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Austin Power Plant

The first ever “Hot Rod Revolution” traditional style car show was held here in Austin a couple of years ago — and the venue was the “Austin Power Plant”.  While this photo essay is NOT about the car show itself, I have included a couple of pictures of some mighty fine hot rods.  The power plant has been pretty much “off-limits”, fenced in, locked up, blocked off, etc since it was decommissioned in 1989.  While at the car show, I thought it would be pretty neat if I could get inside the plant and check it out — so I walked around to each and every door — and — you guessed it — the very last one was unlocked and slightly open — so I went inside. While most of the large equipment had been removed long ago, I was able to get a few interesting shots (at least to me).

Now for a brief history of the plant:  This was Austin’s #2 Power Plant and was commissioned in 1948 when the City only had 132,000 people. The initial construction phase of the plant was completed in 1950. In 1960, the Plant was renamed for Walter E Seaholm who had served the city for 30 + years in roles such as City Manager, Directory of Utilities and superintendent of water and light. The second phase of construction was completed in 1955. The Plant continued to produce power until 1989 when it became unprofitable to operate and was shut down.

Hope you enjoy some of the pictures…….

San Antonio Missions

There are Five Spanish Missions in San Antonio, Texas. Their names are:  The Alamo (by far the best known), Mission Concepcion, Mission Espada, Mission San Jose and Mission San Juan Capistrano.
This photo essay will cover four of them.  I did not go to the fifth Mission (The Alamo) because it is always so crowded and most people know so much about it anyway.
The churches of San Antonio were the heart of the Spanish colonial mission communities

Misión Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña was established in 1716 as Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de los Hainais in East Texas. The mission was moved in 1731 to San Antonio. Founded by Franciscan friars, this is the best preserved of the Texas missions. Located at 807 Mission Road, Mission Concepcion was designated a National Historic Landmark on April 15, 1970.

Misión San Francisco de la Espada was established in 1690 as San Francisco de los Tejas near present-day Augusta.[4] and renamed San Francisco de los Neches in 1721. The mission was moved in 1731 to San Antonio and given its current name. Located on Espada Road, this mission was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 23, 1972.

Misión San José y San Miguel de Aguayo was established in 1720. Located at 6519 San Jose Drive, it was designated the San Jose Mission National Historic Site in 1941. The historic site was administratively listed on the National Register on October 15, 1966. The church, which is still standing, was constructed in 1768.

Misión San Juan Capistrano was established in 1716 as Misión San Jose de los Nazonis in East Texas. The mission was renamed and moved in 1731 to San Antonio. Located on Mission Road, San Juan was listed on the National Register on February 23, 1972. Another Mission bearing the name San Juan Capistrano is the Mission San Juan Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano, California.

I hope you enjoy the pictures !

Texas Hatters

Texas Hatters moved from their home here in Austin out to Lockhart Texas a while back — and a good friend of mine and I decided to take a little road trip and check them out. They have been making hats the same basic way since the 1920’s….starting with unfinished felt blanks and finishing them by hand.  Each “blank” is steamed until soft then stretched over a wooden block approperiate for the customes style and size. Once tied on – the blank is wetted and ironed for several minuits. In the old days, hat makers would slick the fur down with mercury which poisoned them and made them insane (hence the saying,‘mad as a hatter’). They then give the hat a hair cut by applying sand paper. This sanding and ragging give the blank an almost polished look. This is especially so with the pure beaver. The same basic steps are then used for the brim on a wooden form called a flange. After the blocking and flanging, they then cut the genuine leather sweatbands to size and sew them in by hand. Next, the satin lining and the ribbon trim is also sewn in by hand.  After all the trim, fancy or plain, each hat is then hand creased to the customer’s specifications. Of course, mail orders and now e-mail ordering makes things a little more complicated, but their custom treatment still goes into each and every hat they make.

If you ever get a chance — give Texas Hatters a try — they make one heck of a hat !

Vintage Guitars

Went to a movie the other night — and right across from the theater was this way cool vintage guitar store.
I went back the next day and asked if I could take some shots — and they didn’t mind at all.
Hope you enjoy

Flea Market

It is always fun to walk around a flea market or an antique store in search of interesting things to take pictures of.
You just never know what you might find……….

Hot Air Balloons

Hot air balloons taking off over Lake Travis just outside of Austin, Texas

Austin Graffiti

Some selected shots of graffiti in and around Austin Texas