October 2000 Issue

On the Cover

Can’t Buy Me Love

Take one of the nation's wealthiest men, the enigmatic, Egyptian-born Fayez Sarofim. Add his socialite first wife and her brassy successor. Stir in River Oaks mansions and greedy lawyers, boatloads of money and oceans of booze. Mix it all together and what do you get? A hell of a mess that's the talk of Houston.


Get With the Program

Two-four-six-eight, who do we appreciate? San Antonio businessman Jack DeVere, whose collection of Texas football memorabilia evokes a simpler, more innocent time.

Austin Zoo

The fledgling Austin Zoo is basically a big, no-frills barnyard full of exotic jungle beasts as well as miscellaneous domestic breeds. Situated on the city’s southwestern edge, it started out in 1992 as a petting zoo for small fry and has since expanded to include 106 species, from Shetland ponies

Caldwell Zoo, Tyler

When I first walked into the Caldwell Zoo, I ran smack into a wall of stench radiating from the flamingo island (summed up by one young nose-pinching passerby as “stinky”). Happily, the inevitable eau de zoo didn’t linger as I wound my way down a path to the East African

San Antonio Zoo

Since 1929 the San Antonio Zoo has charmed every Texan within a hundred-mile radius. To avoid the Saturday and Sunday throngs, try arriving first thing in the morning during the week before the school groups (and remember, there’s no law saying you have to take your own kids). The lack

Houston Zoo

I nominate the Houston Zoo, the state’s most popular, for a most-improved award. In addition to the vast new children’s-zoo area, which opens this month, many new walkways and viewing platforms make it more appealing than ever. The zoo is 78 years old, and many of its exhibits were designed

Fort Worth Zoo

The Fort Worth Zoo goes the extra mile, and if you visit it, you should do the same. Every inch of this 65-acre park is worth seeing. Once run by the City of Fort Worth, the zoo has been managed since 1991 by the Fort Worth Zoological Association, a nonprofit

El Paso Zoo

Kudus—I mean kudos—to the landscapers and horticulturists at the El Paso Zoo. Their careful plantings, which manage to block sun but not wind, helped make a midsummer visit almost cool. Still, baking visitors gratefully entered the indoor displays: In the nocturnal exhibit, my friend Isela gazed for a long time

Dallas Zoo

“Wow, this looks like a great place,” exclaimed my six-year-old daughter, Rayna, before we’d even gotten out of the car at the Dallas Zoo. The towering giraffe statue out front was all it took. Her enthusiasm propelled us through the entrance and up the bamboo-lined ramp that leads to the

Gladys Porter Zoo, Brownsville

Luis Foncerrada, age ten, burst through the gates first, grabbing a zoo map on the way; his brother Sebastian, five, was a half step behind, followed by me. Veteran zoo-goers, the boys barely glanced at the flamingos, paused briefly for the jaguars, and then settled in to observe the spider

Texas Zoo, Victoria

Victoria’s zoo includes only critters native to the state, many of them threatened or endangered. But the hundred or so different species represent a surprisingly diverse spectrum of the animal kingdom, and when I visited on a peaceful August weekday, the residents were all out and about, clearly enjoying the

Cameron Park Zoo, Waco

If Waco’s zoo were a book of the Bible, it would be Revelation. The famously Baptist town is home to a large and handsome zoo, one that deserves the full name “zoological park.” Covering 52 acres along the Brazos River, the Cameron Park Zoo was relocated and renovated—transformed, really—in 1993,




Bigger Bend

Rising high above the floor of the Chihuahuan Desert, Mexico's Museo Maderas del Carmen nature reserve is like a whole other country. Plus: information on how to visit the park.


The Pits

The problem with Mary Karr's latest confessional memoir, Cherry, is that she won't stop confessing.

Food and Drink

Sour Grapes

For nearly 25 years the state's wineries have struggled to mature. Will Texas wines ever go well with anything?


