at AFS Cinema
"...Set in the Texas Panhandle town of Amarillo, The Plutonium Circus focuses on the gargantuan Department of Energy Pantex plant, which looms over the sprawling North Texas Plains like some evil, radioactive monarch. Since the 1950s, Pantex has been the final assembly point for every nuclear weapon made in America..."
"...The Austin Wranglers’ struggles continue as they lost to the Amarillo Dusters 65-40 on the road last Saturday. Austin has given up more than 60 points in every game this season, but they have yet to reach the 50-point mark even once..."
"...photograph by Claiborne Smith Amarillo's Wolflin Village, which not so long ago was an abject, sparsely populated strip mall, is now the kind of elegant shopping center Oprah Winfrey's staff would flock to in an effort to surround her with comfort if she happened, for example, to be stuck in Amarillo for five weeks or more. Winfrey is stuck in Amarillo, going to court every day as a defendant in a lawsuit brought against her by several cattle-raising entities..."
"...Amarillo is in that part of Texas that gets overlooked. Not so many people travel there, but millions have passed through it: Francisco Coronado in the early 1500s, cattle drives north, and wagon trains heading west..."
"...Texas mystique will receive a boost as big as anything since the Dallas heydays if The Plutonium Circus gets the audience it deserves. Ratliff opens his film conventionally enough, with black-and-white graphics giving solemn voice to the history of Pantex, a Department of Energy nuclear weapons plant located in the Texas Panhandle just outside of Amarillo..."
"...12, 1997, 19-year-old Brian Deneke was killed after being run over by a Cadillac driven by 17-year-old Dustin Camp during a rumble between punks vs. preps in a parking lot across the street from an IHOP in Amarillo, Texas (nicknamed Bomb City for being the only place in America with a plant that assembles & disassembles nuclear weapons)..."
"...Jack Sisemore's RV Museum in Amarillo is a timeline of America on the move. The story of recreational vehicles started simple and became a tale of ever-increasing luxury...."
"...A Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice for the hillbilly set, Waking Up in Reno details the partner-swapping of two couples on the road to a monster truck rally in Nevada. Texans take note: Along the way, the gang stops off at Amarillo's the Big Texan for one of the restaurant's legendary 72-ounce steaks...."
"...Your money'll be in the bank Tuesday.” As fervently as we might wish otherwise, originality is a virtual non-factor in modern Hollywood's red light/green light decisions, and lackluster echo-films like Cadillac Ranch are the result. Thelma & Louise is the most obvious touchstone for Lisa Gottlieb's debut feature about three sisters (Amis, Ashby, and Feeney) who are racing a fearsome bad guy (Lloyd) to the titular Amarillo tourist shrine, where their jailbird father has stashed money from a robbery..."
"...Born in Detroit, raised in Amarillo, today he lives on a farm outside Nashville. He's become the epitome of his hit for Ronstadt, "Simple Man, Simple Dream." In May, Souther released only his seventh studio LP, Tenderness, a breathtaking call back to his roots..."
"...Hinton's 1967 classic narrative of teen-on-teen pathos and hormone-fueled class warfare, pitted Tulsa's clean-cut "Socs" against the troubled but deep-down sweetheart greasers Ponyboy Curtis and his pals. Thirty years later, in the parking lot of Amarillo's now-demolished Western Plaza, 19-year-old punk rocker and artist Brian Deneke was run over and killed by 17-year-old Dustin Camp, driving a 1983 Cadillac during a "jocks versus punks" melee across from mutual teen hangout IHOP..."
"...Last year's most talked-about drug bust didn't take place in the high-volume inner-city cocaine rings of Houston or Dallas, or in a major trafficking hub like Laredo. It happened about halfway up the hot, dusty highway from Lubbock to Amarillo, in a Panhandle county with more cows than people..."
"...Along the way he has earned strong support of a wide range of people including a former Ector Co. prosecutor, a former bishop of the Amarillo Catholic Diocese (once Father Ryan's superior), a retired police detective, and a recently deceased investigative reporter from The Dallas Morning News, Howard Swindle, who spent years looking for Ryan's real killer...."
