I seem to have a lot of things on my mind
While we’re breathlessly waiting to see what the Texas House does with the bills breathlessly OK’d by the Texas Senate during the first half of the special session, let’s take a breath for a few things I haven’t had time to deal with during this summer of our legislative discontent.
Thing 1: Tuesday was the last day for online bidding on the kiddie train and other rides from Kiddie Acres, the North Austin amusement park that closed at the end of June after 39 years of making kids smile. Owners Joe and Marina Herring are retiring.
As bidding ended Tuesday morning, looks like the high bid on the train was $17,500 and the top bid for the carousel was $10,500.
I’ll try to find out who bought the train and the plans for it.
And though the Kiddie Acres auction is over, there’s still time to go to the Jones Swenson Auctions website and bid on some fun stuff, including gear from the now-closed Alamo Golf Club in San Antonio.
You know you’ve always wanted a Toro GreensMaster 3050 Triplex Greens Mower or a Golf Ball Picker, one of those awesome caged-cab vehicles you drive around to scoop up balls on the driving range. Could be helpful in cleaning up the kids’ rooms.
Also up for bids are “Props, Costumes, Set Dressing and More!” from the local filming of “The Long Road Home,” a TV series about U.S. forces in Iraq. Included are lots of prop weapons, two “Iraqi bicycles, Dutch style, distressed for movie,” three hookahs, a “prop mummified dog” and a wheelchair “used by the star in the film.” There also are College Station and Crawford signs. Thing 2: Is it possible that you left a work of art at what used to be Laguna Gloria Art Museum and now is known as The Contemporary Austin? If so, the museum wants to hear from you.
It has listed about 700 works of unclear origin to make sure it really owns them. The museum needs to clear that up as part of the transfer of the art to the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas.
Hence, a recent public notice in which the museum said it “hereby publicly announces that the following artwork is abandoned, unless TCA receives a verifiable claim within 65 days of this notice’s final publication.”
“If TCA receives no such claim, ownership of the below properties irrevocably vests in TCA,” says the notice. And because it’s art, some names on the list make you say “Huh?”
Highlights: “The Nineteenth Hole & Bug-ABoo,” “Motionless Torrents, 1963,” “Occult Chamber,” “Hen and Hawk, 1937,” “Proprioception,” “Black Drawing #21,” “Painting of tennis player, by unknown,” “Photo of nude woman in mask,” “Photo of man on couch,” “Make it Hot for the Cook-off ” lithograph and “Corrugated Cardboard Space.”
And, my favorite: “Joe Ely, How to Make Jail Hot Chocolate, 1992-1993, 10 prints.”
If any of this rings a bell, contact the museum at 512-453-5312 or email@example.com.
Thing 3: Back in 2015, I told you about Cedar Park resident Les Overstreet’s touching practice of annually placing a Fourth of July obituary in this paper for his brother Fred Leroy Overstreet Jr., who was wounded in World War II combat on July 4, 1944, and died a day later.
I was disappointed, and concerned about Les, when I didn’t see the obit in the paper this year. I’m happy to report he’s fine.
The annual obit ran in the paper for about 30 years, until this year, when Les Overstreet, 86, told me it was time to end the tradition because most of the folks who remembered Fred have passed away.
“It always felt good to see that they remembered him,” Les told me. “They
would comment and say, ‘Hey, I saw your brother’s picture (in the paper).’ After a while, they all died off.”
Les, who also cited the increasing cost of obits in the paper, said he still thinks of his brother most every day: “It was worth every penny I ever spent.”
Indeed. Thanks for keeping alive the memory of a greatest generationer who gave his life for our nation.
Thing 4: I was driving east the other day on Cesar Chavez Street, obeying the city law against texting, talking or doing anything on my cellphone that might make me a distracted, law-breaking driver. My attention was focused on my driving. Then I saw something the city installed to distract me. It worked.
“Dazed and confused?” asked the electronic message over the roadway. Well yes, I thought, I’m often one or the other or both. Thanks for asking, city of Austin. Figuring there’d be a follow-up message, I kept my eyes on the sign as I drove. The follow-up: “Stop staring at your cell phone.”
Good advice, but is there something to be pondered about a sign that, brief though it was, distracted me to remind me of the dangers of distracted driving?
Thing 5: As Editor Debbie Hiott recently wrote, thanks to all who have expressed condolences to us on the death of beloved colleague John Kelso. It was touching to see how many were so touched by Kelso during the many years he so entertainingly reminded us about the oddities of life in Austin.
And special thanks to the hundreds of readers who, at my request, sent him get-well cards last year when he began another battle with cancer. The thoughts and good wishes were deeply appreciated by him.
Rest in humor, Kelso. firstname.lastname@example.org; 512-445-3907
Les Overstreet of Cedar Park holds a photo of his brother Fred Leroy Overstreet Jr., who was wounded in World War II on July 4, 1944, and died a day later. For about 30 years, Les placed a Fourth of July obituary in the Statesman to honor his brother.
Joe and Marina Herring, longtime owners of Kiddie Acres, decided to retire and close the North Austin amusement park that was open for 39 years. The park’s rides were sold at an auction that ended Tuesday.