September 2006 Issue

On the Cover

Thank God It’s Friday

And Saturday. And Sunday. The arrival of fall means weekends spent watching football, up close and on-screen, and yet another opportunity to love the greatest game on earth for all the usual reasons. Forty-nine of them, in fact.


The Good Book and the Bad Book

When parents at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, in Austin—where the Capital City’s moneyed elite have educated their kids for more than fifty years—rebelled against the teaching of ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ it was, you might say, a learning experience for everyone involved.


King Of the Christocrats

By preaching that the Founding Fathers opposed the separation of church and state, David Barton has become the darling of evangelicals everywhere—and one of the most powerful Texas Republicans you’ve never heard of.


Girl Walks Into an Outlet Mall

But not just any. The Prime and Tanger outlets, in San Marcos, with Neiman’s Last Call and Saks Off Fifth and Polo Ralph Lauren and Zegna among their more than 225 stores, are the fourth most popular tourist attraction in Texas. Maximizing a trip to such a massive shopping mecca

Love Story

Main Squeeze Blues

Saying good-bye to my dear Phyllis was the hardest thing I’ve ever done—and losing her so suddenly didn’t make it any easier. But I know I’ll see her again someday.


Letter From Mexico

The Recount

Mexico in 2006 may not be Florida in 2000, but there are at least two similarities: The final results of its closest-ever presidential election are taking pretty long to determine. And however it comes out, a lot of people are going to be unhappy.


Music Review

Workbench Songs

One of the revelations of the recent Townes Van Zandt documentary Be Here to Love Me was seeing GUY CLARK in full bloom, undiminished by age. Everything about him—the irascible wit, drunken smile, and back-slapping demeanor—spelled trouble with a capital T. Yet since the filming, he’s found his own trouble,

Music Review

These Four Walls

With her penchant for storytelling, SHAWN COLVIN delivers songs of subtle simplicity, directness, and universal appeal. Despite the fact that she composes virtually none of her music (her longtime collaborator John Leventhal does that), her backing tracks always seem permanently fused to her words. ON THESE FOUR WALLS

Music Review

Artist in Residence

“Heady stuff.” If only by dropping references to painters Basquiat and Rauschenberg into his work, Houston-born jazz pianist JASON MORAN undoubtedly hears that a lot. His latest, ARTIST IN RESIDENCE (Blue Note), based on his compositions for three commissions in the past year—for Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center and New York’s

Book Review

Dark Angels

It was twenty years ago that Houstonian KARLEEN KOEN’s fiction debut, Through a Glass Darkly, enjoyed a five-month stay on the New York Times best-seller list. The eighteenth-century historical novel eventually tallied about $2 million in sales, which makes commercial expectations for its follow-up (“long-awaited” seems inadequate), DARK ANGELS, plenty

Book Review

The History Of Swimming

There’s an undercurrent of hysteria that threatens to sink KIM POWERS’s memoir, THE HISTORY OF SWIMMING, though the melodramatics have honest roots in the town of McKinney and his classically dysfunctional family: a successfully suicidal mother, an alcoholic father, and a trio of gay brothers whose youngest is plagued by

Book Review

Uncivilized Beasts & Shameless Hellions

JOHN F. BURNETT proves a new truism—that all news is local—as he reports on the state of affairs in newsworthy locales from Kosovo to Waco in UNCIVILIZED BEASTS AND SHAMELESS HELLIONS: TRAVELS WITH AN NPR CORRESPONDENT. The twenty-year veteran of public radio, who calls Austin home, takes a measured approach

Author Interview

Alan Weisman

A 33-year career in broadcast news, including lengthy stints with CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes, gave this writer and producer an ideal perch from which to view Texas-born newshound Dan Rather, the subject of Lone Star: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Dan Rather.Can you point to any

Betty Buckley

“I’m a good ol’ girl from Texas, and sometimes people misinterpret that Texas thing. I’ve learned to tone it down, but it’s been a drag. It’s the unfortunate aftermath of having gone to the mat with the wrong guys in Hollywood.’

Artist Interview

Grupo Fantasma

This eleven-piece Austin band has been captured onstage at Antone’s nightclub for its third album, Grupo Fantasma Comes Alive (Aire Sol). We caught up with Adrian Quesada, one of Grupo’s two guitarists, in the middle of a summer Canadian tour. Why a live album now? People have been asking us


Texas Tidbits

Texas Tidbits

The mascots, the rituals, the hand signs—these are just a few of the reasons why we love Texas universities.

Happy Trails

Happy Trails

A recent trip to the Schulenburg Festival left us wishing for the good old days.

Books That Cook

Books That Cook

The recipes from this cookbook remind me of my grandmother’s tattered recipe cards I often flip through nostalgically, as if a testament chronicling her social life. I wonder which ones she made for dinner parties. I guess which ones my father would have liked best, and I remember the ones

Web Exclusive

Book Review

Senior editor John Spong on writing about controversy at a private school in Austin.

Web Exclusive

Running With The Ball

The number one thing you need to be a good running back is a good mind-set—you have to think that you can do whatever you need to. You can’t doubt yourself for a minute. If a guy’s fixing to come knock your head off, and you know he’s fixing to

Web Exclusive

High Kicks at Halftime

Could football be played without drill teams? Well, sure—but then how could you keep kids in their seats instead of under the bleachers, drinking beer? That was the informing idea back in 1939, when Kilgore College first conceived its Rangerettes. Their instructor, Miss Gussie Nell Davis, pioneered the crisp choreography

Web Exclusive

The Joy of Spring

It has been said that in Texas there are two seasons for sports: fall football and spring practice. I know of no other state that makes such a big deal out of what is little more than a few weeks of teaching, honing skills, and evaluating talent, culminating in an

Web Exclusive

Across the Border

Contributing editor Dick J. Reavis on reporting from Mexico during that country’s presidential election.

Texas History 101

Texas History 101

In the fifties and sixties, the kings of the Dallas burlesque business were brothers Abe and Barney Weinstein, and their competition, Jack Ruby.

Pat's Pick


IT HIT ME THE MINUTE I looked at the press release for Trece, Dallas’s newest Mexican restaurant. There, emblazoned across the first page, were the words “Trece brings ‘Alta Cocina Mexicana’ to Dallas.” Ha, I thought. “Alta cocina mexicana” indeed. No one would ever put the phrase “French haute cuisine”


Editor's Letter

Full Disclosure

I’M CONFLICTED. On the one hand, I feel strongly that the editor of a magazine should be able to have friends, acquaintances, and organizational ties that are occasionally newsworthy. And just because the editor has newsworthy associations, the magazine should not be precluded from covering a story related to those

Around the State

Around the State

Jordan’s PickCarol Burnett AUSTIN, FORT WORTH, HOUSTON, SAN ANTONIOYES, CAROL BURNETT IS A TEXAN, and in the most valid sense of the term (she was born here). Though she moved from San Antonio to Hollywood at age seven, we don’t begrudge California for nurturing one of our most talented exports.

Roar of the Crowd

Cover Charges

I JUST HOPE and pray that some child waiting in line at the grocery checkout doesn’t say, “Mommy, what does ‘mofo’ mean?” What were y’all thinking?JOY MARTINSan AntonioJUST BECAUSE Governor Rick Perry got away with the comment does not mean we should have to relive this obscenity.NATHAN DAYBedfordOh, Ricky, You’re

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