"...Both sides of Crow's family spread out between Amarillo and Oklahoma City, a situation that allowed them to live in Sweetwater, Okla., and license farm trucks and equipment in Texas because it was cheaper. Crow moved to Amarillo for the first time after he graduated high school, but returned to Oklahoma City to pursue rock & roll...."
"...An Amarillo school official has words of warning for Austin school superintendent Pat Forgione, who's now laboring to restore credibility to AISD's dropout reporting system: Don't expect big rewards for your diligence, at least not from the Texas Education Agency. Amarillo ISD annually accounts for the whereabouts of more than 99% of its students, says superintendent Bob Moore, but TEA's accountability system routinely pegs his district a notch below other districts that have less complete records...."
"..."Amarillo," Big House..."
"...And it's not enough for the Panhandle's Big Mules, the business elite, who see only gold in the deadliest stuff on earth. On a pleasant evening in late June, the Mules are packed like, well, livestock, into a conference room at Amarillo College...."
"...Amarillo resident Tim Stevens knew he was going to get sick...."
"...This is what's not in dispute: On Halloween night, 1981, 76-year-old nun Sister Tadea Benz was stabbed, raped, and left for dead in Amarillo, Texas. Johnny Frank Garrett, a 17-year-old, mentally handicapped resident of the then-smallish and righteously conservative Panhandle town was fingered for the crime and sentenced to death..."
"..."I love to mow," he confirms, surveying his 18-acre ranch. "I always wanted to mow the side of the highway between Amarillo and Lubbock."..."
"...Tyler's Barbeque in Amarillo is the real deal. When you step through the doors of the former fast-food joint you're transported into a roadhouse barbecue restaurant that could be on any Texas back road..."
"...Cadillac Ranch off I-40 west of Amarillo is the most democratic art installation in the nation. Visitors who pull off of the interstate for a closer look at the 10 classic Caddies half-buried nose-down in a cow pasture are invited to add their own messages on the upended tail fins..."
"...While you're in the neighborhood of Amarillo, don't miss Cadillac Ranch off I-40 west of town. Have your picture taken among the vintage-car tail fins sprouting from the flat cotton field...."
"... Amarillo held its own smoking-ban referendum on May 7, and unlike Austin, the attempt to ban smoking in most public places and within 25 feet of any venue where smoking is banned failed by 556 votes among about 30,000 ballots. The group supporting the tougher ordinance, Amarillo Clean Air Now, said they would be considering their options, and Mayor Debra McCartt said the City Commission may review the current ordinance for revision..."
"...The lyrics are nonsense, but the music was an irresistible command to rock out, duuuude, with chunky chords and a steam-engine rhythm that helped establish the band's string of hits. A well-placed rumor has it that the song was inspired by a late-night hunt for drugs after the band's San Antonio debut.8 "Amarillo by Morning," George Strait Songwriters: Terry Stafford, Paul Fraser Year Charted: 1982 Highest Billboard Chart Position: No..."
"...In Amarillo, the old highway wound through town with the course being changed several times. On the eastern edge of Amarillo on I-40 the Big Texan Steak Ranch still offers a free dinner to anyone who can eat a 72-ounce steak with all the trimmings in an hour..."
"...There are few other formations in the state to compete with its uniquely spectacular beauty. Traveling south from Amarillo, the Great Plains are almost billiard-table flat until you reach the great gash in the earth that signals the beginning of the rolling geological diversity of the rest of the state...."
"...Thirty years ago a friend of mine -- we'll call her Jane -- was living in Amarillo. The city had three, maybe four, single-screen movie theatres and four TV channels..."
"...A while back I noticed a post in an online indie film newsgroup about a theatre in Amarillo that was soliciting film and video work to show on its screens. The theatre turns out to be called Secret Garden/BeanBag and it is indeed looking for some alternative fare..."
"...-- Terry Allen, "Amarillo Highway"..."
"...He befriended Dave Hickey, an arts journalist who was also working with Waylon Jennings and Tompall Glaser at a publishing company in Nashville. Hickey played demos of Allen's songs for country star Bobby Bare, who recorded "Amarillo Highway" and "High Plains Jamboree" on 1975's Cowboys and Daddys..."
