Jun 30, 2009 By Pamela Colloff

Texas school districts will no longer be required to offer health classes—and that’s just sick.

The French Way

Jun 30, 2009 By kirstensalyer

To a bystander, the French red, white, and blue covering the lawn of the historic French Legation Museum might seem as if a confused group of Austinites was celebrating the Fourth of July a week too late. But when night falls, the scene turns into an outdoor Parisian café nestled into the heart of Texas.

Web Exclusive
Searching for Truth

Jun 30, 2009 By Michael Hall

Investigators and social workers in the Mineola Swingers Club cases have admitted that there was plenty of evidence that never made it into the first three trials that resulted in three life sentences. Will it make a difference?

Web Exclusive
Going Gruene

Jun 30, 2009 By mollywahlberg

This Hill Country spot has a little something for everyone, from the oldest dancehall in Texas to specialty shops to two rivers perfect for tubing. 

Web Exclusive
This Film Is Not Yet Rated

Jun 30, 2009 By Katy Vine

Bob Hudgins, director of the Texas Film Commission, talks to Katy Vine about the “Waco” controversy, tax incentives, and how to get your movie made in Texas.

Web Exclusive
Sweater Weather

Jun 30, 2009 By Eileen Smith

Yes, it’s summer in Texas. It’s the summer to end all summers (please, God), with record-breaking heat, triple-digit temperatures, and the uncontrollable urge to sit in your freezer, atop the Häagen-Dazs bars.

Web Exclusive
Angel Heart

Jun 30, 2009 By Christopher Kelly

Before her death, Farrah Fawcett achieved what had long eluded her: three-dimensionality.

Web Exclusive
And That’s The Way It Is

Jun 30, 2009 By Evan Smith

Twice I had the honor—that’s what it was—of interviewing Walter Cronkite. The first time was in September 2003, in the restaurant at the Regency Hotel, in New York, where Mr. Cronkite met me for breakfast and an extended talk about the state of journalism. He was clearly hobbled by various…

The Trinity River Project

Jan 20, 2013 By Texas Monthly

1 1/2 ounces Cadenhead’s Old Raj Dry Gin 1/2 ounce Paula’s Texas Lemon 1/4 ounce Pagès Parfait Amour Crème de Violette liberal splash of Fever-Tree Bitter Lemon Luxardo maraschino cherries (garnish) lemon peel, long and twisted (garnish) edible orchid (garnish, optional) Combine gin, Paula’s…

Alamo Fizz

Jan 20, 2013 By Texas Monthly

3/4 ounce homemade rosemary syrup 5 sprigs of fresh rosemary (for syrup and garnish) 2 ounces Treaty Oak Platinum Rum 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice 1 egg white To make rosemary syrup: Combine one part sugar and one part…

2900 Sangria

Jan 20, 2013 By Texas Monthly

2900 Sangria Photograph by Adam Voorhes 1 navel orange wedge, peeled 1 half-inch slice fresh pineapple 3 fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced in half 3 red seedless grapes 1 slice Red Delicious apple 1 ounce Paula’s Texas Lemon 1 ounce…

Sweet Texas Heat

Jan 20, 2013 By Texas Monthly

2 ounces jalapeño-infused Republic Silver Tequila 3 jalapeños (for tequila and garnish) 1/3 kiwi, peeled 6 fresh mint leaves 3/4 ounce ginger syrup (such as the Ginger People) 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice 1 ounce 7UP To infuse the tequila: Slice 2 large…

Web Exclusive
Cool Cocktails

Jan 20, 2013 By Jordan Breal

A few of the state’s best mixologists share their secrets to making delicious drinks.

Basil Julep

Jan 20, 2013 By Texas Monthly

Recipe Courtesy of Tyler Treharne, 2900 Restaurant, El Paso Being an avid gardener myself, I like to utilize the fruits of my labor in every culinary experience, and drinks should be no exception. Basil is a nice herb that is easy to grow, and most of all, loves the West…

Cucumber Mintini

Jan 20, 2013 By Texas Monthly

1/4 cucumber 5 fresh mint leaves, plus 1 sprig for garnish 2 lime wedges 2 sugar cubes 2 ounces simple syrup (one part sugar dissolved in one part water) splash of fresh lime juice 1 1/2 ounces Tito’s Handmade Vodka splash of…


Editor's Letter
Mad Libs

Jun 30, 2009 By Jake Silverstein

One of the notable characteristics of this magazine is that it manages to inspire an equal amount of criticism from all parts of the political spectrum (this will come as a surprise, of course, to all parts of the political spectrum). Since our subject matter is a state, and…

Roar of the Crowd
Think Again

Jun 30, 2009 By Texas Monthly

I can only assume that your editors carefully discussed the merits of placing Joel Osteen on the cover. And I can only deduce that they decided that the benefits (presumably in terms of the appeal to his religious constituency) outweighed the costs. One question they might not have considered, or…


Behind the Lines
Failing Darla

Jun 30, 2009 By Mimi Swartz

It’s time for Texas to start taking better care of people like Darla Deese, a developmentally disabled woman who has spent most of her life in our harrowing state schools.

Letter From Refugio
Sleeping Booty

Jun 30, 2009 By Skip Hollandsworth

Has an out-of-work Los Angeles musician discovered a sunken Spanish treasure worth hundreds of millions of dollars in a lake near Refugio? Maybe!

Douglas Brinkley
Theodore Tex

Jun 30, 2009 By Douglas Brinkley

Teddy Roosevelt acquired a number of skills during his time in Texas, but the most important may have been the ability to brag.