Babin Fever

Woodville's Lucas Babin may be this year's model, but when he left for L.A. to make it big, he had no idea that he'd have such a smooth landing on the runway.



On the record with Chris Strachwitz, whose Arhoolie label has quietly built the world's best collection of indigenous Texas music.


Book Review

Jan Reid

Close Calls: Jan Reid’s Texas (Texas A&M University Press), a collection of articles by the Austin writer, arrives in stores this month. Reid, a contributing editor of Texas Monthly, has written for the magazine since May 1974.

Book Review

Bill Crawford

Compiling the mug shots, last meals, and criminal vitae of 222 inmates executed by the State of Texas is not great literature. As high concept, social commentary, and true crime, though, Austinite Bill Crawford’s Texas Death Row: Executions in the Modern Era (Longstreet Press) is surprisingly fluent. The institutional portraits

Book Review

Joe R. Lansdale

Nacogdoches boy Joe R. Lansdale is a veteran purveyor of horror and crime fiction, much of it pulpy at best. Still, all that writing has paid off in his latest novel, The Bottoms, which lands firmly in the mainstream-fiction category. Relax, phobe-o-philes—he still delivers a full dose of fear, East

Music Review

Last Forever

Last Forever fuses the talents of Manhattan songwriter, arranger, and keyboardist Dick Connette and singer Sonya Cohen of Austin. She is the daughter of John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers and the niece of Pete Seeger. The music, most of it written by Connette, extends American folk traditions

Music Review

The Deathray Davies

Taking cues from their namesake, Ray Davies of the Kinks, Dallas’ Deathray Davies also pay homage to Roky Erickson, Nuggets-era garage bands, and Guided By Voices. The Davies share Voices’ same Brit-invasion worship for interstitial song snippets, but despite those influences they are no ventriloquist act. Two years ago the

Music Review

Barbara Lynn

The 1962 soul-pop hit “You’ll Lose a Good Thing” and appearances on American Bandstand put Beaumont’s Barbara Lynn on the map as the world’s greatest (though perhaps only) left-handed female blues guitarist. That reputation has carried her ever since, despite just three new albums recorded over the past fifteen years—a

Music Review

The Gourds

Since art is by nature a solo endeavor, it’s the rare musical collaboration that doesn’t end in compromise. Yet Bolsa de Agua, the fifth and best album in the Gourds’ catalog, captures the Austin group locked in on practically every level. Half a decade has made survivors of the new

Music Review

Willie Nelson

Hyping Milk Cow Blues as Willie Nelson’s first official blues album is smart marketing, but these days Nelson simply makes Willie Nelson records—his legend and aesthetic transcend genre and concept. Milk Cow Blues is interesting not because it’s blues-oriented but because it so often can’t help but sound like pure



Baked Herbed Goat Cheese

12 shallots, uniform size 6 tablespoons olive oil kosher salt and cracked black pepper to tastePreheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel shallots, leaving on the top end and barely trimming the root end. Lightly sauté in olive oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.

Web Exclusive

The War of the Sarofims

Senior editor Skip Hollandsworth tells the story behind this month's cover story, "Can't Buy Me Love." How he got his sources to talk, what he did when they wouldn't, and other secrets of his reporting.


Around the State

Around the State

Women go on display in Dallas. Plus: A natural promotion from Texas Parks and Wildlife; gut times at Beaumont's Best of Texas International Music Awards; O. Henry's paper trail in Austin; and musician Jason Moran comes home to Houston.

The Inside Story

You Don’t Know Jack?

“One of my goals in life was to go to one place and stay put,” says Jack Unruh, and for more than forty years the Kansas native has made that one place Dallas. From there the 65-year-old illustrator has worked for such publications as Rolling Stone, Time, and National Geographic.

You and Us

Baked Herbed Goat Cheese

Shallots12 shallots, uniform size 6 tablespoons olive oil kosher salt and cracked black pepper to tastePreheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel shallots, leaving on the top end and barely trimming the root end. Lightly sauté in olive oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.

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