"...On the numbers: – Out of the 28 bills vetoed, 15 were Republican-authored and Republican sponsored; 10 were by Democrats; And the remaining three were bipartisan measures. – The biggest single loser seems to have been Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, who faced the veto on three bills (two as author, one as senate sponsor.) – Austin lawmakers lost two bills, both via Sen..."
"...575º Pizzeria in Amarillo is an enigma wrapped in a riddle in a land of steak houses. Why shouldn't the good folks on the High Plains have gourmet pizza? But who knew they could do it so well?..."
"...Stuart McSpadden's short "Now Leaving Amarillo" just about gutted me. McSpadden conducted phone interviews with members of his family about their push/pull relationship with Amarillo, and then used those recordings to complement the brutal beauty of the unbearably flat, bleak Texas Panhandle..."
"..."I had a gig up in Amarillo. With an old songwriting buddy."..."
"...The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo might be the most famous steak house in the world, or at least in Texas. During the last 40 years, the restaurant has built an international reputation on giving away 72-oz..."
"...20, the day after the Iowa presidential caucuses -- two state Senate special elections will be held (early voting has already begun), for Districts 1 and 31, where Sens. Bill Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant, and Teel Bivins, R-Amarillo, have announced their resignations..."
"..."I'll tell you a funny story about my mother," offers Terry Allen, grinning wryly like he does. "I was born in Kansas and moved almost immediately to Amarillo, where I lived the first two years of my life..."
"...The GoldenLight Cafe and Cantina in Amarillo sits in a row of post-World War II era nondescript block buildings that disguise the true character within the brick walls. The oldest restaurant in the Panhandle city, and one of the oldest still in existence at the same location on the old Route 66, still serves a juicy hamburger and a bowl of chili that will remind you of its presence long after the meal is finished...."
"...Austin to Amarillo is 478 miles, but the journey can have the highlight of visiting the second-largest canyon in the continental United States. Palo Duro Canyon is a sight to behold..."
"...Onstage, the opening band is going through its routines. In addition to a passel of traditional country favorites like "Cotton-Eyed Joe" and "Amarillo by Morning," music includes AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long," the Chili Peppers' version of "Love Rollercoaster," the Commodores' "Brick House," and the Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up." It's hardly the standard country fare, but it keeps the young 'uns happy...."
"...The perimeter was surrounded by more than 120 miles of barbed wire fence. Portions of the ranch were later subdivided and became the city of Amarillo...."
"...I learned, too, that borders are very blurry. There's this idea that our wonderful president wants to define these borders, but when I was in Amarillo – and I'd never been there, and in my brain, Amarillo felt really far away – but when I was there, it was so close to Lubbock, so close to Plainview, and I was talking to Jon Revett about being there, and he was like, "Well, you know, I can drive three hours in any direction and be in a major city center and have art references in all of these city centers." And I was like, I guess borders idealistically can stop movement, but they don't...."
"...Given his shortened set time, Brooks' decision to lead his encore with Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” and George Strait’s “Amarillo by Morning” confounded, but the five-song reprise rose with “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)” and “Standing Outside the Fire.” Brooks no longer matches the stage energy of a new generation of popular country stars, but with his catalog of hits, he hardly needs to rely on antics anymore...."
"...At the center bearing down on an electric keyboard sat the pater familias, wringing words set to music as all one piece of literature. The whole state somehow boiled down into a single song (“Amarillo Highway”), only the tune begat another and another, and five more after that..."
"...• A state representative wants you to be able to take an Uber from Austin up to Amarillo and back again, without any fears about riding at all illegally. On Friday, Rep..."
"...The single biggest legislative loser was Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, who lost three bills – two as author, one as sponsor..."
"... I ate with legendary barbecue photographer, Wyatt McSpadden, and his wife, Nancy McMillen. Wyatt and I are Amarillo boys, so we hit off, and agreed that our city’s best contribution to the barbecue landscape is the chopped beef sandwich..."