My First Swimming Lesson

Back in the “old days”, 1956 probably, we were all down at the river. We called it the river, even though it was a lake. That being Lake Travis at Smithwick. I would have been no more than 4 years old. At this time Uncle Owen Lewis had acquired several Lone Star Aluminum Fishing Boats that he rented out. That was a common thing to do in that day. There was a huge pecan tree that grew close to the river bank on Shop Branch in the big U curve just before the creek met the lake. That tree had … Continue reading My First Swimming Lesson

My Senior Trip To California

It was a trip that I will always remember. While it was a trip that took place during my senior year, it wasn’t “The Senior Trip“. Our Senior Trip wasn’t quite so exciting or far away. It was an all day trip to San Antonio. Since I was working across the street from the school at Luther-McDuff Chevrolet, Buick and Oldsmobile, I was offered a chance to help get some vehicles out to California. I was in a program that allowed me to get out of school at noon in my senior year and work at the dealership. It was … Continue reading My Senior Trip To California

Evolution of a State by Noah Smithwick

I have always heard it said that this is one of the best, if not the best first hand account of the settling of Texas ever put into book form. I grew up with a 1st edition, 1900 copy of this book in our home. It had belonged to my grandfather, A.T. Lewis. I knew it was a book that had to remain in our family. I grew up in Smithwick Texas, with the old Smithwick Mill on the Colorado River being on part of our family property. That being the old homestead of Francis Porter Lewis and Florence Stinnett … Continue reading Evolution of a State by Noah Smithwick

The Mormon Missionaries

I remember how shocking it was. We had lived just a short distance from where it happened just prior to it taking place. It was unthinkable to me that a person could not only kill a couple of young men, but take them into a bandsaw a cut them into little enough pieces that they’d never be seen again. Little did I know that Jeffery Dahmer would be killing and eating people within a year or 2 after that. I know there have been horrendously shocking things going on in this world since the beginning of time, but the Mormon … Continue reading The Mormon Missionaries

A Trip To Pennsylvania

The week I graduated from high school in May 1970, I was invited to take a trip up to Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania. There was a slight catch to it, the trip wasn’t going to pay much or maybe nothing at all. But all expenses were paid for. There were five of us traveling together. Pat Taylor, a MF school classmate that was year older than me, Kenny and Vicki Jackson, a gal by the name of Martha Rucker and Me. Pat and I were making the trip just to help transfer vehicles, but the other three were moving there to … Continue reading A Trip To Pennsylvania

A Bad Cold Spell In The Winter Of 1973

It was about this time of year in 1973. Madeline & I had been married just a little more than a year. Austin was unusually cold and wet. The city was pretty much paralyzed for several days. Everything looked like a whole different place. I was like we were living in the movie Dr. Zhivago. We were living in a mobile home at Oakhill. We had pretty much everything we needed so we stayed inside for about 3 days. Finally we had stood it as long as we could and got out and made our way slipping and sliding down … Continue reading A Bad Cold Spell In The Winter Of 1973

On Writing

I have a hard time sitting down and reading like I used to. There was a time that I could read for hours. Now I fall asleep much too easily. I can sit or lay in bed and write for hours and never even think about going to sleep. I guess it’s the active / passive thing. May just be how my brain is wired or cross-wired in my case. Reading is much too passive for me. This may be why I watch very little sports. I just don’t understand sitting watching someone else doing something. I want to just … Continue reading On Writing

Growing Pains

I’m not talking about the typical growing pains we sometime experience as people but this is about cities and communities. This can cause a big pain for the landowners which in general are just average people. I have seen all the small towns around Austin grapple with suburban sprawl. Almost every one of them have tried to imitate Austin with their ordinances. In fact I can’t think of any that haven’t. While it is incumbent on the city leaders to move to protect what’s within their purview, it always comes too fast and furious for the residents to become acclimated. … Continue reading Growing Pains