LBJ Library 9/11 panel; Preservation Austin; Austin-London; and more
MEDIA: LBJ Library panel remembers Sept. 11 in exacting detail: A longer version of my report will appear Sunday in the Statesman’s Insight section: “President George W. Bush’s aides recall that, during three days in September 2001, they emerged from the fog of war to a sense of scorching clarity. Tuesday, from the stage of the LBJ Presidential Library auditorium, Karen Hughes, Karl Rove, Clay Johnson and Eric Draper used blunt, concrete words to recall minute, personal details from the 9/11 crisis. They revealed nothing groundbreaking. Yet the minutiae were, for two hours at the library, riveting. Colors, shapes, faces — even the position of the sun — shaped their memories. … “It felt like standing on a raw nerve,” Draper said of the scene in lower Manhattan. “You could feel the frustration. They were hugging the president and crying with the president.”” (Look for the digital version as early as Saturday.)
STYLE: Preservation Austin’s Jacqui Schraad brainstorms about historical stories. Love doing this: Sitting down with a super-sharp Austinite over coffee and just bouncing ideas back and forth like a raquetball. Among Schraad’s mind bombs, hatched at Cenote on East Cesar Chavz, is a story about an Austin couple who discovered a Cold War bomb shelter in mint condition under their yard! Together, we considered updated profiles on preservation leaders such as Tim League, Liz Lambert, Emily Little and Mickie Spencer. My big wish: A mega-profile of the State Preservation Board’s heavweight Dealey Herndon. We also talked about expert craftsmen, cool bars, the original St. Ignatius in Bouldin and the vanished St. John’s Orphan Home in Highland. (Note: Must learn how to use UT’s new crowd-sourcing Wiki Historic Survey soon.)
TRAVEL: Surely the most discussed local news on Tuesday was this revelation: Reported in the Statesman by Helen Anders and James Barragan: “In the latest sign of Austin’s growth, the city is getting its first nonstop flight to Europe — a milestone city officials say is a nod to the region’s increasing importance as a tourism and business hub. British Airways said Tuesday that starting in March, it will fly nonstop between Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and London’s Heathrow airport. The route will be the Austin airport’s first international destination other than Mexico. British Airways said it will fly the 787 Dreamliner on the route. The Dreamliner, with its focus on fuel efficiency, helped make the route possible, officials said.” http://shar.es/injDL(Naturally, a member of our ‘hood group declared that this flight meant the end of Austin as we knew it.)
LAW: Nobody said marriage equality would be easy in Texas: Reported by AP’s Chris Tomlinson: “The Texas National Guard refused to process requests from same-sex couples for benefits on Tuesday despite a Pentagon directive to do so, while Mississippi won’t issue applications from state-owned offices. Both states cited their respective bans on gay marriage. Tuesday was the first working day that gays in the military could apply for benefits after the Pentagon announced it would recognize same-sex marriages. The Department of Defense had announced that it would recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal following the U.S. Supreme Court decision that threw out parts of the Defense of Marriage Act. … “People say, ‘Why don’t you live somewhere else?’” (one spouse) said. “Well, my ancestors came here five generations ago to get away from this kind of stuff, and this is my state and I’m not going to go away.”http://shar.es/indbY(My feelings exactly. I’m not going away.)
NIGHTLIFE: I bet some of that drinking was done by tourists: Reported with apt humor by Dave Doolittle in the Statesman: “Go home, Austin, you’re drunk. I’ll try not to speak so loudly. If you haven’t noticed, Austin has been named to a lot of lists lately. Well, now we can add fifth-drunkest city in the United States to those accolades. Feel free to use that as an excuse to crack open a beer, though you probably already had one open. According to the Daily Beast, Austin last year lagged behind only Boston; Norfolk, Va.; Milwaukee and Charleston, S.C., as the nation’s drunkest city.” http://shar.es/inJxv(How do you argue with that?)
Note: An earlier version of this post credited the wrong reporter for the drunk Austin story.