The scrap heap of history

Don’t consign your precious souvenirs of Austin to oblivion. Share them with others and keep them safe. The Austin History Center is always seeking documentation of life in this town in order to preserve it for posterity. This is one of the posters that I turned up when I was searching for Steve Jordan and some other visual documentation of music past. It’s from the Conjunto Pesado free festivals that used to be held in Parque Zaragoza before it all moved to Fiesta Gardens. I also found a cache of menus from establishments long gone and a certain amount of Juneteenth memorabilia.

Another find was a directory of membership of the Heritage Society of Austin. Members were not all that many, and all were listed with address and telephone number. This particular directory isn’t even all that old, but it calls forth memories of a much smaller and more intimate town.

Also turning up were three documents of Austin’s first efforts at energy conservation, back when Ron Mullen was mayor and programs of this sort fell under the purview of the City’s Resource Management Department. Layout and paste-up are obviously all by hand, with no PageMaker or the like involved. The organization of city government has changed several times, but the recommendations are still much the same.

Whenever it’s time to allow the history center to archive some of our personal holdings, we spend a lot of time enjoying the current exhibit, now photographs from a bygone Austin (ends January 18), and checking out those old city directories and school yearbooks. I love the old library building and am so happy that it has been preserved. It’s still one of the most peaceful places in town.

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