But it plays a tune

greetings from AustinIt’s more of a sparkle-and-bat globe than a snow globe, and it’s large. Gift-giving season has begun early and I’m now the proud possessor of the signature souvenir sold in the Austin City Store. Genial (and candid) Mr. Gene Smith greeted us this morning (doors open at 10 am and don’t close until 7 pm, six days a week). He’s a great salesman and we didn’t get away without buying some presents: Austin music, photo books of the Austin that will soon vanish at the rate we’re going, and a couple of fridge magnets for the homestead (to join bug sign Willie N. Festus and a couple of other Ave Bonar specials) plus more for gifts. Mr. Smith’s salesmanship convinced us that life isn’t worth living without a wind-up tumbling ladybug, a wind-up bathtub swimmer, and a wind-up inchworm. In fact, this shop is a very decent little toy store. News reports suggest that, for various reasons known to most of us, this little store may not be with us for long. The Web site gives no true picture of the inventory. I’m sorry it took me so long to check it out. The bat-globe melody? “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” music-box style.

Update: The City has announced that, pursuant to a vote by the city council, this little shop will be closed at the end of business on Saturday, September 29. I wonder who has dibs on this space for offices.

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