Blog 14 April 2, 2014

Does anyone remember Karotkin’s Furniture down on Commerce Street behind the Aztec Theater? Some years back it was converted to a boutique hotel that has been awarded four diamonds and is consistently ranked one as one of the top hundred hotels in the country. Or something like that…

Gay Scarborough (we all knew her at Jeff as Era Mae McFarland) has sent me several emails, and I am going to include a portion of her latest here. She brought back memories I had not thought of for years. For example, Gay (her preferred name) mentioned the Black and White Ball. I did not know a whole lot about it, but I sort of recall it was a big deal and a somewhat political thing dealing with what today we would call raising social consciousness. Here are Gay’s comments:

Sweet memories.  Does anyone remember the Saturday, cliff hanger, to be continued, shows at the Woodlawn theatre?  Also, the dances at Woodlawn Lake?  My first kiss.  Not so romantic.

I enjoy your blogs sooo much.   Omar and I put a bid in on one of the homes on King’s Row in King William.  As we were uncertain about moving there we didn’t up our bid and it went to someone else. It was really interesting to read Jeanines’ family’s history of their homes. 

I was a member of the Pioneer Club and attended the dances.  (Tried to comment on your blog but was interrupted in the middle and canceled). That’s where I had the great honor of being first choice for the Black & White Ball but my grandmother was convinced by someone’s mom to have me step down and let her daughter have the crown. I remember being relieved.  Being a princess didn’t seem to be a fit. It was an almost honor. Ha!  My family actually pioneered the Austin, Georgetown, Liberty Hill area.  My family’s names are on street signs and nearly everyone in the Liberty Hill cemetary are relatives of mine.  I plan to visit the museum and see if my name is there somewhere. Ok for blog. Ha

Fun to see my buddy Rich Kaufmans’ picture.  My husband and I had fun hanging out when he lived in LA way.

Aleen Smith sent along a nice update for the class booklet on what we have done in our lives since leaving Jeff. Aleen was chosen as Miss Fiesta of 1952. As I recall, she was either the first or second to hold that title. I think Texas Nowotny was selected the following year. It was a great honor back then. Today, I think they have several dozen queens (and kings) to reign during fiesta—so many you can hardly keep track of them, but it is something to please everyone, I suppose.

The Reunion update: Those registrations are coming in, several each day. We have 96 registered already with three plus weeks to go, which is very encouraging. There is still room to play miniature golf at Cool Crest if you want to sgin up. Contact Tas McGraw (at Jeff, we knew her as Dorothy Crawford) at

I intend to get downtown in the next week or so and map out a walking tour around town. One possibility is a tour of the grand old hotels, several of which have undergone recent renovations. These will include the St Anthony, Gunter, Menger, Emily Morgan (we knew this as the Medical Arts Building back in the day), and maybe the Crockett.

Travis Park just reopened after a 3-month, $500,000 face lift. I drove by last nilght and did not see significant change, though they tout replacing some dead trees, looks like they laid sod and added pavers and added a bicycle station for renting or returning, plus a dog park.

Next blog will have info about a maybe contest. Unless the contest does not materialize. I believe this is what the ad experts call a teaser. No more teasing today.

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