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A portrait of Miss Ora Johnson, founder of Camp Waldemar, presides at Ideal Girl Ceremony.Editors’ note: As we approach our fiftieth anniversary, in February 2023, we will, every week, highlight an important story from our past and offer some perspective on it. “Write what you know.” Prudence Mackintosh took that advice to heart when, in 1974, she suggested to the editor of a fledgling magazine named Texas Monthly that she write a piece about her own family—two (later three) rambunctious young boys and her lawyer husband. In a matter of months, she was a regular columnist, rounding out a core group of the magazine’s early authors—Larry L. King, Gary Cartwright, Stephen Harrigan, Al Reinert—who collectively gave the magazine a distinctive voice. If their focus was Texas writ large—outrageous characters, murder, the beauty of the natural landscape—hers was the quotidian one…

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