Thursday, March 08, 2007

Family Values

Even though I'm an Arkansan now, I'm still loving Texas Monthly. I've been reading it for years, since junior high when my mom mistakenly subscribed thinking she was getting "Texas Highways." Texas Monthly consistently features the best writing you could find anywhere. It's always been my dream to see my byline in its pages.

This month the magazine features an interesting story about gay parenting in Texas.

Also in this issue is a collection of survivors' accounts of the school explosion in New London in 1937. I haven't been able to get through this one in one sitting. It's absolutely heart-wrenching -- on the level of the Texas City disaster in 1947, in which a ship packed with ammonium nitrate (the same stuff used in the Oklahoma City attack) exploded at the Texas City docks, killing about 600 Texas City residents. (No one knows exact numbers because some bodies were never found.) It remains the worst industrial disaster in U.S. history. Several years ago, I wrote a three-part series on the Texas City explosion for The Baytown Sun. Texas City is about 30 miles from Baytown, and there are still a lot of blast survivors living around there. An elder at our church in Baytown survived the blast (he was a teen then) but lost a younger brother that day. He gave me a book of eyewitness accounts for my research and as I studied it in the city library, I had to keep getting up and walking away from it. The images were too much to take in all it once, and it's the same with the New London story.

Anyway, thank you, Texas Monthly, for such well-written, insightful stuff. (And please ask me to write...)

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  • At Thu Mar 08, 12:53:00 PM, Blogger HW said…

    I also cannot bring myself to say "that's disgusting" regarding gay and lesbian parents. Given the choice between leaving a child in the foster care system or letting them be raised by a gay couple who long for a child and will cherish and love that child; I'd be hard pressed to find any way the foster care system would be an advantage over a loving home - regardless of lifestyle.

  • At Thu Mar 08, 01:39:00 PM, Blogger B-Rock said…

    I'm with you on the quality of Texas Monthly's articles, but I've always been so frustrated at the seemingly EXTREME amount of advertising in it that I can't bring myself to subscribe. One time I jumped on their website and found the archives...I must have spent a month reading old articles from their stuff. If only I knew a subscriber who would tell me the monthly online-access code...

  • At Fri Mar 09, 07:16:00 AM, Anonymous Chad said…

    I like Texas Monthly too, but don't like the advertising. Not because there's a lot of it (which there is) but because I'll never ever shop, eat or frequent any of those places.

  • At Fri Mar 09, 05:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am honestly not sure how I feel about the business of gay and lesbian parenting.

    The Bible is pretty clear about homosexual behavior being a sin.

    The Bible is also pretty clear about lying, adultery, pride, rage, etc. being a sin.

    I don't like the "in your face" attitudes of homosexual advocates who say we MUST accept their lifestyle or be accused of being homophobic.

    I also don't like the attitudes of "you'll burn in hell" often given to homosexuals by so-called Christians.

    How in the world do you behave in a godly way towards someone who is living an ungodly lifestyle?

    I have yet to figure that question out, but I cannot believe it is by screaming, "you'll go to hell".

  • At Fri Mar 09, 05:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am excited about a movement among many churches from many back grounds in the Little Rock area entitled "The CALL" to recruit Christian parents as foster parents. It is calling the church to do things the church is suppose to be doing. The goal is to emilate the back log of kids waiting for adoption in AR by 2008.

    In AR, it is against the law for same sex couples to be foster parents. This being true, the church had better do it's job of caring for those that are not cared for.

    Lynn Cook

  • At Fri Mar 09, 09:52:00 PM, Anonymous Jilly H. said…

    When I could find a TM at the college wellness center, I would hide it so I would have something to read besides Lucky or Us Weekly and People whilst on the hated treadmill. It's one of the magazines I will read cover to cover, like National Geographic.

    I don't know whether the gay parents got all those kids as a blended family, through one feel swoop as a result of fertility treatment, adoption, etc. but kudos to them for doing it. In my family, there's two of us and two of them, and sometimes we feel outnumbered!

    It seems like a good fit for gay couples who want to settle down and have a family to adopt kids that no one else wants. People get all het up about the idea that gay parents would raise their kids to BE gay, but thats so...silly. I was raised by conservative middle-class mid-westerners, but I ended up being a punk rocker in high school, and a party girl after that. SO not what they had planned!

  • At Sat Mar 10, 07:28:00 AM, Blogger Denise W said…

    I love my Texas Monthly, too. My husband (native Texan) has subscribed for years and I started reading it in Alabama. But he never reads it - go figure.

    I cried all though the New London article. I has inspired me to write the account of my elementary burning to the ground in 5th grade. I can't even begin to imagine the horror of losing brothers, sisters, teachers.... And the contrast with the way those parents and kids handled the tradedy compared to how it would be handled today was just as heart-breaking to me.

    I'm leaving the gay parenting thing alone. Those seemed like very nice women who loved all the children in their care. Who could ask for more?

  • At Sat Mar 10, 10:10:00 AM, Blogger judy thomas said…


    Every month when I get my Texas Monthly, I have a gut-wrenching homesick feeling. Even the advertisements add to my longing.

    To Brock, the monthly online access code is inside the magazine near the editorial page.

  • At Sun Mar 11, 09:37:00 PM, Blogger Bill said…

    Katy Vine of the Texas Monthly, did a good story about the New London School Explosion. My dad was in the 5th grade there at the time and lost an older brother "Edwin". I own the website and if you want toread more of the suviors recollections,plus there are pictures of all the children and teachers who perished in the explosion, and there is also a section that is there for the Museum. But if you visat the website, set a box of tissues close by, I have had this site for several years and it still brings me to tears when working with it.

  • At Mon Mar 12, 09:15:00 AM, Blogger Lisa said…

    Bill was nice enough to send me a VHS tape about the New London explosion, complete with newsreel footage and contemporary coverage, and I sobbed all the way through it.

    I had never heard the story before, just wandered across his site while Googling something else, so I emailed him with some questions I had and he kindly volunteered to mail me the tape for FREE! What a champ.

    (And he lives in Arkansas!)

  • At Mon Mar 12, 12:52:00 PM, Blogger Brian said…

    Texas Monthly has ads like Cosmo.

    Sometimes they have those perfume ads and then TM smells like a bunch of girls.

    I was so tired this morning I couldn't figure out at first what noise my alarm clock was making.


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