On the Record
The feature John Spong wrote on Willis Alan Ramsey touched my heart and made my eyes leak [“You Never Forget Your First,” June 2022]. I’ve been a fan since 1972, when I was in college. I’ve worn out two vinyls, several 8-track tapes, and a couple of CDs. I’m a retired arts editor for two small newspapers in northeast Texas. One of the highlights of my career was to track Willis down for an interview. I had to remember to breathe. Your piece was the best I’ve ever read. Willis’s eleven songs have provided the soundtrack to my life.
Terry Mathews, Winnsboro
For me, there was a lot more packed into the life of Boots O’Neal than words on a page [“The Bronc-Busting, Cow-Punching, Death-defying Legend of Boots O’Neal,” June 2022]. My grandfather worked cattle and broke horses on ranches around the Panhandle for most of his life. My dad was cut from the same cloth. I had the good fortune to be raised on the prairie and was privy to many of the stories and history from his side of the family. I’m in my sixties now and live in another part of the state, but this story let me go home again.
Steve Brow, Kerrville
If only everyone were as lucky as Mr. O’Neal to spend a lifetime doing what they love every day, all day. And what a lucky daughter Lauri is. Not many of us get to have a real, down-to-earth, in-the-flesh personification of the Texas rancher-cowboy for a dad.
Lacy Britten, Colleyville
Mill of God
The word “fundamentalist” often gets thrown around, but the so-called church involved in the story “Trouble at the ‘Lord’s Mill’ ” [June 2022] is not fundamentalist. It’s a cult. None of these “beliefs” are from the Bible. They are all manipulated by some men to get their way and, most offensively, to make money. And nearly all their behaviors appear to be evil and ungodly. If wicked behavior is determinative of one’s final end, these folks are headed for hell.
Victor Edwards, via texasmonthly.com
In Praise of Perry
I am a Texas-trained pharmacologist and toxicologist, now retired, and have been following with great interest the developments described in your story [“Rick Perry, Drug Pusher,” June 2022]. Perry is right this time. Psychedelic drugs truly do have tremendous promise for treating conditions like deep depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance use disorders. The FDA has given psilocybin the “breakthrough therapy” designation to facilitate necessary research because the initial findings are so strongly positive. MDMA is similarly highly effective and is moving forward toward approval for wider clinical use perhaps later this year. The formal clinical trials to date have shown remarkable efficacy for psychedelics in treating disorders that respond poorly to currently available therapies. Psychedelics do not belong on Schedule 1; they have a low to nonexistent dependence potential.
Dan Heck, via texasmonthly.com
This article originally appeared in the August 2022 issue of Texas Monthly. Subscribe today.