Best of TM Archives

Texas History |
January 20, 2013

The Aggie Bonfire Tragedy

What’s so important about a stack of wood? Every Aggie knows that the answer is tradition—which is why, after a catastrophe that took the lives of twelve young men and women, the decision of whether to continue, change, or call a halt to the bonfire looms so large at Texas

BBQ |
January 20, 2013

Smokin’!

Don’t miss your ’cue: We pick the top joints in Texas for brisket, ribs, sausage, and all the sides. Plus, the godfather of barbacoa, the biggest free feast in the state, and more.

Feature |
January 20, 2013

Bringing Down the Dogmen

The bust that nabbed Houston’s top dogfighters was the work of two gutsy undercover cops who knew that the only way to infiltrate this secret world was to become dogfighters themselves.

Sports |
January 20, 2013

The Devil and Mr. Jones

How about those Cowboys? Ever since the team's egotistical owner, Jerry Jones, fired coach Jimmy Johnson in a fit of pique, the 'Boys have never been on a slippery slope to perdition. But it's die-hard fans like me who are in hell.

Music |
January 20, 2013

It’s a Family Affair

For all her talent and poise, Beyoncé didn't become the biggest star in the world without help. And she got plenty of it from the people who know her best.

Sports |
January 20, 2013

Untitled Mike Flynt Project

A veteran Hollywood screenwriter couldn’t have come up with a better narrative arc: Seeking redemption, 59-year-old reenrolls at university he was once asked to leave, tries out for football team, makes it, becomes one of oldest-ever players in NCAA history. Or at least that’s how the hero wants it to

Business |
January 20, 2013

The Next Frontier

How has the state’s most storied ranch managed to survive and thrive in the twenty-first century? By operating in a way that its founder, Captain Richard King, would scarcely recognize.

True Crime |
January 20, 2013

Angel of Death

What was it, exactly, that caused Vickie Dawn Jackson, a sweet, soft-spoken nurse at Nocona General Hospital, to become one of the most prolific serial killers in Texas history?

Politics & Policy |
January 20, 2013

North Toward Dome

The best way to visit the Capitol, the state’s grandest public building, is to take the 45-minute guided tour. But there is much more to see if you know what to look for, and I’m going to tell you precisely that.

Health |
January 20, 2013

To Hell and Back

After he was shot by a Mexico City cab driver—and told that he might be paralyzed—Jan Reid was flown to Houston, where Dr. Red Duke and a team of therapists literally got him back on his feet. In an excerpt from his forthcoming memoir, The Bullet Meant for Me, Reid

Feature |
January 20, 2013

Carlos Brown Is a Hero (No Matter What He Says)

My best friend from high school is no longer the uncool, baseball-card-collecting goofball he once was. He’s a Navy surgeon and commander, and for two horrific weeks I got to watch him calmly and bravely save lives in wartime—not just Americans’ and not just soldiers’—in one of the most dangerous

Feature |
January 20, 2013

The Man Who Wasn’t There

Every family has its myths. Some are intended to reveal, and some are intended to conceal, and sometimes the intentions can get confused. The problem with myth, however, is that it can overpower history. That’s what happened in the case of my father, who died when I was four. Only

Feature |
January 20, 2013

Pug

He asked me if I was going to be white my whole life. I was, of course. But because of our friendship, I’m no longer the clueless upper-middle-class kid I once was.

Feature |
January 20, 2013

L. on Wheels

Eight days in a rental car with Larry L. King, the crotchety West Texan who has written some of the greatest magazine stories of all time, would be enough to drive anyone crazy. Except his biggest fan.

The Culture |
January 20, 2013

Sweet 15

For the longest time, quinceañeras were simple, down-home celebrations held in parish halls and backyards. Then along came the stretch Humvees, the carriages and thrones, the choreographed dance routines, the smoke machines, the climbing walls, and the dinners for four hundred bedazzled guests. One thing remains the same, though: It’s

Feature |
January 20, 2013

An Isolated Incident

After his son died of a drug overdose in his fraternity house at SMU, Tom Stiles began asking questions that campus authorities preferred not to answer. Two years later, he is still learning the truth about what happened—and why.

Politics & Policy |
January 20, 2013

The Republic of Chad

Eight years ago, the closest presidential election ever was settled in a political street fight. In this oral history of the Florida recount, the victors recall the unbelievable twists and turns that put George W. Bush in the White House.

Law |
January 20, 2013

Death Isn’t Fair

Cops who threaten torture. Prosecutors who go too far. Defense lawyers who sleep on the job. And an appellate court that rubber-stamps it all. Let’s be tough on crime, but let’s also see that justice is done.

