Speaking of Texas

Legendary Wrestler Kevin Von Erich On ‘The Iron Claw’ and His Family’s Legacy

April 5, 2024 | By Natalie Weiner

A vacant lot just south of downtown Dallas is all that’s left of one of the most influential regional professional wrestling companies in America—the arguable birthplace of mainstream wrestling as we know it today.

Author Tim O’Brien On His Great American Road Trip Novel

March 11, 2024 | By S. Kirk Walsh

Acclaimed author Tim O’Brien made his highly anticipated return with his first novel in 20 years, America Fantastica, last October.

Nixta Taqueria Chef Edgar Rico on the Joys of Tacos

January 31, 2024 | By S. Kirk Walsh

“Tacos have always brought me joy,” says Edgar Rico, executive chef and co-owner of Nixta Taqueria in East Austin.

Heisman Quarterback Robert Griffin III on His Return to Texas

November 21, 2023 | By Natalie Weiner

Robert Griffin III is back—not on the field, but as a popular commentator for college football and the NFL.

Author George Saunders on the Whole Texas Thing

October 24, 2023 | By S. Kirk Walsh

In the contemporary world of literature, George Saunders is known for many things. There are his five books of wildly inventive short fiction, including the new Liberation Day, which features nine stories echoing current society’s existential despair and political dystopia.

The Texas Director Behind Some of Your Favorite TV Shows

September 19, 2023 | By Dina Gachman

An axe murder lured Lesli Linka Glatter back to Texas. The Emmy-nominated director behind shows like Mad Men, Homeland, Freaks and Geeks, and Gilmore Girls grew up in Dallas, but she left home for New York as a teenager to pursue her original passion of dance.

Dallas Billionaire Mark Cuban Is on a Winning Streak

August 22, 2023 | By Mike Hoinski

Mark Cuban is arguably the hardest working billionaire out there. Once people amass that much wealth, they may want to camp out on a gigayacht or, say, endlessly fart around with the social media platform they overpaid for.

Black Pumas Guitarist Adrian Quesada’s Music Knows No Boundaries

July 25, 2023 | By Joe Gross

It is entirely possible Adrian Quesada is the most talented and inspired musician, producer, and songwriter Austin has seen in 20 years.

The Righteous Gemstones’ Edi Patterson Likes Playing ‘Weirdos’

June 17, 2023 | By Dina Gachman

The deep-water port of Texas City has long been known for its refineries, shrimp boils, and the longest human-made fishing pier in the world at 5.3 miles.

Fort Worth Author Jeff Guinn Has a Thing for Madmen

May 30, 2023 | By Sarah Hepola

Jeff Guinn looks like a benevolent uncle as he sits in the leather booth of Paris Coffee Shop, a historic diner in his longtime home of Fort Worth.

A Look to the Future of Texas State Parks

May 2, 2023 | By Matt Joyce

Andrew Sansom got his first job in 1959 as a lifeguard at Lake Jackson Municipal Pool in his hometown about 55 miles south of Houston.

HGTV’s Grace Mitchell Shows and Tells How Fort Worth Is One of a Kind

March 28, 2023 | By June Naylor

Storytelling has always fueled Grace Mitchell’s creativity. Before she became an HGTV star, the Fort Worth interior designer was a teacher and language therapist for deaf children.

Texas Humor’s Founder Jay B. Sauceda Considers the Texas Identity

May 26, 2022 | By Clayton Maxwell

As a photographer, pilot, author, and entrepreneur, Jay B. Sauceda has ruminated upon the Texas identity from many angles.

Kinky Friedman Introduces Gold Star Kids to the Land That Shaped Him

April 28, 2022 | By Joe Nick Patoski

He’s the bard of the Hill Country—a satirist, author, singer-songwriter, raconteur, and equal-opportunity offender. He’s run for Texas governor, not to mention state agricultural commissioner and Kerr County justice of the peace.

Exploring the New Fort Worth With Magnolia Network Host Jonathan Morris

October 28, 2021 | By June Naylor

In the decade he’s called Fort Worth home, Jonathan Morris has fashioned enough new roles for himself to make most of us a little breathless.

Fort Worth Filmmaker Chyna Robinson Shines a Light on Domestic Abuse

September 23, 2021 | By Clayton Maxwell

Filmmaker Chyna Robinson is on a roll. Her debut feature film, No Ordinary Love, was released in June and is circling the globe on streaming platforms, including Amazon Prime and Apple TV.

Lubbock Winemaker Kim McPherson Puts Texas Wine on the World Stage

July 29, 2021 | By Anthony Head

After studying grape-growing and winemaking in California, Kim McPherson returned home to Lubbock in 1979 and began crushing grapes at his father’s winery, Llano Estacado.

Essayist Rick Bass Shares How the Texas Landscape Shaped Him

June 24, 2021 | By Brantley Hargrove

The thing about Texas is she has this gravitational pull on her native children. We all return, even if not always physically.

