October 2005


Down, but not out: Kevin Von Erich, photographed in Denton on August 24, 2005.
Six Brothers

Sep 30, 2005 By John Spong

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 surviving sibling, whose eldest son may be the next one to step into the ring.

Wheel in the Sky

Sep 30, 2005 By Robert Draper

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

Sep 30, 2005 By Karen Olsson

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.

Flipping Out

Sep 30, 2005 By Pamela Colloff

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?


Book Review

Sep 30, 2005 By Mike Shea

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…

Monster Inc.

Sep 30, 2005 By Katy Vine

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.

Music Review

Sep 30, 2005 By Jeff McCord

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…

Music Review
The Real Deal

Sep 30, 2005 By Jeff McCord

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
Cripple Crow

Sep 30, 2005 By Jeff McCord

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,…

Book Review
The Color of Law

Sep 30, 2005 By Mike Shea

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.

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

Sep 30, 2005 By Mike Shea

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…


Suzy Banks
Rental Illness

Sep 30, 2005 By Suzy Banks

When people hear I’m a landlady, they tell me I should have my head examined. Yep.

Michael Ennis
Culture of Strife

Sep 30, 2005 By Michael Ennis

Frozen embryos are destroyed every day in the name of in vitro fertilization. Tell me again what’s so wrong with stem cell research?


Around the State
Around the State

Sep 30, 2005 By Texas Monthly

October—People, Places, Events, Attractions 10.15.05 In 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…

Red McCombs

Sep 30, 2005 By Evan Smith

“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.”

Roar of the Crowd
Ode to Joel

Sep 30, 2005 By Texas Monthly

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.


Shrimply the Best

Sep 30, 2005 By Patricia Sharpe

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…

Web Exclusive
The Last Von Erich

Sep 30, 2005 By Ryan Vogt

Associate editor John Spong on retelling a tragic family epic—the rise and fall of Dallas’ pro wrestling dynasty.

Web Exclusive
Pedal Pushers

Sep 30, 2005 By Ryan Vogt

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

Pat's Pick

Sep 30, 2005 By Patricia Sharpe

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…

Web Exclusive
Mid-century Memphis

Sep 30, 2005 By Ryan Vogt

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.

Books That Cook

Sep 30, 2005 By christinenewgard

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…

Tomato Broth with Portobellos and Spinach over Gnocchi

Sep 30, 2005 By Texas Monthly

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…