Art |
September 30, 2012

Portrait of the Artist as a Postman

The only American ever to design scarves for the exclusive French fashion house Hermès is Kermit Oliver, a 69-year-old postal worker from Waco who lives in a strange and beautiful world all his own.

Politics & Policy |
July 31, 2012

Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives

In 2011 the Legislature slashed family planning funds, passed a new sonogram law, and waged an all-out war on Planned Parenthood that has dramatically shifted the state’s public health priorities. In the eighteen months since then, the conflict has continued to simmer in the courts, on the campaign trail, and

Food & Drink |
March 1, 2012

Where Is My Home?

A culinary obsession that began decades ago in my grandmother’s kitchen sent me on a quest through Central Texas (and way beyond) for kolaches—not the best ones but the ones that would lead me to myself.

News & Politics |
January 1, 2012

Hannah and Andrew

On October 3, 2006, a four-year-old boy named Andrew Burd died in a Corpus Christi hospital. The cause of death was determined to be salt poisoning, an extremely unusual occurrence. Even more shocking was what happened next: his foster mother, Hannah Overton, was found guilty of killing him. But could

Music |
December 1, 2009

Step Right Up

Press your jeans, pull on your boots, shine up your buckle, and come along on this two-stepping tour of classic country dance halls, from Tom Sefcik Hall, in Seaton, to Club Westerner, in Victoria.

Texas History |
July 20, 2009

Walking on the Moon

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made history as the first humans to set foot on the surface of the moon. Forty years later, the researchers, astronauts, engineers, scientists, and NASA officials who made the voyage possible remember the day the Eagle landed.

The Culture |
March 31, 2009

Ghosts Of War

Happy Texas Independence Day! Read five stories about our state's history, including this piece about the battlegrounds of Texas, which tell an incredible story of struggle, sorrow, triumph, and terror.

Feature |
February 1, 2009

The Night the Music Died

Fifty years ago, a plane carrying Buddy Holly crashed in a remote Iowa cornfield. This month, hundreds of fans will gather at the ballroom where he played his final show to sing, dance, and mourn the greatest rock star ever to come out of Texas.

Feature |
September 30, 2008

The Reluctant Prosecutor

After Randy Reynolds sat on his hands as the Texas Youth Commission scandal exploded, everyone wanted the district attorney of Ward, Reeves, and Loving counties bounced from his job. Everyone, that is, except the people of Ward, Reeves, and Loving counties.

Film & TV |
September 30, 2008

Dude!

Yes, yes, new baby and new movie— but what Matthew McConaughey really wants to talk about is the cushion of the flip-flop, the skooching of hoodie sleeves, the proper thickness of koozies, and his coming career as the arbiter of redneck-Buddha chic.

Energy |
September 1, 2008

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?

Texas History |
March 31, 2008

The Fire That Time

On April 19, 1993, the world watched as the Branch Davidian compound, outside Waco, burned to the ground after a 51-day standoff. Fifteen years later, witnesses and participants—from federal agents to loyal followers of David Koresh—remember what they saw during the deadliest law enforcement operation in U.S. history.

True Crime |
March 1, 2008

The Valley of the Shadow of Death

Did Kari Baker, despondent over her daughter’s passing, commit suicide? Or was she killed by her husband, Matt, a Baptist preacher in Waco and an alleged sexual predator? He says he didn’t do it, but her family insists otherwise—and they say they’ll keep after him until justice is done.

Feature |
October 31, 2007

The Old Man and the River

Fifty years after the mythical trip on the Brazos that was the basis for John Graves’s classic book, I followed in his wake. Literally.

Feature |
October 31, 2007

The Day Oscar Wyatt Caved

In the right light, the ornery octogenarian oilman’s guilty plea can be seen as a victory: After all, he won’t spend the rest of his natural life in jail. But the fact is, he couldn’t beat the rap—and he knew it.

Art |
December 1, 2006

Pasó por Aquí

José Cisneros, the legendary illustrator of the Spanish Southwest, is 96, almost blind, and nearly deaf. And, of course, he has no plans to put down his pen.

Politics & Policy |
November 1, 2006

Ann

She was our governor, but she was my friend.

Sports |
September 30, 2006

Great Guns

In my 86 years I’ve come into the possession of an assortment of firearms: a Colt .32-caliber semiautomatic pistol that my grandfather bought at a hardware store in Cuero; a Remington Model 870 pump, 20-gauge shotgun that my Aggie uncle-by-marriage used to shoot birds; the Winchester Model 06 pump .22

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