Why’d You 86 South Texas?
I read your story on beloved local eateries [“The Good Place,” November 2023] but saw few from deep South Texas. I’m recommending a sweet and cozy neighborhood deli—yes, a deli—in McAllen. It’s the New York Deli, owned and operated by hardworking Gilbert Rendon, who serves excellent food. Never had anything there we didn’t love, and we always feel comfortable among all the Beatles decor and memorabilia.
Elva M. Cerda, McAllen
Lamentations for the Methodist Church
I can relate to the story on “The Disunited Methodist Church” [November 2023]. Last year, the Bluff Dale United Methodist Church canceled my membership after its leaders voted to disaffiliate from the UMC. I grew up in that church, walked down the aisle as a bride, saw two of my grandchildren
baptized there, and held funeral services for both my parents in the sanctuary. But after serving on the church council and hearing the rhetoric behind that decision, I did not want to remain. Thankfully, I have found a new church home fifteen miles away, in Stephenville, where the Methodist tradition of “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors” is still practiced.
Cathey Sims Hartmann, Bluff Dale
It’s not unusual for rifts and disagreements within a church body to result in one group splitting away, but this fracture feels different. When the United Methodist Church can’t agree on what they believe, it’s no wonder that the number of Americans who attend church is dwindling. It seems that too many are aligning themselves with the “Church of What’s Happening Now.”
William Lewis, McKinney
A Friendly Fire Incident
Thank you for the story and pictures of the U.S.S. Texas [“The Last Dreadnought,” November 2023]. In the early seventies, I was in one of those Boy Scout troops that got to overnight on the ship. We brought bottle rockets and took to shooting them over the water from the barrels of the antiaircraft guns. The ship caretaker came out of his hut on shore, yelling. He scared us enough to quit by telling us we would set the ship channel on fire, and we believed him because we knew the oil-slicked channel had caught fire before.
David Furr, Austin
The article by Sasha von Oldershausen, “To Live and Die in Far West Texas” [November 2023], made me consider my own mortality and hope for the same dignity that Sage Keith, whose father was dying of pancreatic cancer in Alpine, references: “being able to die in your own bed and the home you created, surrounded by the family that you built.” It reminded me of a story I heard about a Texas rancher on his deathbed. He asked his foreman to round up all the cows he could and push them into the yard in front of the house. A few hours later, after securing several hundred head, now mooing loudly in the yard, the foreman asked his boss what he wanted next. The rancher said, “Just hold them there. I want to listen to them as I go out.”
Bill Huston, Johnson City
This article originally appeared in the November 2023 issue of Texas Monthly. Subscribe today.