Fun in the Neighborhood, Part 1

Here we are, in the midst of Dog Days and halfway through school summer vacation—a perfect time to kick back and look at a few of the ways kids of all ages have good times here. Whether it’s today (Part 1) or more than 50 years ago (Part 2), we found it’s not all that much different.

(Photo, right, courtesy of Crestview neighbor Louise Cooke.)

Ryder “Red Ryder” Schwartz learned how to juggle on the sidewalk outside his Crestview home and later became known around the world for his talent. Read more about him here. We interviewed Ryder’s mother, Beverly Lester, on February 9, 2008; a DVD of her videotaped interview is at the Austin History Center.

Born in the mid-1990s, Madi Ward is one of the youngest people we interviewed as part of our oral history project (the youngest was Finn Holt, age 6). Here’s what Madi had to say about growing up in Brentwood:

When we moved here I was nine months old. There was a tree in our front yard, just about my height. So, the tree and I have grown up together, and I’ve always spent a lot of time climbing it. At first, there were no other kids on my street, and I’m an only child, so I used my imagination a lot. I was a big believer in fairies, and I would build fairy houses in the yard and fairy gardens all around it. Sometimes I would take my walkie-talkie and go have adventures down in the creek. In the summer, my friends and I would put on our swimsuits and go sprinkler hunting and then run through them. Brentwood is such a good neighborhood to grow up in. It’s like living in a small town.

Madi also learned to juggle at the Violet Crown Festival and later to ride a unicycle. You can see her video clip about that here, near the bottom of the page. We interviewed Madi on September 19, 2009; a DVD of her videotaped interview is at the Austin History Center.

Brentwood and Crestview neighbors of all ages can take part in a handful of neighborhood traditions throughout the year. They include:

July—Crestview Neighborhood Association Ice Cream Social. Held every year since 1990 in the shade of the large oak tree and gazebo at Crestview Shopping Center. The CNA serves up free ice cream, and neighbors visit and learn more about local community projects. Check out pictures of the 2011 event here.

September—Labor Day Parade. Brentwood neighbor Michele Holt described it this way: “Meetup at 9:30 at Brentwood Park on the east side in front of the big sign. We’ll start parading around 10. Dress up the dogs (on leashes only!), the kids, the wagons, the bikes, the inlaws. We’ll have little awards for costumes and such. We’ll also have lemonade and watermelon. It’s a darling, old-fashioned tradition in our hood. Y’all come.”

October—Trail of Frights. Described as a “pedestrian-friendly neighborhood event for local Halloween Fans and Trick or Treaters,” held on October 31, dusk to 9 p.m. More info here.

December—Luminarias along Arroyo Seco. See our December 2011 blog post about them here.

May—Violet Crown Festival. Coordinated by the Brentwood/Crestview nonprofit Violet Crown Community Works since 2003. The event has helped raise funds for a number of worthy neighborhood enhancement projects. The festival can happen only when neighbors volunteer their time and talent. If you can help with next spring’s festival or other group projects, contact VCCW.

Spring—It’s My Park Day. Friends of Brentwood Park volunteers gather to plant, weed, prune, and care for park greenspaces, during the city-wide project of the Austin Parks Foundation. The FOBP Leadership Team also coordinates and raises funds for infrastructure projects in the park. Learn more here.


Fun can happen in unexpected ways, too.

In this case, it’s Loudmouth Pants—Bar Code, Bushwood, and Disco Ball—worn by a Crestview neighbor and two friends, as they headed out to play golf.

Although there didn’t seem to be anyone else around on the street when this picture was taken, all day neighbors asked,

What’s up with those pants?



Brentwood photographer Al Evans continues to capture neighbors’ creativity in enhancing their homes and yards.

Here’s just one of the many photos he’s taken around the neighborhood.

See more of Al’s photos on his website.

And, join us next time for “Fun in the Neighborhood, Part 2” on Voices of the Violet Crown.

This entry was posted in Community, Events, People, Places. Bookmark the permalink.