Sarah Hepola
Blog: Page 2 of 6

January 17, 2020

A personal history of Taco Cabana

When a little piece of your landscape disappears

The lights inside Taco Cabana had gone dark. It wasn’t even 7pm, and the neon of Lower Greenville was in high throb, Christmas lights still wrapped around trees in early January, so the darkness of that restaurant was conspicuous, like the street was missing a tooth. I slowed down just enough to make out the . . . Read More

January 3, 2020

The warp of beauty

On Texas women, the shifting sands of plastic surgery, and a complicated relationship to our own bodies

A young woman named Vickie Lynn Hogan went to high school about seventy miles away from me in a small town called Mexia, Texas. She was seven years older, though I like to imagine I passed her at the mall one day,  or that we stood side by side at the makeup counter of Dillard’s, . . . Read More

October 1, 2019

Five short stories about ‘Hustlers’

I'm surprised how much I liked this movie I didn't even want to see

I I didn’t want to see Hustlers, but my friend gave me two options: Hustlers, or some movie called Peanut Butter Falcon*, so you see I had no real choices. The theater was packed, mostly women in their twenties and thirties, but a fair number of men. A lot of couples, or guys with female . . . Read More

September 8, 2019

Burn cigarettes

On a habit I do not miss, except every once in a while when I do

This morning I saw two people smoking on a back patio. The image startled me. Of course millions of people smoke old-fashioned cigarettes, I know this. But the ritual of the stolen smoke, the camaraderie of the picnic table — at 9:30am, no less — was like a frame lifted from an earlier era. As . . . Read More

August 21, 2019

Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom

A cabin, a canyon, a cat. Part 2 of a Panhandle road trip.

I drove to Palo Duro Canyon, because I had to go somewhere, but I couldn’t go far. I was on deadline for my book, due in September, and the more extravagant trip I had envisioned — out to the northern rim of the Grand Canyon, the quieter and more profound side of the great gash . . . Read More

June 18, 2019

The Big Texan

Where heroes are made, and no one leaves hungry: Part 1 of a Panhandle road trip

I’m seated in a wooden booth with a vinyl tablecloth in a cow-hide pattern, and as my eyes trace the perimeter of the enormous banquet hall, I count twenty-six animal heads.    “What can I get ya?” My waitress wears a straw cowboy hat and a plaid Western snap shirt. “I’ll have the chicken-fried steak,” . . . Read More

March 11, 2019

Uncertain, Texas

My cabin in the woods experience

A few years ago, I threw my clothes in the bright green suitcase with the broken zipper, slung my guitar in the back seat, and drove to Uncertain, Texas. I had searched for cabin get-aways within a few hours’ drive from my home in Dallas, places like Broken Bow and Beavers Bend and Turner Falls, . . . Read More

February 6, 2019

Modern Romances

What do women want?

I was wandering around an antiques store in Checotah, Oklahoma (home of Carrie Underwood) when I came across this magazine. $10,000 in cash prizes. Love at 40. OK, I’m listening. I’d never heard of Modern Romances magazine, but I picked up the copy, which was sheathed in protective plastic, and I searched for the issue . . . Read More

January 17, 2019

A hideaway in the mists of cyberspace

Introducing the new and improved sarahhepola.com

In the spring of 2001, I decided to start my own website. Actually, I decided to quit my job at the Austin paper, travel to Ecuador to learn Spanish, and also start my own website, where I planned to share stories of my adventures. I didn’t like the idea of spamming my friend circle with . . . Read More

December 31, 2018

Change

Thoughts on holidays blues and New Year's resolutions

I started getting low around the holidays in my 20s, probably. Something about feeling spat out from the optimism of childhood. It’s almost charming to me now, how early I started feeling old. I liked holidays parties, of course, with their cranberry-colored cocktails, one endless glass of red wine, a little dose of amnesia to . . . Read More