This past year we saw a massacre of children, police who let it happen, and our governor’s utter failure of compassion, humanity, and leadership. We saw a dramatic rise in bigotry and violence directed at queer Texans. And you went with the low-hanging fruit and picked Austin as your Bum Steer of the Year? Come on, man. This feels like such a disappointing choice. Maybe confronting our profoundly ugly state leadership was just too much right now.
Anton Prosser, St. Paul, Minnesota
How rich that Texas Monthly named Austin the Bum Steer of the Year when the same progressive agenda that the magazine pursues is responsible for the mess that our state capital has become.
Preston Lewis, San Angelo
School of Art Knocks
Thanks to Rainey Knudson for the article on Lee Baxter Davis [“How Not to Be an Art Star,” December 2022]. I can relate to Baxter’s decision to “live in the wrong place.” I registered at New Mexico State University, in 1957, where the art department operated in a series of World War II billets. I was too busy painting to notice the primitive conditions but never sought fame and glory. Instead, I found a job at a junior college in Alabama. Hooray for the unsung small colleges and all the artists who’ve taught there.
Richard Green, Pleasanton
Your article on Robert Earl Keen [“The Road Can’t Go on Forever,” December 2022] brought me back to an evening in the late eighties in Austin when Keen opened for Doc Watson. I asked the person next to me who this Keen guy was. He responded, “He’s a nobody, only got one good song.” Thirty years later, I know that Keen still only has one good song—whichever one I am listening to at the time.
Chris Pearson, Austin
Honor Thy Texan
The Texanist’s response about honorary Texans and the recognition of the word “Texas” worldwide made me smile [“The Texanist,” December 2022]. I was born in Houston and lived there for thirty years before moving away some four decades ago. Whenever someone asks where I’m from, I always answer Texas. Their faces light up, and enthusiastic questions follow. “You have an oil well?” “You have cattle?” When visiting a friend in France years ago, I told her I wanted to do whatever the typical Parisienne would be doing that night. The response? They’d all be home watching Dallas.
Annice Venable, Sarasota, Florida
Editors’ note: A story in our February 2023 issue, “No Store Has Grown More,” incorrectly referred to Charles Butt as H-E-B’s CEO. Butt stepped down as CEO in 2021 and retains the title of chairman. The story also referred to H-E-B’s “recent move into the Metroplex”; it would have been more accurate to have referred to H-E-B’s major expansion of its operations in the Metroplex.
This article originally appeared in the March 2023 issue of Texas Monthly. Subscribe today.