An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-Five

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Eighty-Four

Former Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell, February 1916

“The breweries didn’t admit their guilt to one single thing. Not to paying poll taxes for poor Antis. Not to making illegal use of their assets to further their political agenda. Not to violating anti-trust statutes. They claim to be as innocent as babes in the woods when they are as evil as those zeppelin airships slipping in at night to deposit deadly bombs on civilians in England and France.”

“The Attorney General did whack them with the third largest judgment ever rendered in the history of the state,” says his son-in-law Clarence Dilley.

“Two-hundred and eighty-thousand dollars? That’s chickenfeed to them. Barely a slap on the wrist. In 1911 alone, the San Antonio Brewing Association contributed more than $100,000 to the Texas Brewing Association to defeat the Prohibition Amendment.”

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-Five”

Colorful remnants of SouthPop linger on South Lamar

The work of the artist dubbed “Daddy-O” is so steeped in Texas culture and iconography – the old and the new, rural and urban, classy and cheesy – that “40 Years of Blood, Sweat and Beers” seems to encompass everything in the whole damn state…. (it) exudes Texas-osity, the way one oozes beery sweat after a three-night bender in Terlingua.

Robert Faires’ description of a 2009 “retrospectacle” of the work of Bob “Daddy-O” Wade at the former South Austin Museum of Popular Culture on South Lamar, Austin Chronicle

It’s hard to miss the parking lot when driving down South Lamar, and the museum sign beckoned us to explore. But, alas, the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture, founded in 2004, no longer calls 1516 South Lamar home. Hemmed in from expansion by its neighbor Planet K, in 2019 SouthPop packed up, moved the contents of its interior collection and reopened behind Threadgill’s Old No. 1 on North Lamar as the Austin Museum of Popular Culture.

But, an even bigger alas. The pandemic raised its ugly head and tolled the bell on Threadgill’s, an iconic Austin institution for almost 40 years. So the Austin Museum of Popular Culture is now homeless.

Continue reading “Colorful remnants of SouthPop linger on South Lamar”

Popularity Contest Results

new year's 1912

Above, 1912 New Year’s card from Chapter Seventeen of An Ostrich-Plumed Hat

You have been judging my posts, as always, for the past six months, picking and choosing whatever piques your interest. For several years, the focus here has been on travel, relying on extensive use of photographs. Well, 2020 certainly cut short this blogger’s boulevardier ways, so, instead, I have “gifted” you with my novel about the sensational 19teens’ tale of the doomed relationship of Hedda Burgemeister and Otto Koehler. More than thirty chapters of An Ostrich-Plumed Hat, and, Yes, She Shot Him Dead are now posted on this site.

an ostrich-plumed hat

The good news is that more of you have clicked on the Introduction and Chapter One than any other post since July. The flip side is less flattering; there was a steep drop off in readership by Chapter Two. Numerous chapters ranked in the top dozen of this biannual roundup, but, for the sake of variety and not to encourage skipping around in the book the way I read Moby Dick in high school – every fifth chapter (Did I miss much?), I am omitting them from the list. Am hoping for some more feedback from you, my beta readers, as this release continues.

Beyond that, you seem to still appreciate my efforts at populating Brackenridge Park with ghosts, railing about whatever in the world is happening to Alamo Plaza and spinning tales from vagabond times. And perhaps you are looking for miracles ahead in 2021.

Continue reading “Popularity Contest Results”