As a 38-year veteran of NASA in Houston, I greatly appreciated and enjoyed the “To the Moon and Back” issue [July 2019], but for goodness’ sake, please restore the Best and Worst Legislators list to the print version. It is too important to relegate to digital format.
Dave Bruce, Austin
I read Texas Monthly cover to cover each month, so I started, as I always do, with your letter from the editor. About halfway through, my blood ran cold. I had to read the words twice to believe them: the list of Best and Worst Legislators would not be in print this year. Why, exactly, do you think we subscribe to your magazine? “This is the content I’m here for,” said no one ever, about the MOON! Seriously, this decision makes New Coke look like a harmless business mistake. Coke is still here because they knew when to reverse course. I suggest you do the same.
Karen Sosby, Wimberley
Editors’ note: We hear you. We’ll make other mistakes. But we won’t make this particular mistake again.
Wally Funk is a hero [“A Dream of Flying,” July 2019]. She’s a hero to young girls, to old women, to hopefully anyone who gives a damn about people who persevere and do it with grace and style. I hope to read about her space experience one of these days, and I hope there will be many women to follow her. Still, damn shame she’s an Okie.
debwill54, via Instagram
Absolutely amazing story. Those women should’ve had the chance to go to the moon.
delayarthurvan, via Instagram
These kids [from Presidio High School’s rocketry club] are amazing [“Launch and Deliver,” July 2019]. I would like to contribute something to their funds if possible. I don’t have much to share, so I always want to make sure it will be appreciated and used for something good. I think I have found that this year.
Liza Wood, via facebook
That just means there’s a heroic teacher propelling the club. Give that individual a high five.
russwalker, via Instagram
I’m proudly from [West Texas], and one of my best memories is launching rockets with my middle school rocket club. Mine was called the Goblin.
Nicolas A. Neria, via Facebook
I am a fourth-generation Presidio resident. Our kids give us many reasons to be proud.
desertwillowtree, via Instagram
[Presidio] is my hometown. My eyes watered as I read this. This tiny podunk town is finally getting the recognition it deserves.
happi_ale, via twitter
Regarding the Texanist’s column about Texans and the space program [July 2019], there were other pioneers from Texas, but as in the true spirit of Texas, their efforts didn’t involve the federal government.
In 1936 the first international commercial rocket mail flight took place from Texas. The builder of the rocket, sixteen-year-old Keith Rumbel, later went on to help design the solid rocket engines of the Minuteman and the space shuttle.
The first flight of a commercial rocket to space also took place in Texas, from Matagorda Island, in 1982, organized by David Hannah Jr., of Houston, and financed by Texas oil and ranch money.
Its successful flight laid the foundation for today’s commercial
It should also be noted that Texas is home to both Jeff Bezos’s ranch, north of Van Horn, and the SpaceX test site at Boca Chica, which are opening up space as a commercial frontier. Smart money is betting one of these firms will get Americans back to the moon long before NASA does. In Texas, entrepreneurs are creating their own space program.
ThomasLMatula, via texasmonthly.com
TM Live Love
A letter from an attendee of the July Texas Monthly Live performance in Brownsville.
Last year my birthday started with my fiancé making me breakfast tacos in our trailer hidden deep in the beautiful mountains of Northern California. This year I decided to spend the last birthday of my thirties with his family in Texas.
I was born in northern China and have been living in London for the past fifteen years. My Texan fiancé, John, and I first met on a remote Laos island on the Mekong River two and half years ago, and despite all the plans of merging our lives from California and London to Southern Europe, he passed away before our wedding.
In the past 43 weeks of grieving for him, I’ve been learning and realizing a lot about life and love. Though we hadn’t had time to visit Texas together, John’s family convinced me to visit for the first time after his passing, and they took me in as their own. In Texas I learned to drive a truck, fell in love with tacos, ate 26 deadly hot chile pequins in one meal, got my own cowboy hat, and danced to mariachi and country music. On this birthday week, John’s mum took me one evening to [Texas Monthly Live at Brownsville] at John’s old college, Texas Southmost College.
While listening to all the moving, funny, and intelligent stories that happened here in Texas, shared by the writers onstage, I realized one thing: I may not have been born here, and I certainly don’t look or sound like a Texan, but hey, howdy, I definitely feel like a happy Texan, as I have that Texan touch in me.
Qing Yang, London