Houstonian Adán Medrano Doesn’t Want Your Greasy Tex-Mex

August 27, 2020 | By John Nova Lomax

Grammy-Winner Sarah Jarosz Reflects on the Influence of Texas Music and her Hill Country Upbringing

July 30, 2020 | By Clayton Maxwell

When she was a student at Wimberley High School, bluegrass prodigy Sarah Jarosz was already mesmerizing audiences across the country with her nimble mandolin playing, honey-rich voice, and down-to-earth demeanor.

Preservationist J.P. Bryan Has Amassed a Lifetime’s Worth of Texas History

June 25, 2020 | By June Naylor

How Growing Up in Paris, Texas Kindled the Creative Fire of Artist Trenton Doyle Hancock

January 30, 2020 | By Michael Hoinski

Mo Amer Extracts Humor from the Hardships of Growing up a Refugee in Texas

December 27, 2019 | By Kimya Kavehkar

Red Steagall, Country Hit-Maker and Cowboy Poet, Talks Texas Spirit and Overcoming Polio

September 30, 2019 | By Matt Joyce

Driving the backroads northwest of Fort Worth, you’d never know that one of the luminaries of Texas country and western music lives just around the bend. Down a gravel road, a pickup marked with Red Steagall’s “RS” brand signals that Steagall is around today. Inside his office, framed records and photos signed by the likes of Ronald Reagan line the wall, hinting at Steagall’s influential career.

Six Years After Moving to Mexico, Lauded Chicana Writer Sandra Cisneros Looks Back on Her 29 Years in San Antonio

August 29, 2019 | By Michael Hoinski

Last spring, the writer Sandra Cisneros returned to San Antonio to meet with her accountant, address some computer issues, and have her mother’s fur hat professionally cleaned. Cisneros has lived in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, since 2013, but she resided in San Antonio for most of the 29 years prior, living in the King William District, where she stirred controversy for painting her Victorian cottage periwinkle. Her visit coincided with Fiesta San Antonio, and Cisneros appeared on the float “March To Your Own Drummer”—a fitting theme. “I think I can quote Fidel Castro here,” she says. ‘“History will absolve me.’”

50 Years After JFK’s Moonshot, Historian Douglas Brinkley Recounts Its Lasting Influence on Texas

June 19, 2019 | By Clayton Maxwell

Rice University professor of history, CNN presidential historian, and perennial bestselling author Douglas Brinkley takes us to the moon this summer with his newest book, American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race. Released in time for the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing in July 1969, Brinkley’s historical page-turner brings to life the personalities and interplaying forces that made this American triumph possible.

How Sweden-born Artist Kent Ullberg Found His Muse Along the Texas Gulf Coast

June 11, 2019 | By Heather Brand

Kent Ullberg’s bronze sculptures dot the landscape across Texas—a giant bison in Corpus Christi, a cougar on the hunt in San Antonio, and eagles with outspread wings in Houston and College Station.

Conjunto Ambassadors Los Texmaniancs on the Magic of ‘Musica Alegre’

April 23, 2019 | By Joe Nick Patoski

The Tex-Mex sound of Los Texmaniacs is also called musica alegre—happy music—for good reason. That bouncy two-step rhythm, powered by a button accordion and a 12-string guitar known as the bajo sexto, is made for dancing. Sitting in place or standing still is not an option.

And no one sits or stands still when Los Texmaniacs, the band led by Max Baca, 51, and his nephew Josh Baca, 27, are on stage.

Dearest Dumplin’: Ya Novelist Julie Murphy Talks Teen Empowerment, Dolly Parton, and Her Netflix Movie

March 26, 2019 | By Kimya Kavehkar

Julie Murphy was on the law school track when a little book named Twilight came out during her senior year at Texas Wesleyan University. The young adult vampire novel reignited a love of reading in Murphy that she hadn’t felt in years. It also gave her the writing bug. “It was the first book that made me feel like maybe writing isn’t so far out of reach,” Murphy says, sitting at the kitchen table of her home just east of Fort Worth. “Maybe if this woman can write this admittedly ridiculous book about a sparkling vampire, maybe I can write one book that one person will read at least once.”

Antiques Roadshow Star Bruce Shackelford’s Eye for Objects Has Taken Him from Abilene to Reality TV

February 28, 2019 | By Matt Joyce

Bruce Shackelford is one of those enviable characters who’s developed a notable career by pursuing his own particular interests. Once dubbed a “scholarly cowboy,” the 65-year-old parlayed his fascination with Native American art, Western history, and horsemanship into a job as the Texas history curator at The Witte Museum, San Antonio’s elegant and enlightening repository of Texas history and culture. He’s also one of only a handful of appraisers to have appeared on every season of PBS’ perennial reality show favorite, Antiques Roadshow. For 23 years, viewers have tuned in to watch Shackelford—who mans the Tribal Art table—and other experts as they appraise the significance and value of antiques and collectibles brought in by the public.

Historian and Author Lonn Taylor on Growing up in the Philippines and Settling in the Big Bend

January 28, 2019 | By Wes Ferguson

Now 78 years old, Taylor is an old-fashioned raconteur with a bushy mustache, Stetson Open Road hat, and an assortment of snappy bow ties. He’s also the author of more than half a dozen books and a historian who draws inspiration from his adopted home of the Big Bend.

