Miscellany

Roar of the Crowd |
May 31, 2008

Kidding Around

Your piece on the 68 awesome things to do with your kids was terrific but incomplete when it came to family-friendly train rides [“Child’s Play,” April 2008]. You missed the Austin Steam Train, which runs vintage trains every weekend on a 33-mile route into the Hill Country, and the

Food & Drink |
May 31, 2008

It’s Pat

With all due respect to the assembled face-wipers on page 6, the brains, not to mention the gullet and the stomach, behind our latest list of the best barbecue joints in Texas is executive editor Pat Sharpe. Who else could it possibly be? For a generation or more, Pat’s led

Roar of the Crowd |
April 30, 2008

Twist of Faith

With so great a host of believers around Matt and Kari Baker, it is tragic that no one saw the serious pain Kari felt or tried to seek professional help for her [“The Valley of the Shadow of Death,” March 2008]. It’s also tragic that Matt and Kari’s two

Music |
April 30, 2008

Say Hey Willie

To the famously short list of things that are certain in life—death and taxes—you can confidently add another: Willie Nelson sells copies of Texas Monthly. The iconic singer, golfer, actor, bus rider, weed smoker, and all-around good guy has been on our cover more times than anyone else (seven, this

Roar of the Crowd |
March 31, 2008

Tap Dance

I have been in the water business for more than 28 years. “The Last Drop” is the best article I have ever read about the state of water supplies, planning, and history of supply development in Texas [February 2008]. This article should be considered a great public service. However,

Editor's Letter |
March 31, 2008

The Audacity of Hope

I have a very clear memory of returning from a birthday trip with my wife to Paris, where we were blissfully unaware of the awful happenings back home. This was in late April 1998, when cell phones weren’t ubiquitous and BlackBerrys didn’t exist—even e-mail was in limited use—so my first

Roar of the Crowd |
March 1, 2008

Bum Rap

Oy! It’s a pretty bad state of affairs, I say, when Texas Monthly—the arbiter of all things hip in the Lone Star State—botches a sneering slam as badly as y’all botched the “Guns Up! IQs Down!” Bum Steer [“The 2008 Bum Steer Awards,” January 2008]. If you’re going to

Politics & Policy |
March 1, 2008

Editor’s Letter

I bet you’d like to know what’s going to happen on March 4, when Texas finally gets to have a say in the presidential race. Beats the heck out of me. Over the past twelve months, I’ve been asserting, with arrogant certainty, that the November combatants would be Clinton and

Roar of the Crowd |
February 1, 2008

Steak Your Claim

I enjoyed your story on the 38 best steakhouses in Texas [“Meat Your Maker,” December 2007]. However, I was disappointed that Western Sky Steakhouse, in San Angelo, was not mentioned. I live in Kerrville, and for nearly thirty years I have been flying friends and clients out to Western

The Culture |
February 1, 2008

Ha-ha! We’re 35!

Somewhere out there is a sourpuss (there’s always one) who’ll ask, after picking up this special issue, what the fuss is all about. And he’ll have a point, sort of. Thirty-five years? Lots of publications have been around that long or longer. Just last year, one of the most iconic

Roar of the Crowd |
January 1, 2008

Twin Peaks

Finally someone sees Jenna Bush as she is today [“Girl Gone Mild,” November 2007]. She did nothing in her younger years that many other girls have not done—they just weren’t the daughter of a president. Jenna has grown up. People who are critical of her should do the same.

Bum Steers |
January 1, 2008

Bum Rap

The bar was set pretty high even before last year’s Bum Steers cover was named one of seven winners in the American Society of Magazine Editors’ annual Best Cover Contest. I mean, honestly: How to top Dick Cheney with a scowl and a shotgun? It’s not as if there was

Editor's Letter |
December 1, 2007

Meat the Press

I’m not cowed by the idea of admitting to things that put me on the banks of the mainstream in Texas—rooting for the New York Yankees (give me an alternative!), thinking Cormac McCarthy’s books are boring (get a rope!)—so I may as well also cop to the following: The cover

Roar of the Crowd |
December 1, 2007

Alpine Mystery Slights

You left out one of the best (if not the very best) towns in your story on Big Bend: Alpine, home to Sul Ross State University, the Museum of the Big Bend, cowboy poetry, Gallery Night, balloon festivals, great people, and no red lights [“River Deep, Mountain High,” October

Roar of the Crowd |
October 31, 2007

Portrait of a Lady

Texas lost one of its true legends with the passing of Lady Bird Johnson [“A Lady First,” September 2007]. It is all the more disappointing when you look around at today’s landscape and find it lacking in those larger-than-life personalities who shaped the mystique of this great state. Today’s

Editor's Letter |
October 31, 2007

The Center Holds

Several of this month’s letters to the editor, responding to our September issue, fall into two categories: those from angry liberals and those from angry conservatives. The libs rabidly attack Gary Cartwright for refusing to canonize Austin’s own Vegan de Milo, shopping center owner Jeanne Daniels, whose commitment

Roar of the Crowd |
September 30, 2007

All the King’s Men

Your article “The Next Frontier” captured the essence of the King Ranch, its history, family, finance, and future [August 2007]. And the black and white photos by Kurt Markus were perfect; color would have ruined them. I felt as though I were there. Sandra Wray AustinI can appreciate

Editor's Letter |
September 30, 2007

The Ones That Got Away

One of the inevitable realities of being in business for nearly 35 years is that you have a lot of ex-employees (all of them gruntled, I’m sure). Even though a surprisingly high number of the names on our masthead—seven!—have been here for more than three decades, the vast majority

Editor's Letter |
August 31, 2007

Mrs. J

My very first issue as the editor of this magazine—August 2000—had Lady Bird Johnson on the cover, flanked by her daughters, Lynda and Luci. Back then I hadn’t yet met the matriarch of Texas’s first family; certainly she didn’t know me from Adam (or Greg). But we would become acquainted

Roar of the Crowd |
August 31, 2007

Capitol Offense

I was appalled to learn of texas monthly’s designation of Representative Lon Burnam as one of Texas’s Worst Legislators, in part due to his purported ineffectiveness on behalf of the environment [“The Best and Worst Legislators,” July 2007]. The Texas Legislature has no greater advocate for the environment than

Roar of the Crowd |
July 31, 2007

Coast Guardians

I was thrilled to see Lucinda Wierenga and the “Amazin’ Walter” McDonald’s sand castle on the cover. I’m glad to see that Texas Monthly is still looking for and honoring our more interesting citizens. We are what make Texas so great. S. TUCKER AlvinI recently returned from a five-day

Editor's Letter |
July 31, 2007

King for a Day

This month’s cover story is one for the history books—in two ways. First, because executive editor Sam Gwynne’s report on the myth, majesty, and future of the King Ranch (“The Next Frontier,”) is as sweeping as the ranch itself, and second, because it’s a report from the inside.

Roar of the Crowd |
June 30, 2007

Failure to Launch

Your May story on Lisa Nowak and NASA was disappointing to say the least, not only because you linked her lurid story to an otherwise august organization but mostly because of the assumptive errors made by S. C. Gwynne [“Lust in Space”]. Here are a few: You write, “For

Editor's Letter |
June 30, 2007

I’m With the Brand

I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but the worm finally turned sometime in the past year or two on the question of whether a magazine can survive without a Web site. For a while, I suppose, you didn’t necessarily need one, though we’ve been online in some form

Contributors |
May 31, 2007

(Li’l Contributors)

OH, BABY: That’s what Texas Monthly’s editorial and art staffs thought when we learned that three of our editors were expecting their first children within a few weeks of one another. We’re pleased to introduce our future staffers below (though we’re not through yet: senior editor Pamela Colloff is due

Roar of the Crowd |
May 31, 2007

Badge Boys

CAPTAIN CLETE BUCKALOO? Even Hollywood couldn’t make that up. Why? Because Captain Buckaloo is Texas real, as are the rest of his fellow Rangers. One look at him should make any criminal think seriously about going legit. CHARLES POLAND NacogdochesHOW THE HECK did you ever get Big Tex into a

Editor's Letter |
May 31, 2007

Dealey or No Dealey

AT SOME POINT EARLY IN THE PLANNING of this issue, our articles editor, Brian Sweany, asked if it was a problem that two stories hinge on the Kennedy assassination: the excerpt (“The President Is Dead, You Know,”) from LBJ consigliere Jack Valenti’s memoir and my interview with actor Bill

Around the State |
May 31, 2007

Around the State

Jordan’s PickMenil CollectionHOUSTON“I CALL MYSELF COVETOUS,” the late Dominique de Menil once told this magazine. “I have an enormous appetite for what- ever turns me on.” Luckily for her adopted city of Houston, what she craved most was art of the highest caliber: When the Menil Collection opened as its

Roar of the Crowd |
April 30, 2007

Beating Around the Bush

GOOD GRIEF. EVERYONE has to be so circumspect and carefully cautious [“The Test of Time,” March 2007]. Let’s try this for W.’s legacy: worst president in the history of the United States of America. RICK SCHWERTFEGER AustinWHILE DONALD EVANS has been knocking on wood that our country has not

