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Published in TRAVEL

The McDonald Observatory has nine primary research telescopes with varying capabilities and purposes. Here’s a look at some of facility’s powerful tools.

Published in TRAVEL

Light Crust Doughboys. (Photo by J. Griffis Smith)

In the January 2013 issue of Texas Highways, writer Gene Fowler explores the history of the Light Crust Doughboys, which began in Fort Worth in 1931 when Burrus Mills hired some musicians to advertise their Light Crust Flour on the radio. In the course of his research, Gene visited with longtime bandmember Art Greenhaw about the group's long career.

Published in CULTURE & LIFESTYLE

Barbara Jordan’s booming voice and unparalleled oratorical skills cemented her place among the great speakers of our history. Known for her inspiring words, Jordan spoke for commencements, conferences, keynote addresses, and news articles. Here are a few of our favorite quotes from the former state Senator.

Published in CULTURE & LIFESTYLE

Guadalupe Mountains National Park celebrates its 40th anniversary with a day full of activities on October 6. Until then, join the Park for the Peak Fitness Challenge, a collaboration among Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Franklin Mountains National Park, Texas Mountain Trail, and GeoBetty.com, which encourages both new and experienced hikers to hit the trails. Visit their sites for more information or to register for the challenge.

Published in TRAVEL

A 64-mile trail system that runs between Estelline and South Plains, the Caprock Canyons Trailway is divided into six trail sections from five to 17 miles in length, as shown below. There are eight trailheads, or beginning points, accessible from farm-to-market roads and state highways. (For a detailed map of the Trailway, see the website below.)

Published in Outdoors

While working on Jennifer Babisak’s story on agritourism for the June issue, Senior Editor Lori Moffatt learned more about the challenges and rewards of small-scale ranching and farming—and of opening your land to the public—from Sid Greer of Greer Farm near Daingerfield from Tom Carnes at Agarita Creek Farms in Fredericksburg.

Published in Outdoors

Dogtooth violet (Erythronium albidum), photographed near Whitehouse in Smith County. (Photo courtesy Rosanna Salmon)

While dogtooth violets aren’t rare in Texas, they’re not commonly seen or reported, either. “The delicate, lily-like blooms are hard to spot from the road,” explains botanist Michael Eason, who coordinates collecting for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s seed bank. “In addition,” he says, “the plants are small—only six to 12 inches tall—and typically flower in early spring and disappear within about two months of emergence.”

Published in TRAVEL

WWII veteran Dr. Joe C. Smith visits the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg. (Photo by J. Griffis Smith)

Dr. Joe C. Smith MD (pictured), a graduate of Baylor Medical School in Houston and retired from a longtime successful family practice in Caldwell, is an 89-year-old World War II Marine lieutenant veteran of the Allies campaign on the Japanese island of Okinawa. Smith received a Purple Heart, surviving a bullet in the chin from enemy fire there. A fellow soldier right next to him was killed. General Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr., commander of the Tenth Army, which conducted the amphibious assault on Okinawa, also died 50 yards from Smith as a result of enemy artillery fire. For service in China shortly thereafter, Smith received a Bronze Star.

Published in History

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Editorial intern Caitlin Sullivan spoke briefly with author Henry Chappell about a good glass of wine and his August feature on North Texas winemakers.
 


What was your favorite part about researching the feature on North Texas wineries?

 

I most enjoyed seeing the varied grape-growing terrain—from the rough, dry Cross Timbers region to the humid, forested bottoms in northeast Texas—and then tasting each winemaker’s interpretation of his home region in his chosen varietals and blends.

 

Have you always been a wine fan, or did you ever prefer anything else?

 

Actually, I was in my early forties when I developed an interest in wine.  Until then, I rarely drank alcoholic beverages of any kind, and wine is still the only one that I drink often.

 

What made you take an interest in wine?

 

Several years ago, after the publication of my first novel, my publisher held a literary event at Cap*Rock winery, just south of Lubbock.  The winery staff served different wines during the meal and afterward, during the signing.  For the first time, I noticed the variety of flavors and their interactions with food.  Over the next few years, I read some of the wine and food magazines and tried wines that interested me.

 

On another trip to Lubbock, I looked through a pamphlet on South Plains wineries.  I sat down in my hotel room that afternoon and typed a query letter to Jill Lawless, Texas Highways’ managing editor.  A few weeks later, she called to assign the article that became “A Taste of the High Plains.”  I’ve been a huge fan of Texas wines ever since.

 

What are your favorite wines?

 

I have to list two.  I probably drink more Llano Estacado Shiraz than anything else.  It’s a very versatile red wine with delicious berry flavors.  It’s very smooth and approachable and doesn’t have to be tamed by a big red cut of meat.

 

I have to confess that my other favorite isn’t a Texas wine.  I love Italian food, and to me, nothing goes better with lasagna than Santa Christina Sangiovese—a reasonably priced, medium bodied Italian red with a pleasing suggestion of black cherry.

 

What’s the most unconventional meal you’ve had with a glass of wine?

 

A glass of Llano Estacado Sweet Red with a chili dog.  Highly recommended.

 

What advice do you have for people who are interested in learning more about wine?

 

I recommend that new wine enthusiasts visit some local wineries and try several wines.  Nowadays, no matter where you live in Texas, you won’t have to drive far to taste locally produced wine.  Most wineries have knowledgeable employees who can tell you about their offerings and answer questions, and they’re delighted to help beginners.  At smaller wineries you may find yourself being served by the winemaker.  These personal connections make wine tasting fun and can add an element of regional pride if you find local wines that you really like.  Above all, relax and enjoy the journey.  Ultimately, it’s not about subtleties of taste and texture, but about whether or not you’d like to have another glass.

Published in Web Extra (Archive)

Editorial intern Lauren Oakley interviews writer Ian Dille about his July story on Texas microbreweries and discovers he’s a pretty hoppy fellow.

Published in FOOD & DRINK

Fact-checking and editing a story like the March issue’s Nacogdoches piece can be tricky business. For one thing, we realize we cannot include every noteworthy site or attraction in a destination with such rich a history as Nacogdoches, so our goal is to present the author’s take on the subject and trust that it will inspire readers to embark on their own explorations. And since history is always complex (and sometimes even subjective!), we try to find expert readers to help us weed out the half-truths, misinterpretations, and downright errors. In the case of the Nacogdoches story, we asked Jere Jackson, Regents Professor of History at Stephen F. Austin State University, to review the story for inaccuracies. In the process, Jackson provided many other interesting kernels we couldn’t incorporate due to space constraints.

Published in TRAVEL
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