Best of TM Archives

Film & TV |
May 14, 2015

Urban Cowboy Turns 35

It was part musical, part dance movie, and part love story, and in June 1980 it unleashed an unprecedented fervor for country music, Western wear, and, yes, mechanical bulls. More than three decades later, the film’s stars (including John Travolta, Debra Winger, Mickey Gilley, and Johnny Lee) and many Gilley’s regulars recall the movie that made America fall in love with Texas.

True Crime |
December 9, 2014

A Tree Is Known By Its Fruit

When the 85-year-old matriarch of a prominent pecan-farming clan in San Saba was murdered, her death shook the town—and exposed how obsession and greed can fell a family from within.

National Magazine Award Nominee |
August 12, 2014

The Witness

For more than a decade, Michelle Lyons’s job required her to watch condemned criminals be put to death. After 278 executions, she won't ever be the same.

Sports |
May 9, 2014

Bloodless Sport

Every year, some of Mexico’s very best matadors travel to a remote South Texas bullring—one of the few in this country—for no-kill fights. Their pageantry draws spectators by the busload.

Music |
February 28, 2013

In Search of Van Cliburn

He was a world-renowned piano prodigy whose romanticism and technical virtuosity inspired thousands and famously helped thaw the Cold War. But as a visit to his hometown of Kilgore made clear to me, Van Cliburn was also a Texan, a Southerner, a Baptist, a patriot, and a man who loved

Sports |
February 12, 2013

The Man Who Fell to Earth

After decades as one of the most admired athletes on the planet and one of the toughest competitors ever to ride a bike, Lance Armstrong is facing a new challenge: how to come back from a very public disgrace.

True Crime |
January 21, 2013

The Innocent Man, Part One

The National Magazine Award–winning story about Michael Morton, a man who came home from work one day in 1986 to find that his wife had been brutally murdered. What happened next was one of the most profound miscarriages of justice in Texas history.

The Culture |
January 21, 2013

The Boys of the Dipper Ranch

On 50,000 acres that they have mostly to themselves (not including their hounds, mules, horses, cattle, chickens, piglets, and parents), Jasper, Trevor, and Tanner Klein live a life almost untouched by the modern world.

Texas History |
January 21, 2013

The Children of Texas

I was never certain how to explain the importance of the state to my three daughters. Now that I have two grandsons—named Mason and Travis, no less—I’ve realized something that I should have known all along. 

From the Archives: Photo Essay |
January 21, 2013

Between Hell and Texas

Over the past year, state photographer Wyman Meinzer has roamed the Big Empty, documenting the drought’s toll. Will he ever take another pretty picture?

Texas History |
January 21, 2013

When the Sky Ran Dry

Bad as the current drought is, it has yet to match the most arid spell in Texas history. Nearly two dozen survivors of the fifties drought remember the time it never rained.

Politics & Policy |
January 21, 2013

Truth or Consequences

In 2004 Dan Rather tarnished his career forever with a much-criticized report on George W. Bush’s National Guard service. Eight years later, the story behind the story can finally be told: what CBS’s top-ranking newsman did, what the president of the United States didn’t do, and how some feuding Texas

Energy |
January 21, 2013

Below the Surface

In 1996 a powerful South Texas ranching clan accused ExxonMobil of sabotaging wells on the family’s property. Thirteen years, millions of dollars in legal fees, and one state Supreme Court opinion later, the biggest oil field feud of its time is still raging.

Feature |
January 21, 2013

Home on the Range?

Texas Parks and Wildlife has embarked on an ambitious plan to restore the desert bighorn sheep population in Big Bend Ranch State Park. To accomplish this goal, the department has had to make hard choices about which animals live, which animals die, and what truly belongs in the Trans-Pecos.

Music |
January 21, 2013

That ’70s Show

Forty years ago, Willie, Waylon, Jerry Jeff, and a whole host of Texas misfits grew their hair long, snubbed Nashville, and brought the hippies and rednecks together. The birth of outlaw country changed country music forever.

Business |
January 21, 2013

Luv and War at 30,000 Feet

Somehow, as every other major airline went bankrupt, slashed its workforce, or grounded planes, Southwest Airlines kept flying high. Today, Southwest is the country’s largest domestic carrier. So how does a feisty underdog vanquish its competitors and dominate a thoroughly beleaguered industry? One Kick Tail-a-Gram at a time.

BBQ |
January 21, 2013

Of Meat and Men

John Mueller was the heir to one of the great Texas barbecue dynasties. Aaron Franklin was an unknown kid from College Station who worked his counter. John had it all and then threw it all away. Aaron came out of nowhere to create the state’s most coveted brisket. Then John

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