On Second Thought

HISD isn't laughing now about a breakfast program

Astonishingly for a lawsuit, there are two completely different versions of events.

The plaintiffs, Cailloux's widow and his descendants, say Baker Botts and Wells Fargo conspired to divert $65 million from the oilman's estate into a charity controlled by the bank. Highlight of their claim: A Baker Botts attorney met with the widow, Kathleen Cailloux, shortly after her husband's 1997 death; in 45 minutes the attorney "claims to have discussed 17 topics with the grief-stricken widow…only 2.64 minutes per topic." Less than two months later Kathleen Cailloux "was diagnosed with senile dementia."

The defendants say they merely fulfilled the wishes expressed in Cailloux's will and that the plaintiffs are pissed off that only $20 million of the $100 million estate is going to them. Highlight of their claim: One descendant received a power of attorney from Kathleen Cailloux allegedly by using his hand to guide her signature on the form while she was at a nursing home.

The Gift that Keeps Giving
The Gift that Keeps Giving

Relevant plaintiff quote, from attorney Rick Harrison: "What everyone's angry about is that an 82-year-old widow has been deprived of the income of her husband's estate for seven years and the right to give the money to anyone she wanted to. The family trusted the bank and the lawyers…and were deceived."

Relevant defendant quote, from Baker Botts attorney Joe Cheavens: "We effectively and ethically carried out [the Caillouxs'] wishes -- their children are unhappy with what the parents decided to do with the estate."

You could head to state district court in Kerrville to watch. Or you could just wait for the miniseries.

Book of Love

Taking bold action to ensure Houston's children never think about sex, Mayor Bill White has ordered the Jenna Jameson autobiography How to Make Love Like a Porn Star removed from the main shelves of the city's libraries. Patrons now must approach a librarian and ask permission to read the book.

The cover of the book isn't offensive; it's a glamour shot of Jameson. So what does White have against the book? Maybe it hits too close to home.

Jameson writes of getting her breast implants: "I'll never forget it, because for years afterward we continued to celebrate my boob day every July 28."

July 28 is Boob Day? What was White doing last July 28? As it turns out, he was getting the City Council to pass his mobility plan, which includes the now-infamous freeway towing policy.

Jameson and White share one other trait: formally and officially declaring policies that should be blindingly obvious.

White, on air pollution: "Nobody has the right to put this chemical butadiene and benzene into the air at levels that cause cancer." (Good to know, sir.)

Jameson, listing the Sixth Commandment of having sex with her: "Thou shalt not be able to take a bigger dildo than I can." (Also duly noted, ma'am.)

Finally there's this, from page 315, where Jameson's having trouble at a photo shoot: "You're shining a backlight through my head," she tells an assistant, "and it's making me look bald."

No wonder White wanted to hide the book.

Speak Ill of the Dead

Houston doctor Marc Jacobson was upset with the Houston Chronicle's obituary of architect Philip Johnson. Where other papers had noted Johnson's 45-year relationship with David Whitney, the Chron had a different take: Johnson "repeatedly flouted convention, acknowledging his homosexuality -- he called a series of male lovers 'the four Mrs. Johnsons.' "

"One can hardly imagine a more disrespectful reference to a surviving partner of 45 years than to be lumped into 'a series of lovers,' " Jacobson says.

Good point. But we were struck by another passing reference in the Chron's lengthy front-page bio of the man who shaped Houston's skyline. Part of his convention-flouting, the story said, included "a brief infatuation with fascism," although Johnson "vehemently denied" ever being a Nazi.

Papers in Boston, L.A., New York and London went a little more deeply into Johnson's youthful politics. The architect "attended a Nazi rally…[and] became a Nazi fellow traveler, published racist articles and in September 1939 followed Hitler's armies into Poland as a correspondent for Social Justice, a magazine published by the American radio extremist Father Charles Coughlin," The Boston Globe wrote.

"The sight of Warsaw in flames after a German bombing in 1939 was, [Johnson] reported, 'a stirring spectacle,' " England's Independent noted.

But he designed our skyline! He can't be all bad! Even if he was a promiscuous gay guy.

The Gift that Keeps Giving

Last year's Super Bowl was a publicity bonanza for Houston, as reporters went to great lengths talking about such tourist attractions as our pollution, corporate criminals and traffic. But who knew the breathless adoration would continue a year later? Hey, when you compare us to Jacksonville, we come out smelling like a rose:

“Although Houston…is sprawling, it seems like a small town, area-wise, compared to Jacksonville.” — Scripps Howard News Service

“When the NFL insists on putting [the Super Bowl] in outposts like Detroit, Houston or Minneapolis, people ask ‘Are you guys nuts?’ But when you pick Jacksonville, people are agape and say, ‘Who in Jacksonville has a picture of Tagliabue with a goat?’ ” — The Washington Post

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