Texas Monthly

Texas Monthly March 2021

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 texasmonthly.com…

A TROUBLING SURGE IN RESCUES AT SOME TEXAS STATE PARKS Big Bend Ranch State Park had a record number of visitors in 2020, as cooped-up families looked for remote getaways during the pandemic. But with the rise in novice explorers, Pam LeBlanc reports, came an increase in search-and-rescue incidents, with Big Bend Ranch and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area experiencing a 50 percent spike in backcountry emergencies. CAN BIDEN REALLY BE ANY WORSE FOR THE OIL PATCH THAN TRUMP? The new president’s energy-related executive actions have stirred opposition in Texas and other oil-producing states. But Joe Biden’s moves are dwarfed, Loren Steffy argues, by the larger forces that have battered, and will eventually transform, the industry. HOW MANNY GUERRA SHAPED THE TEJANO MUSIC SCENE Over the course of his five-decade career in the music industry,…

3 min
fans of the cowdog

Associate editor Christian Wallace, the author of this issue’s cover story, first laid eyes on John R. Erickson, creator of Hank the Cowdog, when the author delivered a reading in Christian’s hometown of Andrews, in West Texas. Christian was about five at the time, in 1993, and several elements of that encounter seared themselves into his tender memory. For one thing, the reading was held at the local amphitheater, a rustic venue located in an old caliche rock pit. It had to be cleared of rattlesnakes before the arrival of about 450 fans. Then, the day before the event, Erickson got kicked in the head by a mustang he was training on his ranch in the Panhandle, so he showed up in Andrews with stitches in his face. Finally, as he…

2 min
“texans hate hubris as much as the greeks did, and most texans see right through the politically biased nonsense of the [bum steer] awards.”

Bum Jeers The hubris of the Bum Steer Awards [“Best and Worst of 2020,” January 2021] making fun mostly of Republicans and then having a seriously written Bum Steer of the Year award for the state Democratic party may be overlooked by your staff. Texans hate hubris as much as the Greeks did, and most Texans see right through the politically biased nonsense of the awards making all Republicans look like a bunch of idiots and picturing Democrats as just needing to focus more clearly. The same Texans take it seriously when voting. JON SUCH, GONZALES Barry Bonds Michael Hall’s awesome article on our great Texas actor Barry Corbin [“The Seven Ages of Barry Corbin,” January 2021] brought back cherished memories of when Barry and I judged the World Championship Rocky Mountain Oyster Festival…

8 min
an unlikely oasis

About halfway between Fort Stockton and Van Horn, in West Texas, dip down off Interstate 10 to a tract of the Trans-Pecos where desert meets mountain in spare and spectacular fashion. Sparsely populated, this remote and rugged country is nevertheless home to a quintessential Western town, a historic military installation, a desert research institute, and a world-class astronomical observatory. It’s an almost perfect locus from which to immerse oneself in the mysteries of the cosmos, the lore of the Old West, and the lavalike layers of geological history. And at its sunbaked heart lie destinations that for many are the main attraction: Davis Mountains State Park and its beloved Indian Lodge, a rustic inn whose pueblo-style architecture and canyon setting have made it an oasis for traveling Texans for 86…

1 min
a true western town

Texas’s own mile-high city, Fort Davis, about three miles southeast of the park, is an archetypal Western town, with its Classical Revival courthouse, five or so churches, wood-floor-and-pressed-tin-ceiling library, independently owned hotels and restaurants, and dogs (well, at least one) sleeping on sidewalks. The Hotel Limpia, built in 1912, is home to Double Shot Coffee Lounge and Blue Mountain Bar and Grill (the latter’s claim to fame being its liquor license, the only one in town). Across the street is the Fort Davis Drug Store, a green-chile-cheeseburger-and-fried-okra sort of spot. On mornings at Lupita’s Place (1), in a little rock building with marigold walls, the tables are covered in red oilcloth and paper plates loaded with Mexican breakfasts. Stone Village Market carries the essentials and more, like artisanal pork rinds…

2 min
dunkin’ tacos

1. KING KUPS, MCKINNEY This three-year-old food trailer, parked outside an Exxon gas station, initially sold only cups of elote, the Mexican corn treat, but it soon expanded the menu to include tacos, enchiladas, and desserts. Like many taquerias across Texas, King Kups recently added popular birria, a meat-based Mexican stew, to its off erings. Its birria de res tacos (above) are filled with shredded beef (res) cushioned by a melted quesillo-cheddar combo and are then crisped up on the flattop griddle. The cheddar, says owner Frank Hernandez, adds a salty, fuller flavor to the taco, which is served with a vermilion consommé of birria broth. Save room for an order of wontons also stuffed with the birria mixture. 202 N. Central Expy; 214-994-6304 2. LA TUNITA 512, AUSTIN When Gerardo “Jerry” Guerrero,…