May 2012 Issue

Features

Lights, Camera, Carthage!

Nearly fifteen years after Richard Linklater and I started talking about turning a Texas Monthly story into a major motion picture, it’s finally hitting the big screen, with a little help from Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, Shirley MacLaine—and a seventy-year-old retired hairdresser from Rusk named Kay Baby Epperson.

Downward Dog

Over the past fifteen years, John Friend turned his Woodlands–based Anusara style of yoga into an internationally popular brand. Then, in the space of a few weeks, it became hopelessly twisted amid a wild series of accusations of sexual and financial improprieties.

Truth or Consequences

In 2004 Dan Rather tarnished his career forever with a much-criticized report on George W. Bush’s National Guard service. Eight years later, the story behind the story can finally be told: what CBS’s top-ranking newsman did, what the president of the United States didn’t do, and how some feuding Texas…

The Writes of Spring

Robert Caro on LBJ. Marcus Luttrell on war. Douglas Brinkley on Walter Cronkite. James Donovan on the Alamo. Steve Coll on ExxonMobil. Ben Fountain on a surreal Dallas Cowboys halftime show. Dan Rather and Sissy Spacek on themselves. For some reason, May has turned out to be a month like…

Reporter

Street Smarts

Grapevine

1. 
Grapevine Vintage Railroad Nestled among the shops and restaurants along Main Street are several landmarks, including an eight-by-ten-foot 1909 calaboose and the 1888 Cotton Belt Depot, which houses the Grapevine Historical Museum. From there you can board Victorian-style passenger cars pulled by a 1953 diesel named Vinny for a…

Art

Tejano Monument, Austin

The figures in the Tejano Monument, a 275-ton granite-and-bronze statue unveiled on the Capitol grounds in late March, depict the forging of modern Texas. A Spanish explorer gazes over a new world, his clothing and sword placing him in the early 1500’s, when Alonso Álvarez de Pineda became the first…

Bill Collings, Luthier

Collings makes some of the best acoustic guitars in the world and counts Lyle Lovett, Pete Townshend, Keith Richards, and Joni Mitchell among his customers. His company, located outside Austin on U.S. 290, is famed not only for the high quality of its instruments but also for its refusal to…

Book Review

Exxposé

What lies beneath the hood of ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil company?…

Miscellany

Editor's Letter

Primal Screen

Here is a partial list of the nice people Skip Hollandsworth has written about since he joined the magazine as a staff writer in 1989: Charles Albright, a serial killer in Dallas who removed his victims’ eyes; Marie Robards, a Fort Worth teenager who killed her father by…

Roar of the Crowd

Roar of the Crowd

“I commend Paul Burka for bravely identifying who is ultimately responsible for the sorry state of Texas public school financing: the Texas electorate.”…

Web

From Blogging to Book Deal

Houston Chronicle blogger Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess) found herself at the center of a two-day auction among twelve publishing houses for the rights to her debut memoir, Let's Pretend This Never Happened. How did she rise from unpaid blogger to New York Times bestseller?…

Oxheart

FOOD GURU MICHAEL POLLAN would be a fan of Oxheart. Admittedly, I haven’t asked him, but his famous imperative—“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”—squares with the philosophy behind the highly anticipated vegetable-centric restaurant from husband-and-wife chefs Justin Yu and Karen Man. (In case you find yourself a…

Like a Writer

Bizarre similes pour forth from debut novelist Jonathan Woods’s fingers like wine from a bottomless bottle that is also missing its cork.

Columns

Prudence Mackintosh

Dear Jane

My mother-in-law knew how to sew, keep an immaculate house, and dress stylishly. In short, she was nothing like the unpolished young woman who married her son. Perhaps that’s why we loved each other so much.

Buyer Beware

Dear Jim Crane, new owner of the Houston Astros: Please don’t screw things up as badly as the last guy did.

The Most Trusted Freshman in America

Long before Walter Cronkite was the voice of the news, he was just a kid from Houston at the University of Texas, chasing girls, acting in school plays, and drinking cheap beer. Yet Douglas Brinkley, whose new biography of Cronkite will be released this month, argues that it was in…

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