November 1996


Carl C. Waitz Elementary

Nov 1, 1996 By Paul Burka

At a school whose children come from some of the poorest communities on the border, the way to excellence begins with sheer will and a culture of success.

Pietzsch Elementary

Nov 1, 1996 By Josh Daniel

Facing the obstacles of an inner-city Beaumont neighborhood, a committed, innovative principal and her demanding staff expect the best and accept no excuses.

Brentfield Elementary

Nov 1, 1996 By Anne Dingus

With a private-school atmosphere, involved parents, and a veteran principal and faculty, this Richardson school makes the most of its many blessings.

Social Climbers

Nov 1, 1996 By Helen Thorpe

This month, a ragtag group of wanderers will descend on Hueco Tanks state park in West Texas, where they’ll spend their nights hanging out and their days hanging on to the most challenging boulders around.

The Spin Doctor Is Out

Nov 1, 1996 By Mark McKinnon

Being a political consultant had its high points. I helped candidates win elections, traveled around the world, and worked side by side with James Carville and Dick Morris. But campaigns kept sinking to pathetic new lows, which is why I finally had to quit the game.

Thrill Killers

Nov 1, 1996 By Jim Atkinson

Now that the crack epidemic has leveled off and gang violence is down, urban Texas is being terrorized by a new type of criminal: the superpredator. He murders without motive, feels no remorse, and worst of all, seldom gets caught.

It Came From Outer Space

Nov 1, 1996 By Mimi Swartz

The inside story of how industrious NASA scientists discovered signs of life in a Martian rock and boosted the fortunes of the tabloids, Hollywood producers, and even the president.

No-Star Schools

Nov 1, 1996 By Texas Monthly

Austin/Blackshear Austin/Jordan Austin/Pecan Springs Austin/Sims Crockett/Crockett Dallas/Daniel James Dallas/Elisha M. Pease Fort Worth/A. M. Pate Fort Worth/Carroll Peak Fort Worth/Carter Park Fort Worth/De Zavala Fort Worth/Edward Briscoe Fort Worth/Manuel Jara Fort Worth/Maude I. Logan Fort…

One-Star Schools

Nov 1, 1996 By Texas Monthly

A | B | C |  D | E |  F | G | H |  I | J | K |  L | M | N |  O | P | – |  R | S | T |  – | V | W |  – | Y | – | Abilene/College Heights Abilene/Fannin Abilene/Ortiz Abilene/Valley View…

Two-Star Schools

Nov 1, 1996 By Texas Monthly

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | – | V | W | – | Y | – | Abilene/Crockett Abilene/Jones Abilene/Long Abilene/Reagan Aldine/Evelyn S. Thompson Aldine/Johnson Aldine/Stephens…

Three-Star Schools

Nov 1, 1996 By Texas Monthly

 A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | – | V | W | – | Y | – | Abernathy/Abernathy Abilene/Alta Vista Abilene/Austin Abilene/Bowie Abilene/Johnston Abilene/Lee Abilene/Taylor Abilene/Thomas…

Four-Star Schools

Nov 1, 1996 By Texas Monthly

A | B | C |  D | E |  F | G | H |  I | J | K |  L | M | N |  O | P | – |  R | S | T |  – | V | W |  – | Y | – | Abilene/Bassetti Abilene/Bonham Abilene/Dyess Abilene/Jackson Alba-Golden/Alba-Golden…

Our Best Schools

Nov 1, 1996 By Texas Monthly

A report card on more than three thousand public elementary schools from Abernathy to Zavalla. Does yours make the grade? Plus: How Richardson’s Brentfield, Beaumont’s Pietzsch, and Mission’s Carl C. Waitz got to the head of the class.


