Friday May 14th. Stop # 6. 4000 Jefferson St. ATX 78731
Since Jefferson is on the west side, Google routed me almost all the way there using the hike and bike trail. Today was definitely the most usage I’ve ever made of Austin’s hiking bike trails during my entire career here (since 1980, yo) in tha ATX. Been a while since my last serious ride so I had to fill up the tires at the gas station at Kinney and Barton Springs on my way out of the neighborhood. It was really hard to find the actual entrance to the trail. Google said it was between Ski Shores and Juliet’s off Barton Springs, but you gotta go way back to find it. It was fascinating spending so much time on the trail, all the way from Barton Springs all the way up to almost 38th St. So many bridges to go under, each with some form of homeless encampment…one of them, it was almost like I was riding through this guy’s living room…he had the stereo on, I could see his sink and dishes…We have space for everyone. No one should have to be unhoused. Can you say social safety net? I knew you could.
I’m pretty out of shape right now, not having ridden in a while…had to walk the bike up the steep trail in Pease Park…then suddenly…well, this is great! The trail is closed at 26th and Lamar in the middle of the park and now I don’t know where to go! Finally had to portage the bike across the stream there at a shallow water rock strewn crossing.
Jefferson Street. OMG. Seems like a lifetime away, and I guess it kinda is. I was pretty deep at this point into my second really serious relationship. This one was with Betti Powell, such a sweet girl and remarkable bisexual speedfreeak woman…oh dear, my sweet Betti. After our household on 30th St. had kinda broken up, for reasons I forget, I decided it would be a good idea to move in with my very good buddy Leigh Newsom and his friend Ray Kordsiemon at this house they were gonna rent at 4000 Jefferson. Weirdest thing about the neighborhood is that right across Jefferson from us, there HAD been a whole street full of houses right on Shoal Creek, but they had all been washed away by the floods back in the early 80s. A few ghostly foundational remnants could still be seen back when we lived here – I couldn’t spot any today. There was, however, a lovely picnic table where I was able to rest and read for a while, and a chimney swift nesting structure.
I note that they still have the same original crank-style dormer windows the house had when we were there in the 80s. I wonder if the bedroom where Leigh slept still floods every time it rains? Some things never change! It was NOT painted light purple when we were there, it was whitish, a bit stucco-y:
I spent so much time at Betti’s during this period that I was tempted to list her house at 43rd and Ave. G as one of my residences, but I was never on the lease or anything soooo…….
Got fired for showing up at my job during this period at Sound Warehouse at 49th and Burnet wearing her clothes too often, as I’d spend the night at her house and go straight to work, having failed to bring a change of clothes….
Working there will be forever imprinted on my mind as we all watched the Challenger disaster on, like, 50 different TVs back in the hardware department of Sound Warehouse live as it happened on 1/28/1986…
The ride home was trouble free. Directly off the trail I got an interesting view of the so called Jenga Tower (otherwise known as The Independent condos):