What’s a blogger to do when she needs a break from being a good read (my goal), creating controversy, and bringing back fond memories? Taking a cue from television where even news magazines like “60 Minutes” and “CBS Sunday Morning” start re-airing old segments during the summer, the word “hiatus” came to mind. But instead of reruns, let me share some of the comments I’ve received in my virtual mailbox recently.
In response to Put Muny on the List, Mr. Kelso! I heard this from Peter Barbour, founder of the Save Muny organization:
I formed Save Muny in 2007 because I learned the game of golf there, but also because I remember the old Tarrytown – the one without traffic streaming down Exposition or Enfield or Lake Austin. And, as I still come into Austin from time to time to visit my parents, I couldn’t see the point (greed) or the need (greed) to replace Muny with retail and 13,000 people. Thanks for your words — and I wish you would share them with Kelso! (I did, Peter.)
My old (but still youthful) friend, Tom, shared these thoughts about Muny:
Your article brought back a few, long-forgotten vignettes. . . playing in a 9-hole tournament when I was in 6th grade … playing with JR the first time I played 18 holes, trying to hit out of the mud on old No. 7, splashing a chunk of mud in my eye . . . Really, Muny is so woven into my youth that I play there once or so every year, just to see what has changed (like one hole that changed drastically, but then changed back to the way it always was). And in a strange way it seems a bit like I am playing a few holes with my 16-year-old self when I am there. There are better golf courses in town now, but you can’t get THAT experience many places. Not even for big money.
Jamie, who cruised around West Austin with me in my mother’s ’68 Mustang, but now lives about 200 miles north of West Austin, wrote this:
I recall that my dad and brothers enjoyed it a lot when they used to play golf there. I feel particularly called to arms about the need to protect my hometown of its few, and dwindling, green areas within the city limits. Like you mentioned, they are sources of oxygen in traffic-congested areas. I care about the air I breathe, and, as a matter of fact, about the air YOU breathe also.
Another former Austinite, Bruce, plans to return to Austin when he retires, and writes about his hopes for the preservation of Muny:
Maybe it’s the old fogey in me resistant to change, but it would break my heart if they destroyed Muny. I have such fond memories of the place dating back to early childhood. If they should decide to do away with it, I would hope they would have the good sense and decency to preserve it as green space. I know there would be tremendous economic (e.g. real estate development) pressure against that, but Austin being the place it is, I would hope the “greener” contingency would also be able to apply significant (and very loud) pressure. Or maybe I’m dreaming . . .
Responding to the entry, Sweet Dreams, Sweet Soldiers about our fallen soldiers and a husband’s letter to his wife, I heard this from Stephanie in Colorado:
For some reason, this Memorial Day has meant more to me than others. Who knows why . . . but I realize that I’m sitting here writing this to you because of the young men and women who’ve chosen to fight, and, unfortunately, die for our freedom. Thank you for reminding me…
Thanks to Mandy, I feel less alone about being a “grumpy old woman.” Here’s her response to the post Turning into a Grumpy Old Woman?:
There is one gripe that needs to be taken public: Bicyclists who refuse to obey the traffic rules and the rules of general politeness. How many times have you been stuck behind some idiot on a bicycle who slows all the auto traffic to a crawl, causing all the cars to be halted at a red light—but the damn fool bicyclist cruises through the red light? Or what about the three cycling buddies who ignore the bike lane and ride three abreast in the car lane so they can chat? . . . I realize that my feelings are not politically correct in Austin. And I seethe every session when bills are passed that create big fines for drivers who dare to get too close to the 2-wheeled perfect people. . . Additionally, the spandex outfits are horrible. Even thin muscular people look terrible in them, and they are eyesores. I’d rather see the “naked thong man” than some skinny guy in spandex and a helmet. (Wow! Hats off to Mandy for an idea that would make traffic waits more interesting!)
It was so good to hear from Gladys Longoria. She agreed with my pet peeve concerning downtown street closures to accommodate foot races and added her grievance about parking meter policy changes:
I am a grumpy old lady about the many activities that are held in Austin – especially the many races. I sent a letter to a city council member a long time ago explaining the difficulty I had on Sundays getting to my church downtown (St. Mary’s Cathedral). There are other locations out of town . . . why not use them and show respect for our city streets? My most recent letter was to our current mayor complaining about changing the meters in the streets around the churches from free on weekends to now making people pay to attend church. It makes no sense to me to have to pay the city to go to church. (May sweet Gladys, who served 33 years with the American Red Cross, rest in well-deserved peace.)
And finally, in regard to my interest in obituaries, Jack pointed out a recent obituary that he found deserving of the Mitt Romney Award for Insensitivity. In the first paragraph of a very long obit, the deceased (and author, no doubt) effectively established that the well-off are different from you and me, as he thanked the “boys”who had served him so well:
The mariachis are still playing and his beloved bird boys are crying in the rain. Ocho-Ocho [the deceased] came by his nickname from his many hunting trips to the once tranquil dove shooting fields of northern Mexico that he loved so much, in and around the Rio San Diego Hunting Club outside of Ciudad Acuña, and at the No Le Hace Lodge in the San Fernando Valley where he established a very special relationship with his bird boys. . . . Waves of chants of “Viva Ocho-Ocho!” often went down the shooting line in honor of a particularly fine shot . . . At the end of the shooting, when it came time for bragging rights and cervezas were being shared, his bird boys always made sure his bag of dove was as full as any shooter’s bag.
Thanks, readers, for all your comments and reminders of what an interesting world we inhabit! Back to my hiatus and a glass of vino while I watch the Olympics!