Category Archives: Wall of Welcome Stories

The Kind of Neighborhood It Is, Part 2

In 2010, we interviewed members of the Friends of Brentwood Park leadership team shortly before the group’s historic planting of 115 trees that November. Among them was Denman Glober, who defined synergy as: The abilities and interactions between group members that build on each other and lead to accomplishing a greater goal. Since FOBP officially adopted Brentwood Park in Summer 2009, the group has accomplished a lot—tree planting and dedication; neighborhood survey and park master … Read more

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Lowdown on the W.O.W. and More, Part 2

“People are the real heart of this neighborhood’s history,” narrator Howard Bennett says in our film A Community Mosaic. “Our community has more stories than there are mosaic pieces on our amazing Wall of Welcome.” Curious to learn more about Brentwood and Crestview, we began gathering stories from neighbors through our project Voices of the Violet Crown. We’re grateful to all who shared them, especially those who had helped with the mosaic wall. (Check out … Read more

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Lowdown on the W.O.W. and More, Part 1

Seems like only yesterday! Late March is highlighted by anniversaries of a few historic—yet very recent—Brentwood/Crestview events. On the evening of March 25, 2008, with little fanfare, Jean Graham completed the mosaic Wall of Welcome (W.O.W.), left, on Woodrow Avenue in Austin. For Jean, it was the culmination of more than five years of creative focus—designing the wall, raising funds, researching neighborhood history, crafting mosaics, leading tile-making workshops for neighbors, and spending two years installing … Read more

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Blooming Where You’re Planted, Part 1

Even the most seasoned meteorologists missed it. A dry winter was predicted at the end of 2011, which was the driest year on record in Texas. Instead, surprise winter rains have brought some long-absent green back to Brentwood and Crestview. It’s still early, but spring’s on its way, and we’re turning more of our attention to our local greenscape. Community events by Friends of Brentwood Park, Sunshine Community Gardens, and Urban Patchwork Neighborhood Farms are … Read more

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More Than Sunday-Go-To-Meeting, Part 2

Some of us don’t attend local churches. Still, they continue to be a vital part of our neighborhood’s history and sense of community. I first gathered information about the churches for exhibits when I coordinated the Community Tent early on at the Violet Crown Festival here in Austin. More recently, Rob and I discovered that many of the people we interviewed for our oral history project have longtime connections with churches here. They have been … Read more

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More Than Sunday-Go-To-Meeting, Part 1

If you’ve lived here any time at all, you’ve noticed all the churches in the Brentwood/Crestview area—more than a dozen of them. Many were established more than 60 years ago, as the two neighborhoods were being built. Crestview United Methodist, left, celebrated its 60th in November 2013. Faith Lutheran celebrated its 65th in September and October 2015. For longtime members John and Judy Carlson, Crestview Methodist was more than a place to attend Sunday service. … Read more

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“Pee Pop” of Dwyce Drive

Milton Gebhard‘s 2009 obituary didn’t reveal much about the man or his life—only that he was 89 and a retired carpenter, and he once lived in Austin. His birth certificate, found online, shows that he was born Milton Hugo Henry Gebhard, son of Bruno and Hedwig Renter Gebhard of Round Top, Texas. His Brentwood neighbors remember him well. One young neighbor who couldn’t pronounce Gebhard’s last name nicknamed him Pee Pop. His driveway was a … Read more

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“Create Here!”—One Neighbor’s Story

Among the neighbors we’ve interviewed for the Voices of the Violet Crown project is Kristie Zamrazil of Crestview. We videotaped Kristie in September 2009 next to her “Create Here” tile, on the south end of the Wall of Welcome. Jean Graham completed the mosaic wall, filled with handcrafted tiles and mosaics, in March 2008. “I moved to Crestview in 2002, after looking for a house for two years. One thing I wanted was to live … Read more

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“Red Ryder” of Cullen Avenue

The large, colorful mosaic image of Ryder Schwartz, known as Red Ryder, is one of the highlights of Jean Graham’s Wall of Welcome on Woodrow Avenue in Austin. Ryder’s mother, Beverly Lester, and her parents moved to Cullen Avenue in Crestview in 1949, and she grew up there. Beverly returned to live in the Cullen house in 1972, when Ryder was 6. Five years later, Beverly took him to see Turk Pipkin juggling at Symphony … Read more

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Hancock Creek/Arroyo Seco, Part 5

Copyright 2017 Susan Burneson. All rights reserved. Kindly talk with us before reproducing any content you find on the website. WILDLIFE AROUND THE CREEK: DOMINO THE PIG Over the years, a variety of animals have been observed in Hancock Creek along Arroyo Seco, among them a spotted wild pig named Domino. On the morning of May 17, 2003, as volunteers were setting up the first Violet Crown Festival in Brentwood Park, a baby pig escaped … Read more

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