Daily Archives: 04/19/2009

A Quiet Adjustment

(Community Matters) Didn’t realize Benjamin Markovits had released the second novel – A Quite Adjustment in his trilogy.  Benjamin’s the son of our next door neighbors, UT law professors Inga & Dick Markovits.

This is his fifth book.  Benjamin, a former pro-basketball player, now lives in London with his wife and son, and he regularly writes for The London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement and The Guardian.

Austin American Statesman Endorsement

(Community Matters) While leading in the polls the Austin American Statesman endorsement represents an undeniable win for Mayor Pro Tem Brewster McCracken in the close race for mayor

. . . . we believe McCracken, 43, has the vision and leadership to move Austin forward and urge voters to elect him the next mayor.

McCracken has a plan for the future that calls for investment in clean energy and biotech and digital businesses. He has helped lead the Pecan Street Project, which is working to attract clean-energy business to Austin. He is vigorously pursuing the next step in Austin’s future.

McCracken has a broad view of what Austin needs and how City Hall should manage in a budget crunch.

Also, similarly big win for Chris Riley for city council member

Riley has more experience and we believe is ready for the City Council. Cavazos has a good career ahead of her and with a bit more seasoning will be an even better candidate.

Mavis Staples in Concert

(Community Matters) The spiritual voice of the civil rights movement and one time Bob Dylan fiance, Mavis Staples rocked the St. James’ sanctuary last night in a benefit concert for St. James Episcopal School.

Rock n Roll Hall of Famer, Mavis Staples

St. James’ Episcopal School is a pre-K and kindergarten, Montessori-based program predominantly serving children in East Austin. They seek to inspire thinking that leads to academic achievement and prepare children for life as leaders, problem solvers, and self-reliant individuals with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. ABPorter.org was a sponsor of last night’s event.

Father Bill introducing the band, Yvonne Staples far left

We’re not really sure how Bill does it. He’s one of the founders of the school, is or until recently was the school’s board chair, served as our priest-in-charge after Greg left, oversaw design of our new church as well as construction plus he still teaches at the seminary (though retired), is always-available-grandfather, husband extraordinaire, chef extraordinare . . . . . well, you get my message 🙂

Thinkwell CEO Carl Tyson, Margaret Keys & Steven

Prior to the concert, Margaret Keys hosted Carl Tyson, Steven and me for dinner – they were our guests to the concert. Meg Schwartz of Spoon & Co cooked a fantastic dinner, including vegan offerings for ST’s new diet as well as exquisitely marinated filet for me and Carl. Margaret’s and Meg’s attention to detail and planning of every little detail for a dinner is inspiring. oh yeah, and those chocolate ganache, cream pastry tartlets . . .

Sarah Ranson 1913 – 2009

(Community Matters) I lived on Mt. Bonnell most of my first 16 years in Austin. Often helped Sarah serve beers during rush. Even after helping, I still had to pay. She’d sometimes yell at me, though always with a crooked smile

Played pool and the jukebox there at least hundreds of evenings. Sat upstairs drinking beers, watching the sunset more evenings than I should admit. Good gosh, especially between 1985 – 1999 (sans late ’88 – 1990), when Steven and I moved in together, possibly more days than not. Though, come to think about it, I kept my place until mid 2000.

Sarah and I had a running joke. I’d trick friends into ordering food – the sign outside read Dry Creek Saloon and Cafe. She’d huff and puff, it would make her madder than leaving bottles upstairs. Scared the bejesus out of some. Most friends took it in good humor, though not all.

Once hurt her feelings when she overheard me tell a friend she was mean, and she thought I was serious. I paid penance and she sought and achieved revenge.

Sarah & Dry Creek were important parts of my young adulthood. Many times whomever was left at the end of an evening strolled down to my place for more beers, whatever food we could rustle up and whatever. Especially during the years Ashley McAllen was in residency at Brackenridge, I think the entire cohort and whomever was at Dry Creek late would wind up at my house lots and lots of evenings. hmm, there is a a novel about 80s and 90s Austin there, but I’d be run out of town.

Her dogs. She always had the mangiest dogs – and she loved ’em. I remember teasing her about one three legged mutt. She told me it reminded her of her one legged husband.

I’m embarrassed to admit I thought Sarah died several years ago. Can’t believe she left Dry Creek before she did. Don’t imagine it was of her own volition. Rest in peace dear Sarah.

excuse me, but the photo shows Sarah in pearls. Ain’t gonna convince me that’s not photoshopped! 🙂

YMCA Healthy Kids Fair

(Community Matters) Much fun attending the Townlake YMCA’s Healthy Kids Fair and signing up kids for our Lemonade Day. Marion Cimbala, Leigh Christie, Peter Frey & plenty of other volunteers simultaneously attending fairs at other locations, signing up kids to learn about business while earning money.

In Houston last year (their second), kids ran 11,600 lemonade stands earning $1,300,000 and donating $220,000 to charity. May 3rd in Austin. More information here.

volunteers, Chi Nguyen & Misty Harrison

The GAP encourages its employees to volunteer. They’ve been super helpers. Today, two from the GAP came and helped me at the Y.

Austin Ventures’ Chris Earthman & his youngest son

dads, lots of dads with kids today

and moms. Connected with Lydia Ortiz and her two children.

Jason Daniel, YMCA Youth & Family Program Director

Jason Daniel was one of my undergraduate students. A former gymnast, he’s long been engaged in youth development. Worked on a class consulting project for Leadership Austin. Loved reconnecting.