Monday, January 22, 2007

Austin on Ice

My old friend Tom Jones has a Live Journal journal that I look at and sometime post comments to. He’s an Austinite, and lately he’s posted about the ice storm that blew through central Texas. It got me to wondering, so I asked:

What's Austin's municipal reaction to ice? Stay home, wait for it to melt?

His reply was:

Indeed, Austin's municipal reaction to ice is just that. This time the ice did not just disappear in a day, so everyone was told to stay home for up to three days. The buzzphrase for the city this week was “getting cabin fever.” By Thursday temps got above freezing again and the all clear was sounded. I’ve never seen traffic so bad in this city as on that day (the day of my interview, of course--on the other side of the city!)

I was a resident of Austin part of one summer years ago, the summer I turned 20, back in pre-most everything days of the early ’80s. Ice isn’t something I associate with the city. Except in glasses. Heat, that’s what I remember, but it wasn’t much different than San Antonio’s, apart from some added humidity.

I took classes at UT that summer, which was one way to escape the heat, for my room at the New Guild Co-op had no air conditioning. The other way was to see cheap movies at the Texas Union (that is, the student union) or other moviehouses nearby. With the perspective of a quarter century later, those nearly daily movies turned out to be the most valuable part of my education during that interlude in Austin. I saw works by Hitchcock, Fellini, Kubrick, Bergman, Polanski and a number of other famed directors -- as well as items such as Caddyshack, one of the Cheech & Chong movies, and The Black Hole. Movies, like life, are leavened by variety.


At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you were 20 the summer you spent in Austin, that would be 1981. That was the first year I lived in El Paso. I must have heard about it at the time, but I have no recollection at all that you went to summer school at UT then or at any other time, which is worrying: what else have I completely forgotten? ANK


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