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Gay Wedding, Tailgating at Hotel Ella, Oakwood Cemetery and more

wedding
Michael Barnes

Access to MyStatesman included for Statesman subscribers.

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WEDDINGS: The officiant kept a straight face. "Not long ago, Richard and Patrice could not have wed," he said. "Because Richard is black and Patrice is white." Pause. Laughter and clapping. Clever to connect the prohibitions against interracial coupling not so long ago with ongoing opposition to gay marriage today. Everything about the ceremony binding Austin's Richard Williams and Patrice Carrara pleased, from the modern Indian setting at the Clay Pit, to the ritual procession, flowers and vows, and the blending of family and friends from France, San Antonio and Austin. An ingenious event planner, Williams took the day off to let a friend direct the activities, which actually stretched over the weekend and into the Hill Country. Congratulations, men.

SPORTS: Tailgating in style. Still recovering from a early morning workout with coach and fitness expert Paul Carrozza, Austinites Kim and Kyle Hughes stretched out on sofas under a white tent that allowed an extremely tentative breeze to brush away the omnipresent humidity. Icy refreshments and resourceful answers to game-day grub, served for the first time on the lawn of Hotel Ella, helped soften the weather's clammy clasp. Located precisely one mile from the gates of Royal-Memorial Stadium, the revamped inn is decidedly close enough to the action for tailgating. Guests were later shuttled to the game, which UT won 38 to 7. Though a tad loud, streaming images on large screens in the guest tent showed the pre-game pageantry from the essential Longhorn Network. Yet another tradition is born.

HISTORY: Efforts to preserve 1839 Oakwood Cemetery grow. Taken from my story in the Statesman: "Five weathered wooden headstones. They stand out in the fields of marble, granite, concrete, iron and limestone, surrounded by trees, shrubs, grass and flowers. All for young boys who died in the 1880s. The were buried in the Rumsey family plot at Austin’s Oakwood Cemetery. "They are now very hard to read due to weathering,” says Leslie Wolfenden, one of the editors of “Austin’s Historic Oakwood Cemetery,” recently published by the Save Austin’s Cemeteries advocacy group. “These are my favorites because they have withstood the test of time, and are poignant in the ages of the children. They have suffered from rot, insects and weed whackers.” In fact, much of the graveyard — Austin’s first — has suffered from neglect or abuse at one time or another. That’s why Wolfenden, co-editors Kay Boyd and Megan Spencer — as well as other contributors — have joined forces to help stabilize, preserve and promote the quiet spot, split by Comal Street between East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and East 14th Street." http://shar.es/11tfFt

CITY: Hispanics in Austin no longer just one community. Taken from Marty Toohey's story in the Statesman: "The writer and sociologist Joel Garreau once divided North America into nine regions, each with a distinctive cultural character. One, called MexAmerica, stretched from Southern California along the U.S.-Mexico border to South Texas. Its northern reach stopped just short of Austin.  Gus Garcia chuckles when he thinks about that boundary. Garreau drew it in 1981. That was before Garcia became the first Hispanic elected mayor of Austin. That was before Hispanics had moved in large numbers beyond the East Austin barrio to become a majority in wide swaths of North and South Austin. That was before a burgeoning Hispanic middle class emerged in Austin of doctors, lawyers, engineers, entrepreneurs, even police chief. “When (Garreau) wrote his book, MexAmerica ended at San Antonio,” Garcia, 80, said. “If he wrote the book now, it would end at Austin." http://bit.ly/1qSlwRB

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