Category Archives: Places

Fun in the Neighborhood, Part 2

Neighbors who were here beginning in the 1950s remember the freedom and friendship, going to drive-in movie theatres, and roller skating at Capitol Roll Arena. One person we interviewed, Anne Eagle Walker, worked at the rink when she was a teenager. FUN & FREE We interviewed Sylvia (Scooter) Rushing February 2008, and Wanda and Emory Muehlbrad, February 9, 2008. DVDs of their videotaped interviews are at the Austin History Center. DRIVE-INS At one time, there … Read more

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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 … Read more

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Moving Beyond, Part 2

Honestly, I didn’t think much about our neighborhood’s history until I had lived here more than 15 years. Then, one day I was visiting with my longtime neighbor Billie Herron in the shade of her towering magnolia tree—beautiful to behold and so high-maintenance for her (see “Update, April 2017,” below). Billie said when she moved to Crestview in the mid-1950s she and her neighbors could see the Violet Crown Hills to the west, where Far … Read more

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Moving Beyond, Part 1

Four years ago, we knew we wanted to do a website for our community/history project, Voices of the Violet Crown. When we launched it July 5, 2011, we envisioned having maybe a year’s worth of stories to share with neighbors, both near and far. Since then, we have filled up our corner of the blogosphere with posts, features, videos, photos, and community links and news. In 2003, we began our project with exhibits—history, maps, community … Read more

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Houses Sing, Part 2

Our two-part series, inspired by the Danny Schmidt song “Houses Sing,” concludes . . . Former Crestview neighbor John Carlson took great pride in the Princeton Avenue home he and his wife, Judy, had built in the mid-50s. At the time, he knew the best tradesmen in the area, since he helped maintain rental properties for Crestview developers A. B. Beddow and Ray Yates. The tradesmen promised him that the Carlsons’ home would be solidly … Read more

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Houses Sing, Part 1

The song “Houses Sing,” by Texas singer/songwriter Danny Schmidt, reminds me of the people who built the first houses here and how new neighbors have continued to regenerate them. Here are just a few of the words: There’s signs in all the yards, with a price tag and a plea. And I can see my daughter swinging, in the shade of every tree Every building tells a story, every builder holds a pen. They only … Read more

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Sense of Place, Part 2

More good stories from our neighbors who add to our sense of place here . . . WANDA AND EMORY MUEHLBRAD, whose grandparents were born in Germany, looked at each other and chuckled when we asked them to tell us their full names, during our interview with them in 2008: Wanda: My name is Wandalie Wilhelmine Hohertz Muehlbrad. Emory: I’m Emory Emil Wilhelm Muehlbrad. We come from German stock! BEN PETMECKY probably led a more … Read more

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Sense of Place, Part 1

The National Trust for Historic Preservation defines sense of place as: Those things that add up to a feeling that a community is a special place, distinct from anywhere else. We don’t know of any “thing” that contributes more to a sense of place than the people who live there and the stories they share. As Cynthia Beeman, board member of the Texas Oral History Association, has said: The value of oral history cannot be … Read more

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Stopping by Crestview Shopping Center

For more than 60 years, the Crestview Shopping Center has been part of our community. A. B. Beddow and Ray Yates, developers of the Crestview neighborhood, built it in 1952. This week, we share a few stories about the center and some of the special people who have worked there and keep it thriving. We’ve also added links to the businesses that have websites and to related stories on our website. (Many also have tiles … Read more

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Remembering J. D. Harper of Crestview Pharmacy

J. D. Harper, 77, owner of Crestview Pharmacy since 1964, passed away May 11, 2012. His sons Jerry and David continued managing this original Crestview Shopping Center business, which opened in the early 1950s, until February 28, 2017. In April 2004, historian and Brentwood neighbor John Leffler and I talked with Mr. Harper in one of the booths at the pharmacy (once part of a popular soda fountain there). In the interview, Mr. Harper shares … Read more

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