HISTORY IN THE MAKING
by Ellen Tischler
All photos courtesN of The Texas Historical Foundation. b1 Elizabeth Vair. Vivi Argyri.- antd Vicentl Daniel.
the Texas Sesquicentennial Commission
furnished a display with information
about the 150th birthday celebration.
Over 80 Texas artists and craftsmen exhibited
a wide assortment of arts and
crafts in addition to the scheduled activities.
Several artists from the Texas Wild
Bunch, among them George Boutwell,
displayed realistic and traditional scenes.
There were snake-skin hats and earrings,
bronze sculptures, jewelry, hand-blown
glass, batiked clothing, and even some
beautiful stuffed chickens.
A collection of live and preserved animals
native to Texas as well as Longhorn cattle
and horses accompanied displays of wagons,
barbed wire, coins, stamps, guns and
rifles, woodcarvings, dolls, weavings and
quilts. Skilled craftsmen and artisans
demonstrated traditional methods of
blacksmithing, silversmithing, weaving,
pottery making, saddle and boot making,
and hat making.
Youngsters were delighted by jugglers and
magicians. A belly dancer slinked about,
taking care to avoid the gunslingers roaming
the midway. The Audubon Society
camouflaged the children by painting their
faces and applying beaks to make them
resemble native birds. Music filled the air
as gospel singers, Scottish bagpipers,
oompah bands, and blue grass fiddlers
melodized. The Austin Square and Round
Dance Association, Mariachi Estrella and
Ballet Folklorico del Sur performed traditional
Texas song and dance.
And what Texas festival is complete without
fresh peaches and watermelon? Available
for quick consumption were a wide
variety of traditional and ethnic foods
brought to the state by its early immigrants.
Vendors dressed in native costume
to sell their German, Mexican, Chinese,
Italian, and Czechoslovakian goodies.
The celebration was sponsored by the
Texas Historical Foundation as a fundraising
project. "As we approach our sesquicentennial
year," says director Lurie,
"we appreciate more than ever the need to
work together to preserve our history for
future generations." Funds raised during
the celebration will be used to support
ongoing Foundation projects including
documentation and preservation services
for historical photography, preservation
publications, a state-wide educational
program, the archaeology bank (a permanent
endowment fund providing preservation
grants) and low-interest loans for
saving historic structures. The celebration
was solid proof that fund-raising can
also be "fun-raising"!
Ellen Tischler is a freelance writer and
photographer currently living in Austin.
Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 2, Number 3, Summer 1985. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45444/. Accessed February 7, 2016.