Editor's Letter |
April 30, 2007

A M*A*S*H Note

IN THE END, I HAD VISIONS OF HENRY BLAKE. Surely at least a few of you remember the character played by McLean Stevenson on the TV version of M*A*S*H: the lovable goofball of a lieutenant colonel who commanded the 4077th, a ragtag surgical unit doing its best to save lives

Around the State |
April 30, 2007

Around the State

Jordan’s Pick Fort Worth Opera FestivalFort WorthIF YOU’RE A SIXTY-YEAR-OLD opera company, how do you (a) reinvigorate your aging self, (b) draw in new (and younger) audiences, and (c) steal a moment in the international spotlight while you’re at it? Simple: You get off the old posterior and shake things

Editor's Letter |
March 31, 2007

The Profanity Defense

MY MOTHER WASN’T A LONGSHOREMAN. My father wasn’t a mob boss. They weren’t church choir directors either, but they certainly didn’t raise me to drop the F-bomb in conversation as liberally as you might sprinkle salt on french fries. Despite their best efforts, I have what can charitably be described

Around the State |
March 31, 2007

Around the State

JORDAN’S PICKMesquite Championship RodeoMesquiteSO YOU MISSED THE BIG-TO-DO rodeos in Fort Worth and Houston this year. It’s okay to admit it. But, lest your Texas citizenship soon be revoked, you’ve still got a chance to hop in the saddle (in a manner of speaking): The Mesquite Championship Rodeo, arguably the

Roar of the Crowd |
March 31, 2007

Motor Mouths

THANK YOU, MICHAEL HALL, for opening your “football-loving soul” to the NASCAR way [“EEEEEEAAAAOOOOWWW!!!,” February 2007]. Most of the time, NASCAR fans get looked down upon, but you came, saw, and felt what millions of others love—one hell of a good time. STEPHEN HUGHES Pflugerville AS A LONGTIME MOTOR

Roar of the Crowd |
March 1, 2007

Cheney Reaction

THREE WORDS ABOUT your January 2007 cover: incredibly bad taste. PATRICIA DUBOSE MCDANIEL Wichita FallsPLEASE TELL ME what is the significance of an isolated accident that occurred on a private outing among friends. This was a cheap shot (no pun intended). ALTON TEW WhitesboroVICE PRESIDENT Dick Cheney is by

Editor's Letter |
March 1, 2007

Legacies

ONLY A HIGHER POWER with a truly perverse streak would have deposited the Decider and the Derider in the same social circle—Houston’s close-knit private-school world—as teenagers. As the latter told me in an interview several years ago, the former “hung out with friends of mine and dated some girls I

Around the State |
March 1, 2007

Around the State

JORDAN’S PICKAFI Dallas International Film FestivalDallas SO THAT BIG-BUDGET DALLAS movie may not actually be filmed anywhere near Dallas. But frankly, who cares? The city can now claim a new image booster: the inaugural AFI Dallas International Film Festival. With a goal to screen 150 features and shorts over eleven

Roar of the Crowd |
February 1, 2007

Shell Shock

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK you for an article that has mapped out my 2007 New Year’s resolution: to try as many tacos as possible on your “The Greatest Tacos Ever Sold” list [December 2006].HEATHER SEGRESTAustinMY SUBMISSION FOR the sixty-fourth taco on your list is the fried taquito (I

Editor's Letter |
February 1, 2007

Nobody but Craddick

“IF YOU’RE GOING TO SHOOT THE KING, you’d better kill the king.” That’s what famous blogger and occasional journalist Paul Burka, our senior executive editor, told me on the phone the morning of Saturday, December 23, as I was huffing and puffing between sets of tennis. He had called to

Around the State |
February 1, 2007

Around the State

Jordan’s PickMuseum Of Fine ArtsHoustonIMAGINE THAT SOCIALITE Anne Bass is remodeling her closet, and instead of putting her couture dresses in storage, she’s sending them to you for safekeeping. If that seems far-fetched, consider a comparably extravagant loan happening in the art world this month: The Metropolitan Museum of Art,

Roar of the Crowd |
January 1, 2007

Saving Accounts

TEXAS A&M AND THE AGGIES do not need “saving” from anything [“Agent of Change,” November 2006]. CLIFFORD FRY College StationA&M SHOULD CONTINUE TO IMPROVE ITSELF, as any viable enterprise must. The question really becomes this: Beyond things like student-faculty ratios, number of minority students, and the quality of