Things We Missed, Numbers 44,390 and 44,391 

Some things just shrink my mind. I finished your “Icons, Then and Now” issue [February 2023], and it’s most impressive, except for one problem that is perpetual with Texas Monthly: northeast Texas doesn’t exist! You could have at least put that the Oak Ridge Boys and Gene Watson have links to Paris. As well as Edie Brickell and Jay Hunter Morris. Today folks in northeast Texas are treated as if we are in Arkansas! 

We in Paris produce millions of diapers each month. We even have a highway to Canada! But you’d never know it south of here. 

Maybe northeast Texas ought to be the first region to split from the state. Those Oklahoma casinos that the Texas Legislature won’t allow here are a heck of a draw.
Skipper Steely, Paris 

Editors’ note: In this issue, we’ve stepped behind the Pine Curtain with mentions of Karnack and Tyler [pages 115 and 120]. In recent months we’ve published a profile of an artist in Greenville [“How Not to Be an Art Star,” December 2022]; a glimpse at a perfumer in Longview [“On the Nose,” October 2022]; and an original piece of fiction set in East Texas [“Playing the Ghost,” August 2022]. Our website, which publishes nearly six times as many stories as our print magazine, contains even more coverage of that part of the state. So please don’t go seceding on our account!

The omission of George Strait from your list of Texas Icons was so obvious that it left me wondering if it was done maliciously. I am the same age as your magazine, and for at least the past 35 of those years, no one has had a more positive effect on the survival of Texas traditions than Mr. Strait. I daresay that your section on cowboy hats and Wranglers would no longer be needed because Western style would have gone the way of leisure suits and terry cloth shirts if it weren’t for the King of Country’s influence. I think a handwritten apology to Mr. Strait is in order.
Chance Richie, Boerne 

The Astrodome, Reconsidered 

I am compelled to respond to Michael Hardy’s wonderful piece on the Astrodome [“The Eighth Blunder of the World,” February 2023]. My wife and I made many trips to take in Astros games at the Dome and spend the night in the old Warwick Hotel. As I think of the cavernous old Dome, moldering inexorably away, I am reminded of John Keats’s sad conclusion in “On Seeing the Elgin Marbles.” Those splendid, fading sculptures, like the Dome itself, are a monumental testament to “the rude wasting of old time.”
Dale G. Priest, Beaumont 

Editors’ note: A story in our March 2023 issue,“Public Schools at a Breaking Point,” described the American Legislative Exchange Council as a lobbying arm for Charles and David Koch. In fact, the organization is independent of the Kochs, though they have supported it.

This article originally appeared in the April 2023 issue of Texas Monthly. Subscribe today.