Amarillo Magazine

Beef City: A Guide to Amarillo’s Freshest Meat from the Experts Who Cut It

Jason BoyettComment

I wrote a fun cover for the March issue of Amarillo Magazine, which was all about beef. I interviewed local butchers. I visited a traditional Mexican meat market, where I tried lengua (tongue) tacos. I spoke to the legendary Big Texan Steak Ranch impresario Bobby Lee about how to prepare a steak. I immersed myself in all the different cuts of beef.

I got hungry.

[illustration by Kayla Morris of Amarillo Magazine]

Faces of Service

Jason BoyettComment
Photo by Shannon Richardson

Photo by Shannon Richardson

For the December issue of Amarillo Magazine, I profiled a number of local volunteers working hard to make Amarillo a better place. They included:

  • A singer who entertains dementia residents at a skilled nursing facility
  • A former CEO who participated in three different service projects on a single Saturday
  • A 15 year-old who recruits her peers to join her in volunteering
  • An accountant who spends her evenings organizing parties for the homeless
  • A victim of domestic violence who raises money for other victims
  • A Hispanic social worker who promotes higher education within her community

I loved interviewing these people and telling their stories. In a time when a lot of people have grown cynical about Amarillo's leaders, these quiet leaders are driven by a passion to help people. "I know I’m supposed to do this,” one told me. “If I don’t, shame on me.”

Read their stories here.

Cheers! A Toast to Local Drink

Jason BoyettComment

My cover story for the November issue of Amarillo Magazine was all about alcohol. The idea for the feature was that the city's growing interests in organic food and higher-end food choices were also spilling over into an appreciation for better choices in drink—from craft beer to specialty cocktails. So we provided an in-depth guide to the local drinking scene, from one of the best wine lists in Texas (Macaroni Joe's) to one of the top two or three bars in the United States in terms of number of beers on tap (I Don't Know Sports Bar & Grill).

Photo for Amarillo Magazine by Shannon Richardson

Photo for Amarillo Magazine by Shannon Richardson

It was a fun issue to write. (I'm not saying anything about the research.)

Some links:

Amarillo Craft Beer Guide

Amarillo Wine Guide

Amarillo Craft Cocktails & Whiskey

Find Your Perfect Happy Hour

Drinks and Devotion (I love this little interview with Matt Morgan)

Amarillo's Wildcat Bluff

Jason BoyettComment

This was one of my favorite on-location interviews of the year—a walk through Wildcat Bluff Nature Center with Mary Emeny and Vivien Young, the executive director. I used to hike and run the trails at Wildcat Bluff before the drought forced it to close a few years back. I was fun to go back, get reacquainted with the staff, and see how the spring and summer rains had brought the place back to life. 

Here's an excerpt from "Bursting With Potential" in the October issue of Amarillo Magazine. This made me laugh.

The paved trail takes you to a small pond, tucked behind high grasses and covered by a small footbridge. The bridge creaks as you step upon it. “Watch this,” says Vivien Young, the part-time executive director of Wildcat Bluff Nature Center. She takes one more step. As if on cue, frogs leap from the planks and out of the high grass, pelting the water in a hailstorm of pocket-sized amphibians.
The water shivers as minnow-sized killifish – transplants from the Canadian River – dart back and forth beneath the dive-bombing frogs.
“I love to do that," Young says.

Here's the full story.

Now I'm Noticing Bees More Often

Jason BoyettComment

For several weeks I've been seeing bees buzzing around the flowers on my coleus in the front yard. Now that I know my high school friend Brian Schneider is keeping bees in his backyard about a mile away from me, I assume those are his bees. 

Bees usually stay within a few miles of their hive. I know this because I interviewed a bunch of local beekeepers for this story in the October issue of Amarillo Magazine, in which I forced myself not to use all the buzz-related puns.

Muir says he will start working with a hive – inspecting the queen’s health, checking the amount of honey, inspecting bees for mites – and discover that two or three hours have passed without him thinking about work. “It’s almost like meditation. You have a break from your brain for a while. I enjoyed a lot of pretty evenings this summer out in the cotton fields.”

Read the rest here.

(Above photo by Shannon Richardson.)


Safe Haven

Jason BoyettComment

My latest cover piece for Amarillo Magazine is "Safe Haven," a feature in the October issue about Dove Creek Ranch & Equine Sanctuary west of Canyon, Texas. I'd never been there, but discovered a truly peaceful hidden canyon where Laurie Higgins-Kerley and her ranch foreman Frank Castillo rehabilitate injured or neglected horses.

As I followed them around taking notes, I ended up with weird scribbles down my notepad because the friendly horses kept nuzzling against my arm.

Horses be all disrupting my interview.

A photo posted by Jason Boyett (@jasonboyett) on

Here's an excerpt from the published piece:

A large chocolate-colored thoroughbred saunters up to her, his big brown eyes level with hers. “This is Leon,” she says. “Leon Redbone.” He’s friendly, sweet, and named for the blues musician. “We’ve had him for around a year. He comes from the racetrack. Look at his ankles.” She points down toward the horse’s visibly swollen legs. “That’s cartilage damage, probably from overuse. He was severely underweight. We started pushing fluids and getting him back in shape. He probably won’t ever be rideable again, but he’d make a great companion horse.”

Read the whole article, "Safe Haven," at Amarillo Magazine.