Paul Burka’s breezy piece showed how George W. Bush could run for president, but isn’t the real question, Should Bush run [“President Bush?” July 1998]? Getting elected has become the endgame in American politics, and the results often don’t lead to qualified statesmen. Bush seems like a nice guy, but I’m not sure he’s ready to be the leader of the free world. One term as governor of a state with a part-time Legislature and an executive branch largely controlled by other elected officials sure doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in his ability to work with Congress or settle the Israeli-Palestinian problem. I’m not even going to get into the vision thing. Come back in ten or fifteen years, George.
Susan Reider

I am a big fan of the governor’s. Whenever the time comes for him to make a decision about his future, I am sure that it will be whatever is in the best interest of the state, the country, and his family.
Jason A. Denby

Basic Training

I’ll bet you a couple of cups of coffee that the picture of the squad of World War II reenactors standing at “right shoulder arms” in  “War Games” draws a bunch of comments [July 1998]. The proper execution with the M1 Garand rifle required the right elbow to be tight against the body with the forearm pointed directly ahead and parallel to the ground and the trigger guard to be nestled in the hollow of the shoulder. However, as a brown-shoe Army veteran, I’m pleased to see the interest shown.
Richard R. McTaggart

Sexual Healing

Thanks to Gary Cartwright for his personal essay about Viagra [“How to Have Great Sex Forever,” July 1998]. The tone of the article was tender and funny, and Mr. Cartwright was brave to write so clearly about a hush-hush condition. In doing so, he reminded men and women of the true nature of intimacy.
Jan Williams

I would like to nominate Mr. Cartwright as the luckiest man in the world and his wife as the perfect wife. Wow!
Bill Sloan

I appreciate the main idea of Mr. Cartwright’s article about the use of the Viagra pill—that romance is more important. However, I’m not sure I wanted to know that much about Mr. Cartwright’s personal life. I have just one question for him: Your wife did know that you were writing about these intimate details, didn’t she?
Diana Pierce

City Limits

Marathon abounds with wonderful stories and down-to-earth citizens who feel that the article about their town made them look ignorant [Cities: “Marathon Man,” July 1998]. You need to return to Marathon and get to know the people who were born there and whose parents and grandparents are buried in the dusty cemetery across the railroad tracks. These are the people who make Marathon what it is. J. P. Bryan deserves credit for investing his money in the renovation of the Gage Hotel and his renewal of the main street. It has definitely given tourists a reason to stop and stay awhile. Everything he has done has added to the town. However, to do any more would, for me, detract from what brings me to Marathon several times a year.
Johnine McDowell

Wichita Falls Guy

Skip Hollandsworth’s article on the Dallas Cowboys’ coming to town struck close to home [Texas Monthly Reporter: “Hut, Hut, Yikes!” July 1998]. Most of us who spent most of our lives in Wichita Falls don’t realize what a great, strange place it is. It takes some time away to truly appreciate an area where houses “the size of Ramada Inns” and tomato juice mixed with beer are the norm. It is unfortunate that the Cowboys will probably depart for greener pastures next year, but they will get one summer to discover the little town that few in Texas seem to know. Then again, if this year’s team is anything like last year’s, maybe we won’t want them back.
Charles Spragins

Mr. Hollandsworth is not the Antichrist. However, Wichita Falls residents grow weary of always being in a sentence including the words “tornado” and “hot.” Dallas residents would tire of constant J. R. Ewing and JFK assassination references. Actually, Wichitans have a great sense of humor. We’re just ready for new jokes.
C. Bennett
Wichita Falls

A letter from a red-hot mama! Hey, Skip, did you know that Austin has 110- to 111-degree temperatures, plus 100-percent humidity? (Wichita Falls doesn’t have humidity.) After the Cowboys taste the seafood buffet at the Wichita Club, after they are charmed by the hospitality of the city, after they feel the genuine warmth and care for them that the people of Wichita Falls have shown our family, they will never return to Austin and maybe never to Dallas. Jerry Jones, build the ball field in Wichita Falls and we’ll all come.
Peggy Hollandsworth
Montreat, North Carolina


Mayoral Reply


I was happy to speak to gregory curtis about the accomplishments of the first few months of my administration [Behind the Lines: “A Letter to the Mayor,” July 1998]. Mr. Curtis, instead, wrote a personal critique, on what the “critics say” are the issues and problems. The people who elected me to this office best answer this question. I have received an approval rating of 71 percent from the people of Houston.

I have based my administration on five goals: neighborhood-oriented government, opportunities for youths, transportation and infrastructure, economic development, and continuous improvement. To solve problems throughout the city, we must reduce problems to a manageable size by focusing on neighborhoods. To make city government accessible, I have instituted town hall meetings and a Mayor’s Night In, a night that citizens come to city hall to discuss concerns directly with me. One of my top priorities has been the needs of our children, especially during the critical after-school hours. I have increased dollars available for after-school programs from $140,000 to $1.42 million and helped secure a federal grant of $6.6 million for three years for after-school programs. Developing cost-effective long-term transportation plans is also a priority. We have started a federally required study of transportation options, which will include a look at light rail for Houston.

Regarding my full plate of goals, Mr. Curtis wrote that “to have so many goals is to have none.” Nothing could be further from the truth in Houston. We are a can-do city that will accomplish much during my tenure as mayor.
Lee P. Brown, Mayor of Houston