Texas Book Fest Party, Mod Lady Bird, Latest ‘Out’ and more
BOOKS: They looked like discarded gift wrappings at a kid’s party. Or maybe the sad remains of an art installation. After all, we were at the Jones Center, downtown footprint for the Contemporary Austin. In fact, the brightly colored tissue and cardboard boxes were intended to serve a mock game show. “We were going to play ‘The Texas Book Festival is Right,’” says the fest’s playful literary director, Steph Opitz, from the dais. “Our own version of ‘The Price is Right.’” Salvaging the gimmick, she urged two guests attending the fest’s rooftop party to race to the podium, punch through a decorative letter to grab a book and, thus, announce an author coming to the esteemed gathering in and around the State Capitol Oct. 25-26. (For headliners, go to Statesman report.) In social news, fest executive director Lois Kim said that an after-party has been added to the much-anticipated First Edition Literary Gala at the Four Seasons Hotel on Oct. 24.
STYLE: Lady Bird Johnson’s Mod Look: Taken from my story in the Statesman: “A certain first lady was born to a wealthy stockbroker and a noted socialite in Southampton, N.Y. Her family married into European royalty, and her husband belonged to an immensely wealthy business and political dynasty. For decades, she was advised by fashion authorities such as Diana Vreeland and Oleg Cassini. Years after her death, she is still emulated by stylish women around the globe. The next American first lady came from a tiny East Texas town, where her father, a sharecropper’s son, owned general stores. She married an energetic political hopeful from the hardscrabble Hill Country, who won his first congressional campaign with the help of $10,000 from her modest maternal inheritance.” http://shar.es/11F8sd
SOCIAL: Looking back at last week’s Austin activity. Taken from my column in the Statesman: “Loose and rested from the long summer, Austinites hit the second week of the social season with the readiness of well-trained marathoners. It was a night for surprises. First, Brass House co-owner Jason White leaped up onstage at the Sheraton Austin after an especially long live auction. Bearded and intense, the Afghanistan War veteran spoke movingly of his experiences with the seriously ill through the auspices of Care Communities. Unexpectedly, he extended the pledge period at the Byron E. Cox Awards dinner with his rousing pitches. Then developer and civic leader — and sometime neighbor — Kerry Tate gave one of the best introductions ever, telling the guests about what kind of CEO, leader and philanthropist Earl Maxwell is not. St. David’s Foundation’s Maxwell followed with a short speech that exemplified his famed humility and good humor.” http://shar.es/11FDeR
HISTORY: Choose from more than 100 stories about Austin history here. “The 1960s was probably the last time when it was possible to know almost everybody of consequence in Austin. Even with sharp ethnic, social and economic divisions — as well as lingering segregation — one could bump into the putative leaders in this city of 200,000 souls almost anywhere. “Former Attorney General Waggoner Carr frequently ate lunch at Cisco’s Bakery in East Austin,” recalls Sandy Woods, who then was married to this newspaper’s city editor, the late Bill Woods. “As did assorted reporters, lawyers and folks from the courthouse. Judge John Watson ‘held court’ each morning at 6 a.m. in the drugstore on the ground floor of the Stephen F. Austin Hotel. Ann Richards shopped at Rylander’s when it was built in West Lake Hills. Lady Bird and Lynda bought shoes for the first Johnson grandchild at Sandy’s Shoes in Casis Village and were often seen in Sears.” http://shar.es/11FDNx