One of the weirdest nights of my life was spent in Carl’s Corner, at a truck stop that harbored a topless bar. Carl Cornelius was the proprietor. I can’t tell you everything that happened that night in 1995. In fact, I’m not going to tell you anything that happened that night. But upon hearing the news this morning that Cornelius died Tuesday, I immediately thought of that night. And the Tango Frogs. And Willie Nelson.
Mike Shropshire broke the news to me. He profiled Cornelius for D Magazine back in 2006. We deemed the story one of the 40 best we’ve ever published. Find your way to the story through this post from 2014, in which Jason Heid (now with Texas Monthly) updated Mike’s story with a short interview with Cornelius, who was then serving as the mayor of Carl’s Corner.
I’ll update this post if I can get some details about the manner of his passing. Just know for now that we lost a true Texas legend this week.