Soulful City

Austin’s Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge by Ted Lee Eubanks

If  Austin would like to be a community of rooted citizens enjoying the fruits of diversity, a soulful city, then she must first recognize and celebrate diversity in all of its manifestations and across the entire span of its admittedly brief history.

The investigation, recognition, and celebration of heritage are among the most effective tools to be used in framing and contextualizing urban planning. Through this process (narrative-based planning) everyone is given a voice, those alive today as well as those who contributed in the past.

Shoal Creek Walk December 2, 2017

Mouth of Shoal Creek ©2017 Ted Lee Eubanks

What do you know about Austin? How about our history?

Join me on December 2 as I lead a short tour of Austin’s most historic creek – Shoal Creek. We will begin at 10 AM at the new Austin Public Library, and we should be finished by 12 Noon.

If you are interested in Austin’s early history, including the Comanche trail, Austin’s first settlement at Waterloo, the original Mexican community that lined the creek, and Austin’s earliest bridges, then join us for this fascinating tour.

The Dimming of the Sun

Solar Eclipse, Ravenna, NE, 21 Aug 2017, ©2017 Ted Lee Eubanks.

Nothing prepares you for a total eclipse. Then, nothing prepares you for your first volcano, geyser, tornado, hurricane, or earthquake, either. Words fail when forced to describe natural phenomena that engage all of the senses.

Words are enough to relate the science of an eclipse. The moon passes between the earth and sun, and blocks the sun for a brief moment. Even though the moon is 400 times smaller than the sun, it’s also about 400 times closer to Earth than the sun.

Keep Austin Creative

1968 Wooldridge Square poster by Jim Franklin

What is it that attracts creative people? Jobs, for sure. But what is needed before the jobs appear? A creative environment is a good place to start.

Austin began its transformation into one of America’s great cities in an inauspicious way. The Austin of today began with the music of yesterday.

On September 29, 1968, local musicians held a benefit at Wooldridge Square. Jim Franklin, a local artist, designed a poster for that event. With the poster, Jim introduced what would become the new Austin’s symbol – the armadillo. With this event, the new Austin, the Austin of Keep Austin Weird, had a birthplace and a brand.

The Passionate Concern of Dedicated Individuals

 

 

 

Jacob Fontaine house, now Freedmen’s Bar, Austin, Texas, ©2017 Ted Lee Eubanks

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Rev. Jacob Fontaine (1808 – 1898) lived his first 55 years as a slave. For a time, he and his wife lived on the Woodlawn Plantation, part of which is now Pease Park. With emancipation, the Rev. Fontaine became one of Austin’s most notable residents.