IT WILL SHOCK AND DISTURB YOU—OR MAYBE it won’t—to learn that there are no original ideas in the magazine business; there are only good, worthwhile, creative riffs on original ideas. All of us who assign stories know what we like, and our job is to figure out how to do
Jordan’s PickNHL All-Star CelebrationDallasHOCKEY WILL NEVER BE FOOTBALL. In Texas, at least, this truth is self-evident: No matter how many hockey fans rise up in defense of their sport (or write letters to a certain magazine’s editor decrying yet another football cover, as the case may be), the puck will
I HAVE TO PROTEST your exclusion of what I consider one of the most magnificently beautiful areas of Texas from your “Take a Hike” article: the Panhandle [October 2006]. My father grew up in Vega, the county seat of Oldham County, 35 miles west of Amarillo. Anyone but a
THERE’S A CONTROVERSIAL WAR GOING ON, the aftermath of an election to mop up, the stock market rising, the price of oil falling, famine, pestilence—and our December cover story is about tacos? You bet. For as long as there’s been a Texas Monthly, the very best service journalism has had
Patricia Sharpe, Chester Rossen, and Penny De Los Santos.
Jordan’s PickVictorian Christmas Train Ride PalestineTHERE YOU ARE, ALL BUNDLED UP, climbing aboard the Victorian Christmas Train Ride in East Texas with your loved ones. The antique locomotive picks up steam as you sip hot cider and warble, uninhibitedly, your favorite carols. With the verdant foliage of the Piney Woods
ABOUT YOUR SEPTEMBER COVER … As a lifetime Texan and hockey dad, I’m a bit offended. Okay, I’m over it. However, I’m wondering if you know that the state of Texas houses more pro hockey teams than any other state. I’m wondering if you know just how many kids
WHEN I MOVED TO TEXAS TO WORK for Texas Monthly in late 1991, the two words staring out at me from an upcoming cover were “Aggie Sex.” Was I on a different planet? I quickly got up to speed on what an Aggie was—sex I’d heard of—but it took me
Jordan’s PickDallas OperaDallasLIKE SO MANY BABY BOOMERS warily approaching that milestone birthday—yes, you know which one—the Dallas Opera finds itself at the contemplative crossroads of half a century. Happily, there’s no midlife crisis in sight: Beginning this month, the venerated institution will be treating its guests to a star-strewn golden-anniversary
I WAS MESMERIZED by “96 Minutes” [August 2006]. My husband, Jim, was one of the people who offered his deer rifle to an officer, on the second story of the University United Methodist Church. He ran across the Drag, went into the building, and found the officer
Art Museum Of South Texas Corpus ChristiLET’S BE BRUTALLY HONEST: Corpus Christi’s art scene flies well below the radar, if it leaves the ground at all. Cutting-edge installations or high-profile exhibitions? Any self-respecting art snob knows to go to Houston or Dallas or Fort Worth or San Antonio. Marfa attracts
HE DESCRIBED HIS LETTER to me as “an inquiry from the fringe of things,” a turn of phrase every bit as elegant as I would have expected from its author. He informed me that, at 86, he didn’t write much anymore, at least not for public consumption, but that as
A salute to some of our favorite gridiron heroes.
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
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
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.
I’M SURE GLAD YOU decided to exclude Belton Lake from your “Water, Water Everywhere” story [June 2006]. Maybe it will stay one of the most gorgeous, least crowded, clearest, and most enjoyable lakes in the state.GEORGE DUTTONArlingtonHOW COULD YOU LEAVE OFF the state’s number one bass-fishing lake,
Two related points about the state of the increasingly crazy business we’re in. First, like delicate species in the ecosystem, magazines can’t survive if they don’t adapt. Second, rumors of print journalism’s death have been greatly exaggerated, but as with so many overstatements, there’s an embedded grain of truth, and
Jordan’s PickShakespeare Festivals HOUSTON, ODESSA, WINEDALEWHAT IS IT ABOUT this time of the year That breeds such great love for thee, O Shakespeare? ’Tis said the sun’s heat doth render one giddy Is it more likely your verses so witty? In hamlets, in towns, no thought for
Back at you, Texas Monthly. Don’t let my door hit you … Paul Burka’s article on Tom DeLay was not very objective [“Without DeLay,” May 2006].J. HUNDLEYAustinDemocrats deemed Tom DeLay the new bogeyman for one reason only: He dared to fight hard for Republicans in Texas. Forget
YES, THAT’S GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE Kinky Friedman—four words I’ve yet to utter with a straight face—on our cover this month, dressed somewhat less outlandishly than in the past. The last time (July 2004), you’ll recall, he was elegantly done up like the queen of England, as feminine as a swarthy man
Jordan’s PickEssence Music Festival HoustonIT’S BEEN NEARLY a year since Katrina forced thousands to flee from New Orleans and turned Houston’s Astrodome into a hurricane hotel. Now, with another storm season looming and much of the Gulf Coast still in disrepair, Reliant Park will be a home away from
I ENJOYED EVERY WORD OF “75 Things We Love About Texas” [April 2006]. There are so many you could not include because of a lack of room. A few that occurred to me: the very shape of Texas, the ceaseless arguments over how to make real Texas
I’m going to go out on a limb here—but not too far—and predict that supporters of Chris Bell’s campaign for governor will be angry when they read “He’s Sisyphus, and He Approves This Message”, by executive editor S. C. Gwynne. But misery loves company: Residents of Marfa, the Presidio
Jordan’s PickTEXAS CanyonIN JULY 1966 A CULTURAL icon was born—in Canyon, of all places. A few years earlier, some Amarilloans looking to boost interest in their corner of the state got in touch with the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Green. Would he please whip up one of his trademark outdoor
