November 2002 Issue

On the Cover

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

Once upon a time, the Central Texas town of Crawford was like Mayberry: Everyone knew everyone, no one talked politics, and the air was ripe with the aroma of hogs. Then the leader of the free world bought a little place west of the Middle Bosque River, and nothing was ever the same again.


Headshot of Clara Harris.

Suburban Madness

Why would a devoted wife deliberately run over her beloved husband three times? It’s quite simple, really. He was having an affair with a woman accused by her allegedly pill-popping ex-husband of carrying on a lesbian relationship with her best friend, whose ex-husband has been indicted for an illegal wiretapping

Mr. Right

The line on James Leininger is fairly simple: He's a doctrinaire conservative who spends millions supporting candidates and causes he likes—and opposing those he doesn't. That makes him one of the most influential players in Texas politics in the post-Bush era.

Lights Out

Most of the lighthouses that once kept watch over the Texas Gulf Coast have vanished, victims of time and the modern world. Yet a few romantic relics remain.


Do The Math

DISTRICT/SCHOOL| STARS | % LOW INCOME | ALGEBRA PASSING RATEPewitt/Pewitt | 5 | 50.4 | 95.0Ysleta/Del Valle | 5 | 89.4 | 78.6Hidalgo/Hidalgo | 5 | 96.9 | 62.1San Antonio/Highlands | 5 | 89.0 | 57.2San Antonio/Jefferson | 5 | 90.6 | 57.1_________________________________________Humble/Quest | 1 | 9.4 | 26.9Holliday/Holliday |


Our Best High Schools

These are the best of the best—the top ten high schools in each of four economic categories, as ranked by the National Center for Educational Accountability. For the full list of more than one thousand public high schools in Texas, see page 170 (in the print copy).HIGHEST ECONOMIC GROUPCollege Station/A&M


Illinois Jacquet Recommended Recordings

FAMED TEXAS TENOR ILLINOIS JACQUET’S very first session, with Lionel Hampton in May 1942, yielded “Flying Home” (heard on Hamp: The Legendary Decca Recordings[Decca]). It was his most famous record, but it was only the beginning of a long and impressive recording career. His 1946 work with Count Basie (“Mutton

Around the State


A Great Weekend in San Antonio

DRUM UP SOME FUN Whether you’re a folk art lover, a foodie, or just ready for a fall frolic, here’s an itinerary that should make your mouth water. Head to San Antonio November 1 and begin with First Friday, a monthly art walk that takes over the funky Southtown neighborhood’s


Grand Opening

THE HARD CELL Beaumont has the Texas Energy Museum and Kingsville has the King Ranch Museum. Likewise, Huntsville promotes its industry—incarceration—with the Texas Prison Museum. Since 1989 museum visitors have surveyed exhibits dedicated to prison art, contraband, and capital punishment, gawking at the decommissioned electric chair Old Sparky along the


Market Days

ATTENTION, SHOPPERS No doubt, holiday consumers who turn a sickly green upon hearing the word “mall” will search desperately this month for alternatives to the slew of chain stores. Some people will test their artistic capacities by creating their offerings; some will purchase presents online. Still others—thousands, we are told—will



READ ALL ABOUT IT November is an ideal month for books: The weather is cooler, a perfect excuse for staying in and escaping into the world of your favorite page-turner. But if bumming indoors isn’t your style, then mind your p‘s and q‘s and hit the road for these literary



Fave Combo

Let's hear it for beans and cornbread, the tastiest of plate-mates, a classic Southern supper—and a meal any fool can cook.


Water Hazard

The mayor of San Antonio says a 2,600-acre golf resort on top of the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone won't ruin the city's sole source of drinking water. Who wants to tee off on that one?


The State of Illinois

At eighty, most of us would be off our feet, not out on stage. But Illinois Jacquet, the great Texas tenor, keeps blowing his sax—and tooting his own horn.


Ice on the Block

If your goal is to own a pro hockey team, Tom Hicks has a deal for you: He'll sell you the Dallas Stars for a mere $300 million—and throw in the prospect of an NHL-destroying lockout at no extra charge.


Now, Voyager

I'm susceptible to seasickness and sun poisoning, and I hate being part of a herd. So, naturally, I took a cruise.


A welcoming billboard on the edge of town.

Bust Town

It's been two years since Tulia's tainted drug busts first came to light. Do you really want to know how little has changed there?


Happy Trails

Happy Trails

The small East Texas town of Jefferson makes for a perfect weekend getaway—it just takes a while to get there.

Texas Tidbits

Texas Tidbits

In case you didn't know, hockey is gaining momentum in Texas. It may never surpass football on Friday nights, but for fans, there's nothing like seeing their favorite team hit the ice.

Web Exclusive

Teacher, Teacher

In the new book, Top Texas Teachers, author Dorothy McConachie gives 35 educators top honors.

Pat's Pick


I’M JUST MAD ABOUT SAFFRON I know I’m in the company of grown-ups when I can say “tapas bar” and nobody feels compelled to crack, “What? You ate at a topless bar?” At the moment, my favorite tapas bar is San Antonio’s Saffron, a casual, three-month-old spot done up in

Pat's Pick

Word of Mouth

PUMPED UP Douglas Brown, the 29-year-old executive chef of Dallas’ Melrose Hotel and its Landmark restaurant, has some great pumpkin ideas for fall as well as tips for cooking with the real thing. His recipe for pumpkin gnocchi with apple-cider brown bbutter and pumpkin seeds takes this orange relative of

Pat's Pick

On the Road

BACK TO BASICS Tucked away on a beautiful tree-lined road outside Elm Mott in north central Texas is Homestead Heritage, a pristine little village of sorts where the residents are dedicated to preserving traditional crafts and living off the land. You can sample the fruits of their labors at the

Web Exclusive

A Q&A With Robb Walsh

An interview with Rob Walsh, author of Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook: Recipes and Recollections from the Pit Bosses.

Web Exclusive

Meet One of McConachie’s Picks You are featured in Dorothy McConachie’s book, Top Texas Teachers. How were you chosen?Carolina Carner: They picked 35 teachers from across the state. One of my students nominated me at Barnes and Noble in Round Rock. McConachie got thousands of entries, and I was picked out of all of

Web Exclusive

Report Card

From elementary school to high school, we've got more than five thousand public schools ranked. See if your kid's school is making the grade.

Web Exclusive

Hearing Voices

Bill Wittliff and Edwin "Bud" Shrake, the recipients of the 2002 Texas Book Festival Bookend award, embody Texas literature today.

Interview With Mario Vargas Llosa

PERUVIAN WRITER MARIO VARGAS LLOSA will be in Houston November 11, as a guest for the Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. The novelist, literary critic, playwright, and essayist is considered to be one of the greatest Spanish American writers of our century. His works include the novels The Green House,

Entrevista con Mario Vargas Llosa

EL ESCRITOR PERUANO MARIO VARGAS Llosa viene a Houston el 11 de noviembre como invitado del Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. El novelista, crítico literario, dramaturgo y ensayista es considerado uno de los más grandes escritores hispanoamericanos de nuestro siglo. Entre sus obras se encuentran las novelas La casa verde,


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