Whether the subject is Jack Ruby, Willie Nelson, or his own leukemia-stricken son Mark, when it comes to looking at the world through another person's eyes, nobody does it better than Gary Cartwright. For over twenty-five years, readers of Texas Monthly have relied on Cartwright to tell the stories behind the headlines with pull-no-punches honesty and wry humor. His reporting has told us not just what's happened over three decades in Texas, but, more importantly, what we've become as a result.
This book collects seventeen of Cartwright's best Texas Monthly articles from the 1980s and 1990s, along with a new essay, "My Most Unforgettable Year," about the lasting legacy of the Kennedy assassination. He ranges widely in these pieces, from the reasons for his return to Texas after a New Mexican exile to profiles of Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson. Along the way, he strolls through San Antonio's historic King William District; attends a Dallas Cowboys old-timers reunion and the Holyfield vs. Foreman fight; visits the front lines of Texas' new range wars; gets inside the heads of murderers, gamblers, and revolutionaries; and debunks Viagra miracles, psychic surgery, and Kennedy conspiracy theories. In Cartwright's words, these pieces all record "the renewal of my Texas-ness, a rediscovery of Texas after returning home."
Gary Cartwright (1934–2017) was a Senior Editor at Texas Monthly in Austin.