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Dancing with the Stars Austin, Peter Nappi Pop-Ups, Early Texas Images

Michael Barnes

CHARITY: Guess who was totally charming? No kidding, former game show host Chuck Woolery. Smart, funny, quick-witted. Come to think of it, that should go with his TV territory. Now living in Horseshoe Bay, he served as one of three rollicking judges for Dancing with the Stars Austin, which benefits the Center for Child Protection. The long evening at Hyatt Austin benefited from animated auction crying from Heath Hale and crew. Then came the game of risk: Which local celebrity would best execute a dance style with a pro partner? Winners — athletic all — were Katrine FormbyCassie LaMere and Francie P. Little. I tell you, I was forced to miss this essential Austin benefit last year and was so pleased to pick up where I left off. Serious fun for a serious cause.

STYLE: Every single item appealed to me. That hardly ever happens with menswear. Except during certain seasons at Stag on South Congress Avenue or the Armani store at the San Marcos Outlet Mall. Odd pairing, I know, but they came together in leatherwork of Peter Nappi, the Italian-inspired-and-made apparel, footwear and accessories based in suddenly cool Nashville. Pop-up stores and parties at Hotel St. Cecilia and Hotel San Jose showed off the lovelies to their best advantage. I also meet some incredibly interesting folks who appreciated fashion but didn’t live for it. Bit of news: Peter Nappi is looking for a bricks-and-mortar storefront in Austin. We discussed the pros and cons of various retail districts.

HISTORY: Mesmerizing early Texas images. Taken for my story in the Statesman: “The man stares into the camera with dignified authority. His dark hair is brushed back unfussily. A large, shiny bow around his neck matches the sheen of his loose jacket. This image from the mid-19th century — discolored by time but crisp in every detail — is among the most compelling in a small exhibit of early photographs at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in the state Capitol complex. The portrait is all the more intriguing because the subject’s name is unknown.”