The Inside Story
Grand Parent

Nov 1, 1996 By Anne Dingus

Nature photography is just part of Laurence Parent’s nature. The 37-year-old Austin-area resident, who took the pictures that accompany this month’s article on Hueco Tanks State Historical Park (“Social Climbers”), has long been known for his landscape work, from wildflower close-ups to desert vistas. “My father was in the…

Around the State
Around the State

Nov 1, 1996 By Texas Monthly

Around the State subheading: A selective guide to amusements and events. Edited by Quita McMath, Josh Daniel, Erin Gromen, and Cheri Ballew summary: Members of Bob Wills’s Texas Playboys and Playgirls stage a swinging comeback (Austin and Bandera). Plus: The Day of the Dead lives (Austin, El Paso, Houston,…

Cheers And Jeers

Nov 1, 1996 By Texas Monthly

CHUCK NORRIS STANDS FOR JUSTICE, truth, and right in his portrayal of Walker in the series Walker, Texas Ranger. To many, he is an excellent example. Perhaps a hero. Mr. Norris is an acknowledged master in tae kwon do. However, he and Texas Monthly fail in firearms literacy and safety…


Jimmy King

Nov 1, 1996 By Brian D. Sweany

Jimmy King Five years after he last shot hoops for Plano East Senior High School, Jimmy King is coming home. The 23-year-old, who spent his rookie year in the NBA with the Toronto Raptors, was traded this summer to the Dallas Mavericks, and he couldn’t be happier. Of course,…

Hot Box
CD and Book Reviews

Nov 1, 1996 By Evan Smith

Hot CDs Two years after their wildly successful debut, Elida y Avante bounce back from label troubles with Algo Entero (Tejas). For my money, Mercedes-born Elida Reyna is tejano’s next female superstar. Her husky, throbbing voice is mature well beyond her 24 years—she has the archetypal blend of innocence and…

The Ex Files
Sam Donaldson

Nov 1, 1996 By Renee Boensch

I started working for radio stations in El Paso at seventeen. I played records and ripped wire copy off the United Press International or the Associated Press wires and read it. Then, in 1954, television came to town; so my last year of college I worked for a local TV…

Topic A
California Scheming

Nov 1, 1996 By Paul Burka

HOUSTON FINANCIER (or, as he is often described in the Golden State media, “Texas tycoon”) Charles Hurwitz clearly got the better side of his recent agreement to swap 3,000 acres of ancient redwoods in Northern California for $380 million in federal and state funds plus other public forest acreage. In…

The New Fat Cats

Nov 1, 1996 By Paul Burka

Meet the newest Texas fat cats - the well-heeled contributors financing political campaigns in and out of our state.

Low Talk
Stella Houston

Nov 1, 1996 By Evan Smith

The University of Houston thinks Frank Stella is frankly stellar.

In The Studio
Antsy Griffith

Nov 1, 1996 By Jordan Mackay

Antsy Griffith Austin’s Nanci Griffith is holed up in Nashville recording Blue Roses From the Moon(s) (Elektra), which should be in stores this spring. The album’s release coincides with the tenth anniversary of Griffith’s first collaboration with her band, the Blue Moon Orchestra, and features guest appearances by Buddy…


Beer Necessities

Nov 1, 1996 By Patrick Earvolino

To survive at a time of heady demand for craft brews, the mid-sized Spoetzel and Celis breweries have partnered with major corporations. Still, they’re keeping their local flavor.

Dual in the Sun

Nov 1, 1996 By Shaila Dewan

What do the sculptures of Jim Magee and the paintings of Annabel Livermore have in common? Nothing—except that they were created by the same person.

Affairs of State

Nov 1, 1996 By Michael DiLeo

Mónica García Velásquez, the first female mayor of Nuevo Laredo, is smart, poised, and articulate, especially when it comes to dismissing rumors about her love life.

Golden Oldie

Nov 1, 1996 By John Morthland

After playing for years in relative obscurity, 57-year-old Ronnie Dawson is the latest cult hero in the cultish world of rockabilly.

Gruene Peace

Jan 20, 2013 By Jan Reid

A historic dance hall, the cypress-shaded Guadalupe, a couple of rustic inns: A great weekend getaway awaits you less than an hour from Austin and San Antonio.


Crunchy French Toast With Spiced Apples and Coffee Maple Syrup

Jan 20, 2013 By Texas Monthly

Recipe from restaurant owner Benjy Levit, Benjy’s, Houston. Coffee Maple Syrup 1 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup whole coffee beans, any type Place syrup and coffee beans in a small nonreactive saucepan and simmer over low heat for a few minutes, then let steep for a couple of hours.