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

The first column I wrote for Texas Monthly appeared in the March 2000 issue. The article was titled “Voting Rites,” and I argued that the Voting Rights Act, which Lyndon Johnson had proposed to a joint session of Congress 35 years earlier, was the greatest accomplishment of his presidency. The truth

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 TexasWhat You’ll Need: Full tank of gas, love of graniteSo 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 words for

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.