May 2008


Natural Beauties

Apr 30, 2008 By mollyglentzer

Dozens of roses—and not just yellow ones—have flourished in Texas for more than a century, planted by immigrants who cherished them as sentimental reminders of home. Here are a few of our favorites.

This Land Is His Land

Apr 30, 2008 By S. C. Gwynne

Jerry Patterson’s enemies make him out to be the Grinch who sold Christmas (Mountains, that is). Of course, he couldn’t give a &$%#.

Faith, Hope, and Chastity

Apr 30, 2008 By Katy Vine

Texas receives more federal funding for abstinence education than any other state. But is teaching kids not to have sex the same as sex education?

The Full Nelson

Jan 20, 2013 By Texas Monthly

April 30, 1933 Born in Abbott. His mother leaves six months later; his father leaves a few years after that. Willie and his older sister, Bobbie, are raised by their grandparents, Daddy and Mama. 1939 Gets his first guitar, a Sears Stella. 1942 Lands his first paying job, playing with…

Remains of the Day

Jan 20, 2013 By Gary Cartwright

The Texas State Cemetery, home to the final resting places of the celebrated and the notorious, is a walk through time, revealing all that is great, courageous, tragic, pompous, and absurd about Texas.


Artist Interview
Ed Jurdi & Gordy Quist

Apr 30, 2008 By Jeff McCord

Together with Colin Brooks, they make up the triumvirate of songwriters who front Austin’s Band of Heathens. What began as a loose collaboration of jam buddies has led to two live releases, Best New Band honors at the 2007 Austin Music Awards, and finally, a self-titled debut studio album.

Music Review
Directions to See a Ghost

Apr 30, 2008 By Jeff McCord

In case you haven’t been paying much attention, psychedelic rock is once again coming on like an acid flashback. Most new bands mining this bygone era do so with a painful degree of transparency and come off sounding silly. Not Austin’s Black Angels. This coed outfit’s 2006 debut album,…

Music Review

Apr 30, 2008 By Jeff McCord

He’s dominated the field for so long that it’s easy to forget there was a time in country music before George Strait. He has more number one singles than George Jones, Hank Williams, or Ray Price—in fact, he has more than any artist in any genre. So on album…

Music Review
One Hell of a Ride

Apr 30, 2008 By Jeff McCord

Not bad for 75 years. It would take most artists two lifetimes to catch up to the output of wildly prolific Willie Nelson, and even then it’s inconceivable that anyone would leave a greater legacy. At first glance, the aptly titled box set One Hell of a Ride…

In the Chute
A Dark Visionary

Apr 30, 2008 By Jordan Breal

Art, like politics, is polarizing by nature. Although there are plenty of universally likable artists—Monet and his water lilies come to mind—the vast majority tend to elicit diametrically opposed reactions. John Alexander is one such example: You either love his stark, emotionally charged landscapes or you hate them. You…

Book Review
The Triumph of Caesar

Apr 30, 2008 By Mike Shea

Just ten pages into The Triumph of Caesar, I had learned more Roman history from Steven Saylor than from all my high school and college professors combined. “Haruspicy was the Etruscan science of divination.” “Cato [was] leader of the opposition’s last stand against Caesar in Africa.” Indeed. In…

Book Review
Holy Moly

Apr 30, 2008 By Mike Shea

Word is that Ben Rehder might drop the curtain on his snarky Blanco County mystery series with Holy Moly, the sixth novel featuring square-jawed Johnson City game warden John Marlin. If so, the Austinite goes out on a high note with this screwball tale about “pastorpreneur” Peter Boothe,…

Author Interview
Bill Bishop

Apr 30, 2008 By Mike Shea

In The Big Sort, the Austin political blogger and Pulitzer finalist for editorial writing addresses America’s tendency to segment itself into tiny, like-minded groups (a phenomenon he calls “clustering”). How did the “big sort” notion come to be, and what does it signify? [Sociologist] Robert Cushing and I…

Abby McAfee Daigle, Wedding Planner

Apr 30, 2008 By Texas Monthly

Born and raised in Austin, Daigle has helped pour champagne, choose flowers, taste cake, and pick color schemes for more than one hundred brides. Her family owns and runs a wedding and event facility in Austin. I’ve been working at Barr Mansion since they would let me. I started when…

How to Play 42

Apr 30, 2008 By Andrea Valdez

About 120 years ago, two boys from Trapps Springs (now Garner) were caught in a forbidden pastime: playing cards. Their parents burned the offending deck and whipped the disobedient youngsters, but this led William Thomas and Walter Earl to find a loophole in the rules. “In those days Baptists considered…

Texas Monthly Talks
Margaret Spellings

Apr 30, 2008 By Evan Smith

“If someone can show me a way that we’re going to attend to the needs of kids without finding out where they are, without diagnosing the problem, I’m all ears. But it’s not possible.”


No Place Like Home

Apr 30, 2008 By Karen Olsson

Bienvenidos a Farmers Branch, the headline-worthy Dallas suburb where the biggest hard-liner on illegal immigration could soon be known as Mr. Mayor.


Web Exclusive
Bill Bishop

Apr 30, 2008 By Mike Shea

In The Big Sort, the Austin political blogger and Pulitzer finalist addresses America’s tendency to segment itself into tiny, like-minded groups (a phenomenon he calls clustering). How did the “big sort” notion come to be, and what does it signify? [Sociologist] Robert Cushing and I began exploring why…


Roar of the Crowd
Twist of Faith

Apr 30, 2008 By Texas Monthly

With so great a host of believers around Matt and Kari Baker, it is tragic that no one saw the serious pain Kari felt or tried to seek professional help for her [“The Valley of the Shadow of Death,” March 2008]. It’s also tragic that Matt and Kari’s two…

Editor's Letter
Say Hey Willie

Apr 30, 2008 By Evan Smith

To the famously short list of things that are certain in life—death and taxes—you can confidently add another: Willie Nelson sells copies of Texas Monthly. The iconic singer, golfer, actor, bus rider, weed smoker, and all-around good guy has been on our cover more times than anyone else (seven, this…