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Texas Monthly

Texas Monthly July 2020

Texas Monthly has been the authority on the Texas scene since 1973, covering music, arts, travel, restaurants and events with its insightful recommendations. Above all, Texas Monthly provides its readers with a magazine of the highest editorial quality, a standard that has earned it 10 National Magazine Awards, the industry’s most coveted prize.

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2 min.
meanwhile, over on the internet…

THE HOUSTON YEARS OF GEORGE FLOYD The Minneapolis resident’s death sparked protests across the country. But before Floyd moved to Minnesota, he had spent most of his life in Houston. Michael Hall speaks with some of his friends, who remember him as a gentle soul, a father, and a talented collaborator of DJ Screw’s. THE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT AT THE CENTER OF A CORONA-VIRUS OUTBREAK In March a high school competition in Levelland drew fans from across the Panhandle and South Plains. What few who attended anticipated, Leif Reigstad reports, was that it would be the catalyst for a rural outbreak that has left three people dead. KEEPING THE ANCIENT CRAFT OF T ORTILLA-MAKING ALIVE Nixtamalization is the long, slow, di. cult way to make tortillas—and, José R. Ralat writes, it has helped San Antonio Colonial…

3 min.
a spong for you

During a time of deep division, it’s reassuring to see that Texans of many stripes still share certain pleasures. One of those is Willie Nelson. Which is why we’re looking forward to publishing, in August, a special thirteenth issue of Texas Monthly devoted to the life and music of the red-headed stranger. It will feature reflections on Willie from musicians such as Robert Earl Keen and music journalists such as Holly George-Warren, Nate Chinen, and one of our senior editors, Paula Mejía. It will also include classic articles from our archives—Texas Monthly published its first issue just a year after Willie returned to Texas from Nashville, and we covered him from the start. We’ll be selling our Willie issue at H-E-B and Buc-ee’s and other fine establishments and are eager to…

3 min.
roar of the crowd

“TEXANS WILL HAVE A NEW APPRECIATION OF THEIR STATE WHEN THEY READ ABOUT THE INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT BUT FASCINATING TIME OF REBUILDING TEXAS AFTER THE CIVIL WAR.” Utopian Society I am in a state of disbelief that Texas Monthly has chosen to attack Paulette Jiles [“The Crankiest Writer in Utopia,” May 2020], a gifted writer who is making Texas history come alive through fascinating stories that are thoroughly researched and skillfully written. I would think you would be respectful of the creative chronicler of historical facts who has introduced us to the African American frontiersman who went to the Comanche and reclaimed his kidnapped wife and children and to a Texan who in the 1870s purchased Eastern newspapers and traveled through Texas towns reading the news of the world to the people. I wish…

9 min.
salt life

The most peculiar natural spring in Texas is saltier than the Dead Sea and deeper than anybody knows. Called the Estelline Salt Springs, it wells up from underneath the reddish surface of the Texas Panhandle, reaching daylight in the bottom of a man-made pool one hundred yards in diameter: a perfect circle, shimmering green, ringed by a white salt crust. ¶ The brine pool lies on a private ranch about 25 miles west of the Oklahoma line, in the alluvial flats of the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River. The public hasn’t been allowed to swim there for decades, but locals still tell wild tales about its mysterious waters. One legend has it that colorful, oceanic fish swim in the Estelline. Another holds that a scuba diver once…

2 min.
summertime booze

1. THE PEGU CLUB, BILL NORRIS Known as Austin’s father of modern cocktails, Norris has been slinging clever concoctions for nearly two decades. As the beverage director for Alamo Drafthouse’s forty-plus locations, he has also developed numerous bar concepts, including downtown’s Midnight Cowboy. This summer, he’s pouring one out at home for New York City’s Pegu Club, a cocktail mecca that recently shuttered its doors permanently in the wake of the pandemic. “The Pegu Club’s reach and importance can’t be overstated,” he says. To make its eponymous drink (pictured), in a shaker with ice combine two ounces of a London dry–style gin, three-fourths of an ounce of orange curaçao, three-fourths of an ounce of fresh lime juice, and one dash each of Angostura and orange bitters. Shake hard for at least…

5 min.
modern love

With its flattering filters and highly curated content, Instagram’s performative display can conjure feelings of anxiety and inadequacy, at least for me. But during the pandemic, I’ve come to see it more as a collective of vulnerable humans coping and trying to make the most of several awful situations converging at once. While self-isolating at home, I’ve actually been heartened by my Instagram feed. One account in particular has been a balm—and, no, it doesn’t involve photos of homemade loaves of crusty sourdough. ¶ Called ModTexas, the page is a crowdsourced eff ort to document our state’s many examples of mid-century modern architecture—a style that emerged after World War II that’s often defined by neat lines and minimalist, functionality-forward design. The account features stunners dreamed up by giants of Texas…