October 2005 Issue

On the Cover

Flipping Out

The letter-sweater-wearing, pom-pom-shaking, pep-rally-leading girl next door has been a beloved Texas icon for generations. So why do so many people today— lawmakers and lawyers, preachers and feminists—think cheerleading is the root, root, root of all evil?


Kevin Von Erich poses in a swimsuit standing in the water.

Six Brothers

The tragedy of the Von Erichs—the state’s first family of pro wrestling—is well known not just to fans of the sport but to the many groupies who oohed and aahed at the matinee-idol athletes over the years. Still, you haven’t really heard the story until it’s told by the sole


Wheel in the Sky

For the residents of a tiny Panhandle town, a horrific accident at the State Fair fifty years ago reverberates still—and will haunt them forever.


Keep Waterloo Weird

In this excerpt from Karen Olsson’s forthcoming novel set in a fictional state capital (wink, wink), a reporter for a weekly newspaper watches a rural conservative who “shares your values” announce his candidacy for governor.




Monster Inc.

As mythical creatures go, Bigfoot is right up there with the Loch Ness Monster and the Abominable Snowman. But in Jefferson, the search for the hairy, hulking beast with the, er, big feet is big business—and deadly serious.

Book Review


The journalists, politicos, and barflies who inhabit Texas Monthly writer-at-large KAREN OLSSON’s first novel, WATERLOO (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), could have strolled right off the streets of Austin, real-world counterpart to the title’s fictional Texas capital. This wonderfully observed tale traces the personal and professional struggles of Waterloo

Book Review

Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen

Three years ago, thirty-year-old JULIE POWELL was a would-be actress working a lousy temp job and living in a lousy Queens apartment. In need of a Great Undertaking, the Austin native decided one night to cook her way through every recipe in Julia Child’s classic Mastering the Art of French

Book Review

The Color of Law

The shadow of To Kill a Mockingbird looms intentionally large over THE COLOR OF LAW (Doubleday). Atticus Finch is quoted at the outset, and protagonist A. Scott Fenney’s mother admonishes him to “be like Atticus. Be a lawyer. Do good.” Quite a display of brass for first-time novelist MARK GIMENEZ.

Music Review

Cripple Crow

By now it’s a familiar story: A street musician makes a series of low-fi cassette recordings, which somehow find their way to a label owner and on to a sea of adulation. Cliché or no, this happened to Houston-born DEVENDRA BANHART, who, three years down the road from his debut,

Music Review

The Real Deal

With BILLY JOE SHAVER, it’s a package deal. Along with the amiable stylings and songwriting genius that have attracted everyone from Tom T. Hall to Elvis Presley, you get the foibles: odd musical choices, a sincere but heavy-handed Christian didacticism, and substandard songs that play like a parody of, well,

Music Review


If there were a downside to ROBERT GLASPER’s inking a deal with Blue Note Records, it would be that he is the second Houston jazz pianist to be signed to the label, forced to follow the widely acclaimed Jason Moran. Glasper is a few years younger than Moran, and both


Pat's Pick


Take one defunct sandwich shop and strip it down to its architectural skivvies (bare industrial bricks and concrete floor). Add designer elements like found copper lighting fixtures, displays of artisan bread, and Texas mesquite tabletops, and, presto change-o, you have an edgy warehouse setting that has become the place

Shrimply the Best

Shelf Life | We read cookbooks so you don’t have to.It’s one thing to have a dream, quite another to keep it alive. To celebrate three decades in business, the founders of Austin’s best-known interior Mexican restaurant have compiled their first cookbook. Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years of Food and


Tomato Broth with Portobellos and Spinach over Gnocchi

1 large white onion, thinly sliced 2 cloves garlic, minced olive oil for sautéing 2 sprigs thyme 4 large tomatoes, chopped kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 1 pint tomato juice 1⁄4 stick butter (2 tablespoons) 3 portobello mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed canola oil for sautéing prepared

Books That Cook

Books That Cook

Ask any bunch of Texans about the state’s signature cuisine, and you’ll most likely get one answer: Tex-Mex. We claim it as our own even though we realize that “Tex-Mex” ranges from gourmet dishes to greasy fast food. So it’s about time Jim Peyton and his new cookbook, The Very

Web Exclusive

Mid-century Memphis

Former Texas Monthly senior editor Robert Draper on assembling an Eisenhower-era time capsule, including the memories of a teenage calamity and the recollections of the Panhandle town that still bears its scars.

Web Exclusive

Pedal Pushers

Contributing photographer Wyatt McSpadden, who shot this month’s feature “Tour de Texas,” describes how a plum assignment became a poignant father-son journey.


Roar of the Crowd

Ode to Joel

I am mortified that Texas Monthly would choose the cover heading “And on the eighth day, God created Joel Osteen” [“Prime Minister,” August 2005]. While Joel Osteen delivers a feel-good message and may be a good businessman, please reacquaint yourselves with Genesis, chapter one, of the Holy Bible—any version.

Red McCombs

“I’ve had my failures and my mistakes. I don’t dwell on them. So I don’t have anything dragging me down at any given time.”

Around the State

Around the State

October—People, Places, Events, Attractions10.15.05In mid-April the world waited patiently for white smoke to billow over Vatican City’s Saint Peter’s Square, the signal that the closely guarded keys to the Catholic Church had come into new hands. Now San Antonio unlocks the two thousand years of history from Saint Peter to

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