East Texas

Entomology |
June 22, 2016

Meet the Beetle

How long it will take the dreaded emerald ash borers to fully establish themselves in Texas? And how many native ash trees will they decimate?…

Film & TV |
January 21, 2013

Lights, Camera, Carthage!

Nearly fifteen years after Richard Linklater and I started talking about turning a Texas Monthly story into a major motion picture, it’s finally hitting the big screen, with a little help from Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, Shirley MacLaine—and a seventy-year-old retired hairdresser from Rusk named Kay Baby Epperson.

True Crime |
January 20, 2013

The Beating of Billy Ray Johnson

The short, slight, mentally disabled black man was found on the side of a road in Linden, huddled in a fetal position. He was bloody and unconscious—the victim of a violent crime. But another tragedy was how residents of the East Texas town reacted.

The Wanderer |
September 6, 2012

Choose Your Own Texas Adventure

  When it comes to traveling around the state, it's easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of destinations to choose from. One of the things I love most about Texas is that you can drive a few hours (or more than…

Letter From Cleveland |
June 30, 2011

The Worst Hard Time

My hometown of Cleveland has become the most disgraced community in America because of a brutal, unspeakable crime that has set everyone against one another.

Rick Bass |
August 31, 2010

Fish Story

One more trip—would it be the last?—to Toledo Bend Reservoir with my dad.

Feature |
May 31, 2009

Court Order

Location:: East Texas What You’ll Need: Full tank of gas, love of granite So you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like to plan your weekends. You don’t want to worry about reservations. And you absolutely, positively don’t want to fool with timetables. Then I’ve got two…

The Culture |
March 1, 2009

How to Plant a Southern Magnolia

The pecan may be our state tree, but the Magnolia grandiflora, or Southern magnolia, has long been the belle of our arboreal ball. With its dramatic canopy, glossy leaves, and creamy blooms, this elegant evergreen is the centerpiece of many Texas gardens. Where does it thrive? “Magnolias prefer warm, rainy…

Feature |
May 31, 2004

Life and Meth

Around the Piney Woods, most people will tell you that they know someone who’s addicted to homemade speed. Drug recovery centers are overwhelmed; court dockets are backed up; jails are filled. There’s no end in sight.

Music |
April 1, 2004

Pure Country

"I don't believe anything in this world could ever disturb or upset me enough to make me start drinking again."…

Feature |
April 1, 2000

The Sins of the Father

For Tom Cherry, the precise place where loyalty to his dad ends and a larger obligation to society begins lies deep in the woods of East Texas, at the intersection of history and conscience, where the truth about a church bombing during the struggle for civil rights in the South…