Personal Essay

Critters |
March 22, 2019

Life, in Dog Years

My father always pampered his pets. So when he fell ill and moved in with us, it was no surprise that his corgi came to rule our home. What I didn’t expect was for Trilby to care for me after Dad was gone.

Texas History |
June 16, 2016

Off Course

I never knew my father, a decorated World War II pilot who died before I was born. But a trek at age 67 to the site where his airplane crashed brought me closer to him than I’d ever dared hope.

Film & TV |
May 31, 1996

Marcia Gay Harden

I REMEMBER ONE SUMMER when there were snakes galore on Lake LBJ near Kingsland. We have five kids in our family, and we’d all go swimming in the lake, but when we’d see something in the water—and couldn’t tell if it was a turtle or a water moccasin—we’d jump out.

Health |
September 30, 1992

Last Rights

My son ended his life after three years of madness and unbearable depression. Who am I to say he did the wrong thing?

Hunting & Fishing |
July 1, 1986

Man to Man

The son’s ultimate selfishness is to see his father only as his father—not as a man. But on our first fishing trip in 25 years, I began to see my father—and myself—as the grown men we’d become.

Health |
February 1, 1985

My Life as a Drunk

It may be hard to believe that you can drink two fifths a day and not only function but function well. But I did it. For a while.

Being Texan |
April 1, 1984

The Hub Cafe

It wasn’t the classiest place in Pharr to grow up, but it had tough truckers, sassy waitresses, and some of the best fry cooks in the Valley.

Travel & Outdoors |
March 1, 1981

Going Under

For a man and his daughter out for a pleasant day’s fishing, the first sign of danger was a man’s hat floating silently down the stream.

Health |
December 1, 1979

Smokers Are People Too

You can always spot a smoker. He fiddles with matches, his shirt pocket bulges in a tiny rectangle, and fumes emerge from his mouth and nose. But what should we do about him?