September 2000 Issue

On the Cover

The Texas Twenty

They saved lives and enlightened us, gave us pleasure and gave of themselves. Meet the most impressive, intriguing, and influential Texans of 2000.



How I Made It

Gerald Hines

I’m motivated by the excitement of constructing an outstanding quality building. I enjoy building, and I think the main thing is that you want to go into something that you really enjoy, that you can’t wait to get up in the morning to do. Then you will be successful. It



Change of Routine

Sixteen years after her Olympic triumph, Mary Lou Retton talks about her family, her career, and what she really thought of Bela Karolyi.


Swamp Thing

It's no croc: September is alligator season in Texas, and hunters are taking to the marshes hook, line, and rifle.

First Person

One Man’s Familia

My grandfather came to America penniless and undereducated, and he worked hard to give his family the things he went without. His greatest legacy is that he did just that.


Music Review

New Bohemians

Edie Brickell never seemed to like her fifteen minutes of pop stardom very much, so perhaps it’s fitting that the return of the original New Bohemians should end up such a well-kept secret. The same lineup that helped revitalize Deep Ellum in 1985—and made “What I Am” one of secretary-rock’s

Book Review

Doug Swanson

Fort Worth’s Doug Swanson is pulling the plug on his Jack Flippo series, which makes House of Corrections (Putnam) your last chance to dance with the charming wild man. Flippo is all the more endearing for his faults (e.g., a propensity for sharing wives not his own). And this is

Book Review

Purple Cane Road

“Years ago, in state documents, Vachel Carmouche was always referred to as the electrician, never as the executioner.” This stately but ominous opening line kick-starts Purple Cane Road (Doubleday), the crown jewel of James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux series. The Houston native wrings enough nuance, danger, and humor out of

Book Review

The Devils Tiger

Texas novels come in all stripes, but leave it to veteran writer Robert Flynn of San Antonio to introduce the species of the tiger tale to this neck of the woods. Collaborating with the late Dan Klepper, Flynn has released The Devils Tiger, a wild story about a Russian veterinarian

Music Review

Michael Hall and the Woodpeckers

Dead by Dinner (Aznut Music), the debut CD by Michael Hall and the Woodpeckers, arrives in stores this month. Hall has been an associate editor of Texas Monthly since June 1997.

Music Review

Blue October

Art-rock was never my cup of noise—so much so that I never even realized it had practically disappeared until this Houston quintet, currently based in San Marcos, sought to bring it back. With lyrics supremely neurotic and music nicely melodic, the band sounds both skeptical and outraged and uncharacteristically visceral,

Music Review

Rodolfo “Fito” Olivares

With more than thirty albums under his belt, it would seem that Rodolfo “Fito” Olivares, Texas’ king of the tropical sound, is taking a giant leap with his first concept album, Zoológico Tropical. Not necessarily so. The Houstonian frames his signature alto sax over his trademark cumbia beats in songs

Music Review

Ronald Shannon Jackson & the Decoding Society

Ronald Shannon Jackson makes a loud and messy brand of music; overabundant notes gush like an uncapped fire hydrant. Like his mentor Ornette Coleman, the Fort Worth drummer is first and foremost a composer. His music, while superficially linked to forgettable jazz-rock fusion creations, pulls a memorable sense of purpose

Music Review


A lot of ink has been spilled over Fastball’s success, with 1998’s platinum album All the Pain Money Can Buy, the Grammy nominations, the high-profile tours, and the fact that a few months before the out-of-left-field hit single “The Way” took off, the threesome was still working day jobs in



Braised Short Ribs With Rosemary-Parmesan Polenta

In Italy, boiled meat and fish are often served with a tart, salty green sauce.Ribs8 beef short ribs, either bone-in or deboned 1 cup flour mixed with 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper 1/4 cup olive oil for browning 1/2 cup each chopped onion, carrot, and celery 1 cup dry


Italian Parsley-Caper Sauce

1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary 2 tablespoons capers, chopped 4 anchovies, mashed in a mortar or bowl juice of 1/2 lemon 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar 2


Rosemary-Parmesan Polenta

1 cup polenta, conventional or instant 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary 8 tablespoons butter 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese salt to taste pinch of cayenne dash of red-wine vinegar 1/4 cup olive oil for sautéingIf using conventional polenta, bring 3 cups of water to a boil and whisk in polenta.


Around the State

Around the State

Vikki Carr revs up audiences in Fort Worth. Plus: Salvaging theater in Austin; heeding a storm warning in Galveston; viewing a Cy for sore eyes in Houston; and paging literature lovers in Houston.

Hot Book Excerpt

The Devils Tiger

CHAPTER ONEIn West Texas where Jacob Trace made his way toward a dry camp after a fruitless day trailing a mountain lion, September dusk brought little relief from the heat and his mule kicked up dust from the parched, cracked earth. In Houston where Randolph Morgan, assistant director of the

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