May 2007 Issue

On the Cover

Lust in Space

The lovesick antics of diapered astronaut Lisa Nowak are some combination of funny and sad but seemingly not revealing of anything larger, until you realize that her tragic, tabloidy breakdown says everything you need to know about NASA’s many troubles.



Carlos Brown Is a Hero (No Matter What He Says)

My best friend from high school is no longer the uncool, baseball-card-collecting goofball he once was. He’s a Navy surgeon and commander, and for two horrific weeks I got to watch him calmly and bravely save lives in wartime—not just Americans’ and not just soldiers’—in one of the most dangerous

Made in America

A generation after he crossed the border to work for my family, Vicente Martinez is the foreman of a ranch in the Hill Country, not far from his kids and grandkids. And yes, they all have their papers. This is an immigration story with a happy ending.


Behind the Lines

A Bronx Tale

Ruth. Gehrig. Mantle. Jeter. Ohlendorf? All of Austin, and Texas, is waiting to see if one of the newest New York Yankees earns his ’stripes.

Abraham Verghese


The argument in favor of vitamins goes like this: “Don’t ask us why or how they work. We know. Have faith.” Well, I don’t.

Letter from San Antonio

The Good Wife

Mary Alice Cisneros loved, honored, and cherished Henry’s political career. Now it’s her turn.


Music Review

Woke on a Whaleheart

Recording for almost two decades under the name Smog, BILL CALLAHAN attracted an intensely devoted fan base as his work grew from lo-fi origins to a more orchestrated sound. Over a chugging rock beat, he juxtaposed his sad, narcissistic poeticism with a vocal range a notch above monotone, making his

Music Review

Red Dog Blues

He’s blessed with a tenor voice of extraordinary range, which often earns him comparisons to Gene Pitney or Roy Orbison. MICHAEL FRACASSO is a disciplined singer-songwriter who has flirted with pop, rock, folk, country, and blues, dragging them all into his casserole of American music. As a soft-spoken man, he’s

Music Review

From the Cradle to the Grave

For the many disparate artists working to revive the golden era of country, one thing tends to set them apart from their role models: They approach this vintage music with a hip, modern sensibility. Not DALE WATSON. Though he didn’t start recording until 1990, he seems to have a direct

Book Review

The Virgin’s Guide to Mexico

The Price clan, of Austin’s well-heeled West Lake Hills neighborhood, inhabits ERIC B. MARTIN’s third novel, THE VIRGIN’S GUIDE TO MEXICO, as a less than holy family. Truitt, a prosperous businessman, suspects his wife, Lindy, of cheating on him, primarily because he is unfaithful to her. Lindy, stylish and beautiful,

Book Review

Stormy Weather.

San Antonio’s PAULETTE JILES combines telling period detail and credible characters to evoke Depression-era Texas in her terrific second novel, STORMY WEATHER. The Stoddard women—mother Elizabeth and daughters Jeanine, Mayme, and Bea—are faced with the challenge of surviving not just the death of drinking, gambling, horse-racing breadwinner Jack but also

Author Interview

Elmer Kelton

Born on the Five Wells Ranch, in Andrews County, this consummate Texas writer has authored almost fifty books and been voted the greatest western writer of all time by his peers. Sandhills Boy: The Winding Trail of a Texas Writer is a thoughtful look back at 81 years on earth.

Artist Interview

Robert Gomez

With the worldly pop of his Brand New Towns, the singer-songwriter becomes the fifth Denton act to be signed by the British label Bella Union. The label, headed by Simon Raymonde, has found a treasure trove in the small college town, most recently with the psychedelic folk sounds of the


Books That Cook

Books That Cook

Extreme Barbecue by Dan Huntley and Lisa Grace Lednicer celebrates all those soot-streaked men and women who sweat over barbecue pits across the nation. You’ve seen them wearing sauce-smattered aprons and holding up a rack of spare ribs. Take David Klose, who in the book is dubbed the “King of


Guajillo Crusted Beef Tenderloin

With Heirloom Tomatoes, Maytag Blue Cheese, and Morel Mushroom Brandy Sauce1 six-ounce center-cut beef tenderloin 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon ground guajillo chile kosher or sea salt freshly cracked black pepper 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 to 4 morel mushrooms, rinsed, dried, and sliced into rings

Pat's Pick

Silo Elevated Cuisine

When i heard that popular San Antonio restaurant Silo was in the family way, I was excited for the mother-to-be. The modest but excellent dining room in exclusive Alamo Heights had been childless for years, while far less worthy restaurants were reproducing like hamsters. It was high time, I


Editor's Letter

A M*A*S*H Note

IN THE END, I HAD VISIONS OF HENRY BLAKE. Surely at least a few of you remember the character played by McLean Stevenson on the TV version of M*A*S*H: the lovable goofball of a lieutenant colonel who commanded the 4077th, a ragtag surgical unit doing its best to save lives

Around the State

Around the State

Jordan’s Pick Fort Worth Opera FestivalFort WorthIF YOU’RE A SIXTY-YEAR-OLD opera company, how do you (a) reinvigorate your aging self, (b) draw in new (and younger) audiences, and (c) steal a moment in the international spotlight while you’re at it? Simple: You get off the old posterior and shake things

Roar of the Crowd

Beating Around the Bush

GOOD GRIEF. EVERYONE has to be so circumspect and carefully cautious [“The Test of Time,” March 2007]. Let’s try this for W.’s legacy: worst president in the history of the United States of America.RICK SCHWERTFEGERAustinWHILE DONALD EVANS has been knocking on wood that our country has not been attacked

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