Hanks for Everything
I have read many an author’s profile in my day, but [Christian Wallace’s] story about John Erickson [“King of the Canine Canon,” March 2021] has to be one of the most moving and respectful pieces of the kind I’ve ever read.
Thirty years or so ago, I met John—only once—at a San Angelo writing conference, and he struck me as a true, authentic Texan, very touching, very honorable. And his work that he shared, one of the early Hank books, made all of us laugh and cry in a single session, and I remember thinking, “Thank goodness there are writers who feel like human treasures, without airs, so powerfully down-to-earth.” All of this shines in your piece. I had not heard anything about the terrible fire, which is heartbreaking. But sounds like he rose up still singing.
Naomi Shihab Nye, San Antonio
Thank you for the great article. You did a wonderful job presenting the author and adhering to the principles Erickson values. I probably would never have known about Hank had I not read the piece. Our children were in high school at the time those stories were becoming popular, but I couldn’t wait, after having read the story, to introduce Hank to our eight-year-old grandson. It was a total and delightful surprise to learn that he had just finished his first Hank book and loved it. He too lives in a rural area. He has a female blue heeler named Birdie (whom Hank would surely dream about if they met) and can identify with the stories of rattlesnakes, missing chickens, and other hard forces of nature. Thanks again for such a good way to introduce Erickson to new readers.
Janie Turner, Houston
Stools of Thought
Having lived away from my native Texas for all but eighteen months of the past quarter century, I think of Texas Monthly as my umbilical cord. There have been times I’ve considered gnawing through it. But then you go and publish something like “Three Legs to Stand” [March 2021], which unassumingly represents one of the clearest and cleanest examples of the Lone Star ethos ever to appear in your pages. Well done.
Nathan McElmurry, Wilmington, North Carolina
Why in hell would Sterry Butcher write a warm article about young girls building stools and interject [the concern of their club’s founder about] a vulgar comment made by Donald Trump? I was as shaken as Larry Bamburg was about the comment, but does it have a relevant place in this article? You ruined an otherwise pleasant article by being a political jerk.
Frank Hebert, San Antonio
Reading the article “First String” [March 2021] reminded me that in 1989 or 1990, I was at a guitar show in Fort Worth at the Green Oaks Hotel (where Elvis had stayed back when he performed in the city). I was checking out the booths and came upon a guy who said he built his own guitars and was traveling to shows to promote his product. I shook his hand and said, “Good luck, man.” His name was Bill Collings. I sure wish I would have bought one then!
Wes Davis, Granbury