November 2007 Issue

Features

Feature

The Glorie of Defeet

What Samir Patel learned in five years of not winning the national spelling bee (other than the root words of “eremacausis”).

Feature

The Old Man and the River

Fifty years after the mythical trip on the Brazos that was the basis for John Graves’s classic book, I followed in his wake. Literally.

Feature

The Day Oscar Wyatt Caved

In the right light, the ornery octogenarian oilman’s guilty plea can be seen as a victory: After all, he won’t spend the rest of his natural life in jail. But the fact is, he couldn’t beat the rap—and he knew it.

Keep Out!

Which is worse: looking the other way as millions of illegals stream across the border or building an unconscionably expensive and impractical fence that few in the Valley (a) want or (b) believe will make a difference?…

Girl Gone Mild

After spending her adolescence largely out of view (except for a few scrapes with restaurant and bar employees), presidential spawn Jenna Bush is emerging as a public person in her own right. But her return to private life can’t come soon enough.

Reporter

Joel Osteen

“I have got something that God has entrusted me with, and I have to make the most of it in helping other people.”…

Artist Interview

Carrie Rodriguez

In 2005, after three studio albums with songwriting legend Chip Taylor, the Austin-born singer and fiddler wowed audiences with him for two nights in Germany. Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez Live From the RuhrTriennale (Train Wreck) captures the duo’s much-storied chemistry. So how exactly did the live…

Music Review

Mescalito

Few have heard of, much less heard, Wishbone Saloon, the 2003 debut from West Texan Ryan Bingham. But those who have, including Terry Allen and Joe Ely, have fostered enough praise to help land Bingham on a major label. Mescalito (Lost Highway) arrives with a bushel of expectations,…

Music Review

In the City of Lost Things

Even by the most conservative estimates, there are thousands of piano trio CDs in release. And while each tries to distinguish itself, many fail to do so. Play it quiet, and you might stray into New Age or smooth jazz territory. Play it loose and edgy, and you’re assigned to…

Music Review

Home

In 1997 newspaper reporter Mike Rosenthal left rural Maine for Austin carrying dreams of rock and roll stardom. Despite two albums, and some notoriety for his running skills (he has regularly placed high in the Austin Marathon), it hasn’t exactly worked out that way: His releases, though stylistic opposites—one…

Book Review

Custer’s Brother’s Horse

Edwin “Bud” Shrake’s picaresque Custer’s Brother’s Horse makes fine fodder of the bad blood in Texas following the Civil War, circa 1865. Federal troops visit indignities on the defeated communities they occupy; neighbors who fought on separate sides find no peace in the surrender. The horse in question,…

Author Interview

Bill Cunningham

Inspired by the popularity of a panel on Texas crime literature hosted by the Southwestern Writers Collection in 2004, editors Bill Cunningham, Steven L. Davis, and Rollo K. Newsom have compiled Lone Star Sleuths: An Anthology of Texas Crime Fiction, with thirty excerpts from the likes of Rick Riordan, David…

How to Field-Dress a Deer

So you’ve downed your first twelve-point buck of the season. But don’t break out the brewskis just yet: You’ve got some dirty work to do. “The minute the animal dies, it’s starting to decay,” says James C. Kroll, a.k.a. Dr. Deer from the Outdoor Channel (and whose formal job is…

Web

Web Exclusive

Net Gains

Texas Monthly Intern Kyle Adams talks to A&M Coach Mark Turgeon and UT Coach Rick Barnes about what fans can expect in the upcoming season.

Web Exclusive

Me and Tommy Lee

No Country for Old Men is Tommy Lee Jones’s new movie. I don’t think he’ll be granting me an interview anytime soon.

Web Exclusive

Star Power

Tennis great and celebrity Anna Kournikova talks about retirement, working with kids, and coming to Texas.

Pat's Pick

Trio

It was the long-ago winter when my family’s two superannuated cats expired right before the holidays that Mother issued a surprising edict: “We’re having Christmas dinner at the Four Seasons this year.” It took three days to pry the reason out of her: She couldn’t bear the thought of…

Web Exclusive

Bill Cunningham

Inspired by the popularity of a panel on Texas crime literature hosted by the Southwestern Writers Collection in 2004, editors Bill Cunningham, Steven L. Davis, and Rollo K. Newsom have compiled Lone Star Sleuths: An Anthology of Texas Crime Fiction, with thirty excerpts from the likes of Rick Riordan, David…

Web Exclusive

A Man and a River

Executive editor S. C. Gwynne talks about running the Brazos River just as legendary author John Graves did fifty years ago.

Jordan's Pick

Fashion at The Park

You’re never going to believe this. Mere weeks ago, Giorgio Armani made the declaration every chic native has longed to hear: “Fashion has arrived in Dallas.” Come again? The city may be the state’s most stylish (two words: Neiman Marcus), but it’s still a distant cousin to the four…

Grazing Across Texas: Rod, Gun & Ranch Cooking

Tosh Brown will be the first to admit that he has no business writing a cookbook. “We were very careful to put ‘photography and commentary by Tosh Brown,’” he said with a smile. “These are not my recipes. There are a lot of people out there that know me that…

Pat's Pick

Trio

It was the long-ago winter when my family’s two superannuated cats expired right before the holidays that Mother issued a surprising edict: “We’re having Christmas dinner at the Four Seasons this year.” It took three days to pry the reason out of her: She couldn’t bear the thought of…

Web Exclusive

Keep it Simple

Last week, I caught up with Steve Bett, the editor of the Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society and moderator of a discussion group on Foolswisdom. Bett is a retired professor living in Austin who joined the 99-year-old international organization in the late eighties believing, as most simplified…

Miscellany

Roar of the Crowd

Portrait of a Lady

Texas lost one of its true legends with the passing of Lady Bird Johnson [“A Lady First,” September 2007]. It is all the more disappointing when you look around at today’s landscape and find it lacking in those larger-than-life personalities who shaped the mystique of this great state. Today’s…

Editor's Letter

The Center Holds

Several of this month’s letters to the editor, responding to our September issue, fall into two categories: those from angry liberals and those from angry conservatives. The libs rabidly attack Gary Cartwright for refusing to canonize Austin’s own Vegan de Milo, shopping center owner Jeanne Daniels, whose commitment…

Columns

Michael Ennis

Modern Problems

What Dallas has in common with Beijing—and why their shared vision of the twenty-first-century world must carry the day.

Kinky Friedman

Reform Follows Function

When I ran for governor, I saw firsthand everything that was wrong with our state’s political system. That’s why I know how to fix it.

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