JULY 24, 2007
There are so many things to bitch about in Austin, but in the ought seven, the weather isn’t one of them. It’s nearly freakin’ August and we still haven’t cracked the century mark, much less the high 90s. Sure, it’s been a little wet … OK, crazy wet … Girls Gone Wild wet, but if it weren’t for those pterodactyl-sized mosquitoes and the stifling humidity, it would almost be pleasant … and that’s about as much as you’re allowed to hope for at the end of July in Austin: almost pleasantness. So how did we score this sweet meteorological mojo? Did Stephen F. Austin beat Jesus H. Christ in a game of Texas hold ’em? “Read ’em and weep Chuy … royal flush. What? You’re out of chips? OK, how about this: You make it rain at least once a week in Austin for the rest of the summer. Oh yeah, and the temperature can’t go above 95. Either that or you have to take off your loincloth and run around your father’s throne three times.” Highly improbable to say the least, especially considering Jesus holds all the cards – at least in a theological sense, but this weather is highly improbable too. Besides, even if Stephen F. was a bit of a peace creep, he didn’t become “Father of Texas” by showing mercy to losers and deadbeats … well, actually he did, but that’s not why he became “Father of Texas.” He became FoT by sucking up to Mexico until it was no longer in his financial interest to do so. Yes, Austin’s path to glory was a twisted one at best, and highly circumstantial to say the least, but you have to give him props for thinking big. After all, Texas is a big state – a state that takes a certain amount of hubris to govern. No one knew that better than the late Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock. Bullock was involved in Texas politics for nearly 40 years – just a few shy of Austin’s entire lifespan – and though it’s unlikely his name will be repeated in the same revered tone as Austin’s, it will be repeated nonetheless. In his final term of office, Bullock was instrumental in the establishment of the Texas State History Museum, an $80 million boondoggle/monument to Texas history that bears his name. It also bears a 7-foot-tall bronze statue of Bullock and a video of his career in politics. If only Stephen F. got that kind of play. Regardless, if you’re into Texas History or Harry Potter (the BBTSHM has an IMAX theatre) it’s a fascinating place. If you haven’t checked it out, you might want to drop by this Friday for the finale of Music Under the Star – that being the music series that takes place under the 35-foot bronze star that graces the museum’s entrance. From 6-9pm, you can get lit at the cash bar and groove to the popular Latin dance band Ghandaia. You can also wander around three floors of museum exhibits for free. That’s about as much as you can hope for from an $80 million museum.