September 2008 Issue

Pickens, photographed outside Pampa, July 2008.
On the Cover

There Will Be Boone

Our most iconic oil and gas man, lately a water marauder and now a celebrated windcatter, has saved himself a couple of times in his eighty glorious years. Who’s to say he can’t save America?



The Illusionist

My friend Keith Carter is famous not just in his native East Texas but the world over for his discriminating and artful eye, having learned long ago that photography can d o far more than the simple recording of external fact.


Death Letters

On September 10, Charles Dean Hood will receive a lethal injection. Perhaps. Four times before, the convicted murderer has had a date with the executioner only to have the criminal justice system grant him a reprieve—most recently (and most famously), twice in the space of a few hours on the


Katrina, Texas

How my husband, Ferdinand, and I lost everything in the historic hurricane and then found a new life in the Lone Star State.


John Weaver sitting next to a sleeping John McCain on a private plane.
Letter From Washington, DC

Leave It To Weaver

Who better to diagnose John McCain’s woes than the man who used to be his Karl Rove?


Music Review


One of the last things you might expect to burst the cynical bubble of indie rock would be Austin’s Brothers and Sisters. Yet this hippieish seven-piece, led by siblings Lily and Will Courtney, has found itself wowing black-clad teens and sharing the stage with bands like . . .

Music Review

You Are All My People

After two decades as a fan of the Silos, acclaimed author Jonathan Lethem finally approached the group’s front man, Walter Salas-Humara, at a show. They made small talk about co-writing, but it was only after Salas-Humara read (and was blown away by) Lethem’s The Fortress of Solitude that the partnership

Music Review

Sex & Gasoline

Few would dispute that after a long career of starts and stops, Rodney Crowell is again firing on all cylinders. After early success with a string of remarkable hits, the Houston songwriter settled in for a champion slump. Yet beginning with 2001’s The Houston Kid, he released a trio

Book Review

Bob Schieffer’s America

Longtime followers of Bob Schieffer, the chief Washington correspondent for CBS, will hear his silky rasp echo in their heads as they thumb through Bob Schieffer’s America, a compilation of 171 commentaries from his Sunday Face the Nation broadcasts. Always the plainspoken Texan, the veteran newsman weighs in,

Book Review

The Heretic’s Daughter

In 1692 Martha Carrier was arrested, tried, and hanged in Salem, Massachusetts, for having committed “sundry acts of witchcraft.” Ten generations on, her Dallas-based descendant Kathleen Kent has produced The Heretic’s Daughter, a sure-footed first novel that draws from Martha’s tribulations to evoke the short-lived witch hysteria in

Author Interview

Curtis Sittenfeld

The New York Times named the author’s first novel, Prep, one of 2005’s ten best books; its successor, The Man of My Dreams, was a national best-seller. Her newest, American Wife, draws inspiration from the life of Laura Bush, though the author asserts that Wisconsinite Alice Blackwell is not a

Artist Interview

Roky Erickson

His 13th Floor Elevators spearheaded the sixties psychedelic rock movement, but drugs and mental illness would later keep him out of the limelight. An appearance at the 2005 Austin City Limits Music Festival marked his first full-length concert in decades, and since then he has played steadily. He’s set to

Hakeem Olajuwon

“When I was playing in college and the pros, most of the articles called me a ‘future Hall of Famer.’ So you get that idea in your head. You feel secure and confident that you’ll be elected to the Hall of Fame, but it’s different when it actually happens.”

The Horse's Mouth

Breaking Into Showbiz

NAME: Angela Kinsey | AGE: 37 | HOMETOWN: Archer City | QUALIFICATIONS: Plays uptight accountant Angela Martin on The Office / Won a Daytime Emmy for The Office: Accountants webisodes• Be prepared to be very patient. When I got to L.A., I was like, “Okay, let’s do this.” I sort

How to Wrangle a Rattlesnake

THE RATIONALEWith eleven species of rattlesnakes calling our state home, chances are you’ll find yourself face-to-fang sooner or later. Most common to West Texas, rattlers like to den up in dry, rocky crevices, but you’ll also find them slithering through grass or slumbering under woodpiles. “Essentially, if you’re in West

Ben Edwards, Small-Town Family Doctor

Edwards is a solo practitioner at Garza County Health Clinic, in Post, and the only physician serving the county (population: 4,872). Raised in Belton, he holds degrees from Baylor University and the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. He completed his residency at Waco’s McLennan County Medical Education and



Roasted Quail with Fig Puree and Balsamic-Chocolate Reduction

QUAIL4 Quail, 4 to 6 ounces each 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Fine sea salt and ground white pepperMarinate the quail in the parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper for about 30 minutes.STUFFING2 cups cooked wild rice 1 cup small diced toasted French

Pat's Pick

Coco Chocolate Lounge & Bistro

The nerve. Another reviewer grabbed the Sex and the City image I had intended to use in writing about Coco, the tall, dark, and sensuous bistro that recently opened on San Antonio’s far north side. Now I have to trot out my second-best movie comparison: Moulin Rouge. Actually, they both

Web Exclusive

Curtis Sittenfeld

The New York Times named the author’s first novel, Prep, one of 2005’s ten best books; its successor, The Man of My Dreams, was a national best-seller. Her newest, American Wife, draws inspiration from the life of Laura Bush, though the author asserts that Wisconsinite Alice Blackwell is not a


Editor's Letter

The Last Tycoon

If you had asked me a year ago—if you had asked me three months ago—I would have bet my house that Boone Pickens would not be on this month’s cover. Not that his previous time as our cover subject wasn’t memorable: Joe Nocera, then a Texas Monthly associate editor and



Yaphet SmithThough he’s worked both as a CPA and an attorney, Yaphet Smith’s first love is film. The 37-year-old, who grew up in Austin, received widespread recognition in 2001 for his screenplay The Supermarvelous; his following script, about a Little League team in Harlem, was backed by Spike Lee

Roar of the Crowd

The Cowboy Way

Thanks to Elmer Kelton for the story on cowboys [“True Grit,” July 2008]. It is sad that some pundits have used an honorable name and profession to mislabel some of our political leaders. I consider it sadder that some of our political leaders would adopt the outward manifestations of

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