Stop #8, June 2022, 47th and Ave. G, Austin TX 78751
So, to be fair (to be faiiirrr….) this shouldn’t be a stop at all, as my name was never on the lease or anything, but my name was never on the lease in our next stop, #9, on Payne Ave. (Ha! How prophetic) either, so there. Nonetheless, rrrreeeallly, this should have been inserted earlier, as, during most of my time on Jefferson St. and on Chouquette Ave. (as covered in the last two blog entries), I was actually spending most of my time here, at 47th and G, in my then girlfriend Betti Powell’s house.
Funnily enough, as soon as I got here and started taking pics last week, a dude came out of the house and asked me if he could help me. I giggled and shrugged. “Nah, I used to live here. I’m just on a ridiculous quest to document all the places I used to live in this town. That seemed to satisfy him, and he left me alone.
So neither Jefferson nor Chouquette were bad places to live, really (except for Leigh and his ever-flooding bedroom on Jefferson, but when I had the incredible attraction of Betti, my super hot and ultra hip gf at the time….how could I refuse? I spent as little time at Jeff and Chouq as I could, preferring to chill with Betti, who was truly fabulous.
Across the street were our landlords, an old white couple that tried to ignore us for the most part and did so pretty well until Betti made me bother them at 2 in the morning for various semi-imaginary issues…
During much of this time I was working at Sound Warehouse Records and Video at the corner of 49th and Burnet, which now looks like this:
One of my coworkers here, briefly, was Alejandro Escovedo, but he was quickly moved to the new store at 10th and Lamar (Pretty sure REI is there now) and then got a job at Waterloo. I actually liked my manager there, Pete Salinas, pretty well, but Pete finally fired me for “poor personal hygiene” because I kept showing up late to work dressed in Betti’s clothes, which of course did not fit me, having not had time to go home to Jefferson or Chouquette to get some of my actual clothes. LOL.
Funnily enough, very recently I just ran into someone I hadn’t seen since these days (we’re talking 1986 here – I can always remember that we all watched the Challenger disaster on live TV (about 15 of them) in the Sound Warehouse video department. I still have a bunch of cassettes I made there by taking LPs out of the record store and bringing them back to the video store, where I could tape them on one of the display stereos. Much easier and less risky than shoplifting records. Har.
Anyway, I just saw our duplex neighbor in the back of the house, Abbe Wenger, out at a show and we chatted awhile and reminisced. Unlike me, she is still with her girlfriend from that time, Claudia, but they don’t live there anymore. Here’s the back duplex:
Betti and I socialized with Abbe and Claudia some, but we spent a lot of time with the garage apartment dweller and one of Betti’s best friends Lisa Yates, who now runs a smoke shop in the Houston area. Here’s the garage apt:
More importantly, the stairs up to the garage apartment:
Pretty hard to see, eh? So much foliage! Anyway, one evening, Lisa tried to seduce me on these stairs, so I shall never forget them. I was a good lad and remained faithful to Betti, though I was sorely tempted…that’s another story…
Believe it or not, this is all leading up to a point, which is here:
See that door with the padlock on it? Well, I guess the downstairs of the garage apartment used to be an actual garage, but it has long since deteriorated into an unairconditioned, unheated storage space with a dirt floor for the garage apartment denizens. Lisa (who I did manage to get together with briefly after Betti and I eventually broke up) allowed me to store basically all of my possessions down here for several months while I lived with Bob Bechtol on Payne Ave. (oh, the name is so apropos!)
Bob saved my ass after I lost the Sound Warehouse job and broke up with Betti by getting me a job at the Subway shop he managed and let me live with him for a coupla months while I got my shit together. We had to move out of Chouquette because Leigh wanted to move out, Ray went off somewhere, hell, I can’t really remember, it was 36 years ago…we couldn’t live there anymore.
So, onward to Payne. Ha. I was amazed at how 47th and G and the area around it looked almost exactly the same as when Betti and I lived there, in vivid contrast to the virtually unrecognizable area around Payne Ave, coming up next.
Here’s the obligatory destination selfie: