Willie Nelson’s been playing the same guitar — a Martin N-20 classical — for 50 years. In this fantastic profile from 2013, Michael Hall chronicles not only the life and times of Willie and his trusted sidekick, Trigger, but the laborious care and tending of an instrument that is the primary tool of a living musical legend.

Source: Texas Monthly
Published: Jan 21, 2013
Length: 25 minutes (6,257 words)

When ‘Angels in America’ Came to East Texas

Homophobia and religiosity divided the town of Kilgore, Texas over the famous play. The divisions also helped liberate some local citizens, allowing them to define their own worldviews apart from that of their parents’.

Source: Texas Monthly
Published: Oct 14, 2019
Length: 27 minutes (6,989 words)

The Serial Killer of Laredo

“Last September, law enforcement officers were confounded by a murderer targeting prostitutes along the border. As the investigation intensified, they discovered that the killer had been hiding in plain sight.”

Source: Texas Monthly
Published: Sep 18, 2019
Length: 26 minutes (6,543 words)

The Permian Basin Is Booming With Oil. But at What Cost to West Texans?

Sure, a few busy barbers earned $180,000 in one year, and a local Dominos sold more pizzas in its first week than any other grand opening in the chain’s history, but that doesn’t do regular folks much good when roads have become dangerous, crime increased, schools can’t retain teachers, and people who earn over $20 an hour can’t afford to rent an apartment.

Source: Texas Monthly
Published: May 29, 2019
Length: 23 minutes (5,895 words)

Faith, Friendship, and Tragedy at Santa Fe High

Sabika Sheikh came from Karachi to experience the best of being an American high school student and instead got our very worst, leaving two crushed families behind — one Pakistani, one Texan.

Source: Texas Monthly
Published: May 1, 2019
Length: 39 minutes (9,949 words)

Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild

Joe Schreibvogel AKA Joe Exotic AKA the Tiger King collected exotic animals and very young husbands at his private Oklahoma zoo. He’s now in jail, found guilty of hiring people to kill an outspoken critic of his who owns of a big cat sanctuary in Florida.

Source: Texas Monthly
Published: May 9, 2019
Length: 31 minutes (7,897 words)

Buc-ee’s: The Path to World Domination

A Texas-proud pit stop that’s really more of a travel center that’s really more of a flawless oasis, Buc-ee’s — the nirvana of convenience stores, honored triply nationwide for having the cleanest bathrooms and the most gas pumps and the best food — might just be the Disneyland of American rest stops. But will Georgians and Floridians love it as much as Texans do?

Source: Texas Monthly
Published: Mar 1, 2019
Length: 24 minutes (6,100 words)

The Love Story that Upended the Texas Prison System

How Frances Jalet, one of the first women to graduate from Columbia Law School, and Fred Cruz, the first inmate to write a lawsuit on toilet paper that went all the way to the Supreme Court, teamed up to take on the Texas Department of Corrections for unconstitutional punishments and brutality.

Source: Texas Monthly
Published: Oct 11, 2018
Length: 66 minutes (16,500 words)

‘Dallas’ at 40: The Inside Story Behind the Show That Changed Texas Forever

The definitive oral history of a timeless TV series.

Source: Texas Monthly
Published: Oct 1, 2018
Length: 38 minutes (9,662 words)

The Cartel Next Door

Inside the $1 million plot to execute—in broad daylight—the attorney of a Mexican cartel boss, and the subsequent investigation, which ranged from south of the border to Florida and Texas, to solve the murder.

Source: Texas Monthly
Published: Sep 21, 2018
Length: 32 minutes (8,038 words)