Austin Hotelier Liz Lambert Talks Texas—from Midland to Marfa to South Congress

November 28, 2018 | By Michael Hoinski

Penny the Chihuahua greets visitors with an inspection sniff outside the elevator leading to Bunkhouse, the Austin-based hospitality company owned by Odessa native Liz Lambert.

Former First Lady Laura Bush Takes Us on a Tour of Her Prairie Chapel Flower Garden

November 1, 2018 | By Michael Hoinski

On a warm summer morning, former First Lady Laura Bush walked among the butterflies in the garden behind her dogtrot-style vacation house on Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford. The likes of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and U2 singer Bono have ventured on these grounds before, but on this July day viceroys and queens were the VIPs. They flitted about as Bush interpreted the landscape. There’s antelope horns milkweed, she said. There’s gaillardia. There’s basket-flower, and there’s a gourd. “This one’s called purple mist, or blue mist,” she said. “If you want butterflies, then plant this.”

An Artful Life

December 1, 2010 | By Gene Fowler

Marion Koogler McNay left her heart in San Antonio. Twice. The first time, in 1917 at Alamo Plaza, she bade farewell to her first husband, Don Denton McNay, who, by most accounts, was the love of her life.

An Astronaut’s Mission

October 23, 2010 | By Kate Hull

On July 20, 1969, people across the globe watched their televisions in amazement as Apollo 11 landed the Lunar Module on the moon, and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took that “giant leap for mankind.” Between 1969 and 1972, 12 astronauts set foot on the moon as part of the Apollo missions for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Donald Judd

September 22, 2010 | By Gene Fowler

“Dear Mom, Van Horn Texas. 12600 population. Nice town beautiful country mountains Love, Don.”
Thus telegrammed a young soldier, heading west by bus from Alabama to Los Angeles, bound for Korea, on December 17, 1946.

America’s Singing Breakman

August 20, 2010 | By Rob McCorkle

Imagine the commotion that would erupt if B.B. King, Eric Clapton, or Willie Nelson sat on a bench in downtown Blanco or Marfa and started playing.

Forest Gumption

June 12, 2010 | By Clay Coppedge

When the 34th Texas legislature established the Texas Forest Service in 1915, there were few guidelines in place to direct the management of Texas forests.

Goodbye to a River Turns 50

June 1, 2010 | By Sheryl Smith-Rodgers

With a dachshund on his lap, tarp-covered supplies at his feet, and a wooden paddle in hand, writer John Graves launched his canvas canoe from a muddy riverbank just below Possum Kingdom Lake one gray afternoon in November 1957.

Character Study

April 20, 2010 | By Gene Fowler

The Texas legacy of Sam Houston (17931863) is rooted in an undeniable string of accomplishments and successes.

Call of the Wild

March 1, 2010 | By Stephen Taylor

Perhaps no native son of Texas ever claimed a more globetrotting sense of adventure than Frank Buck (1884-1950).

Gracing Salado

October 1, 2009 | By Samantha H. Hyde

During the 1960s, most people who visited the Central Texas village of Salado were there to enjoy a relaxing break amid expansive views of gently rolling hills.

Speaking of Texas: The Lone Wolf

August 12, 2009 | By Gene Fowler

My God, boys! It’s the Lone Wolf! Let’s scram!” In the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, those words echoed from Borger to Brownsville whenever wrong-doers caught sight of fabled Texas Ranger Manuel Trazazas “Lone Wolf” Gonzaullas.

Lost Gold of the Palo Duro

July 21, 2009 | By Clay Coppedge

Visitors to Palo Duro Canyon State Park, south of Amarillo, might marvel at its splendid isolation and tranquility, but the setting was not always so serene.

Still Waters Run Deep

June 29, 2009 | By Nola McKey

It’s a safe bet that few of the boaters and water-skiers who frequent Lake Texana, near Edna, realize that less than 75 feet below the surface of this placid body of water lies the site of a once-bustling river port.

The Dinosaur Highway

June 1, 2009 | By Laurie E. Jasinski

A teenager’s chance discovery 100 years ago in Somervell County caused a stir among locals and eventually drew the attention of scientists around the world.

The King of Cowtown

April 24, 2009 | By Gene Fowler

“No other city in America,” declared Hollywood cowboy humorist Will Rogers in 1931, “has anything approaching such a public citizen as [Fort Worth has in] Amon Carter.” You could argue that no son or daughter of the Lone Star State ever enjoyed being a Texan more than Amon G.

The Bashful Millionaire

March 12, 2009 | By Gene Fowler

Travelers passing through the thousand-acre Texas Medical Center in Houston sometimes wonder if they’ve entered a strange alternate universe.

Buddy Holly Remembered

February 1, 2009 | By David Latimer

Wonder Girl

November 22, 0209 | By Heather Brand Schatz

“The Babe is here. Who’s coming in second’?” quipped Babe Didrikson (1911-1956) as she confronted her track-and-field competitors at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles.

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