Jordan’s PickThe Grand Prix HoustonIT’S IRONIC that the month’s speediest happening is in the city of perpetual gridlock. After a five-year hiatus, the Grand Prix of Houston is back—and no amount of bumper fatigue can detract from the coup. If you’re envisioning a carnivalesque affair with an outrageous mullet quota,
Thank you for printing names, faces, and information in “Fallen Heroes” [March 2006]. As many others probably did with the issue, I flipped through the pages and only glanced at the pictures. Then I read “Heartbreak High” [March 2006] and ended up feeling like a selfish, self-centered person. I
AS IT HAPPENS, we had already planned a May cover on Tom DeLay—on his political difficulties, on his ethical problems, on the ongoing investigation by Travis County DA Ronnie Earle into various alleged campaign finance shenanigans—when the defanged House majority leader announced he was withdrawing from his reelection race and
I read your Bud Shrake/Gary Cartwright article while on a plane from Austin to Los Angeles (poignant in itself), and it literally brought tears to my eyes [“Perfect 10,” February 2006]. It not only took me back to that stellar night of January 4 but to the several nights
ONCE UPON A TIME, MAGAZINES redesigned every few years, in response to changing tastes and the possibilities presented by evolving technology. These days, if you want to ensure that the sell-by date on your most creative impulses doesn’t pass, it makes sense to redesign more often. This month, thanks to
Jordan’s PickThe Blanton AustinIT’S REALLY GOING TO HAPPEN this time. On April 29 the Blanton Museum of Art at last unveils its new home, the Mari and James A. Michener Gallery, at the University of Texas. After nearly three decades of planning, a wealth of soap-opera moments, and some eleventh-hour
Will Iraq be the president’s legacy? A conversation with eminent historians H. W. Brands and Doris Kearns Goodwin.
March—People, Places, Events, Attractions03.09.2006You have to wonder what’s most impressive about the 48-year-old World’s Largest Rattlesnake Round-up, in Sweetwater: the fact that a community of farmers and ranchers devised a way to turn all their diamondback-infested nooks and crannies into ripe hunting grounds, drawing crowds from as far as Australia
“The problem is that there’s nobody who can put their foot down and say, ‘Yep, by God, we’re going to do this . . .’ It’s a city without leadership.”
Your article about being an Army brat could have been my biography, right down to the unair-conditioned Plymouth station wagon [“Army Brat,” December 2005]! When we lived in Naples, Italy, my dad, who worked for base security, drove us in that Plymouth, which was probably the largest car in
February—People, Places, Events, Attractions02.11.2006“TWO WOMEN LOOK WEST: PHOTOGRAPHS OF KING RANCH BY HELEN C. KLEBERG AND TONI FRISSELL,” a dual exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, takes us back this month to the glory years of the King Ranch, when it was the biggest, richest, and most glamorous
“Any idea you can think up and plan out isn’t going to be that good. There’s no way I could have thought up all of Holes beforehand.”
Your November 2005 article [“Hurt? Injured? Need a Lawyer? Too Bad!”], ostensibly on tort reform, was disappointing in its limited and biased coverage of the litigation reforms of the past decade, the grassroots movement that generated those reforms, and the improvements in Texas law and society that the reforms
January—People, Places, Events, Attractions 01.2006 Forget the holidays: As any college-football fanatic will tell you, the most wonderful time of the year is bowl season. It has certainly been the hap-happiest season of all (at least since 1970) for Texas Longhorns fans, whose undefeated team makes a return trip to
The childhood homes of nine famous Texans.
Great article about the cheerleading debate [“Flipping Out,” October 2005]. All I can say is this: It’s funny that the legislators mention “more of our young girls getting pregnant in middle and high school, dropping out of school, having babies,” when it’s the young ladies on the cheerleading squads
December—People, Places, Events, Attractions12-2005It’s list-checking time again up at the North Pole, so if you’ve been more naughty than nice this year, some friendly advice: Head straight to Columbus. You can plead your case directly—and ad nauseam—at the Mary Elizabeth Hopkins Santa Claus Museum, where more than two thousand versions
November—People, Places, Events, Attractions11-2005Checked anything off your life list lately? No, we don’t mean organizing your garage, putting your kids through college, or writing your will. We’re talking birding: Ever made note of a warbler, a hawk, or an egret? Texas is home to more than six hundred species of
I cross the Red River regularly for business, and it galls me every time. You see “OU” everywhere, and you can’t say anything, because Bob Stoops owns Mack Brown [“The Eyes of Texas Are Upon Him,” September 2005]. Mack Brown may be a nice guy, but I want trained
“People speak nostalgically about family newspapers. For every decent one, there were literally hundreds of embarrassingly bad ones.”
“I’ve had my failures and my mistakes. I don’t dwell on them. So I don’t have anything dragging me down at any given time.”
I am mortified that Texas Monthly would choose the cover heading “And on the eighth day, God created Joel Osteen” [“Prime Minister,” August 2005]. While Joel Osteen delivers a feel-good message and may be a good businessman, please reacquaint yourselves with Genesis, chapter one, of the Holy Bible—any version.
October—People, Places, Events, Attractions10.15.05In mid-April the world waited patiently for white smoke to billow over Vatican City’s Saint Peter’s Square, the signal that the closely guarded keys to the Catholic Church had come into new hands. Now San Antonio unlocks the two thousand years of history from Saint Peter to
Where high school football memories are made.
Your justification for including me on the Ten Worst list was primarily based on your false assertion that I was to blame for the demise of a judicial pay raise bill [“The Best and Worst Legislators of 2005,” July 2005]. In fact, I voted “present not voting” on