Best of Austin More 2007 Critics Politics & Personalities Best Political Theatre: Rep. Pat Haggerty's Quorum-Busting Walk-Out Best at Restoring Some Faith in Law Enforcement: Texas Ranger Brian Burzynski Best Rubber-Elvis-Wig-Wearing Messenger to the People: Dave the Guadalupe Sign Guy Best Government Defender of Open Government: Attorney General Greg Abbott Best Rain-or-Shine Anti-War Campaigners: Women in Black Feistiest Neighborhood Rebellion: Arms Around Northcross, Responsible Growth for Northcross Hunkiest Mayor: Will Wynn Best Guardians for Keeping SoCo Locally Owned: Rob Lippincott, Abe Zimmerman, Stan Biderman Best Brother and Sister Team Bringing National Attention to Austin: Liz Lambert and Lou Lambert Best Lobbyist Who's Not in It for the Money: Anne Dunkelberg Best Hope for the Future: APD Chief Art Acevedo Best Visiting Activist: Rob Kampia, Marijuana Policy Project Best Neighborhood Gift to Austin: Town Lake Park Best Unsung Hero: Keith Hampton Most Iconoclastic Neighborhood Association: Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association Best City-Owned Cemetery: Oakwood Cemetery Best Closure: Holly Power Plant Best Legacy of Triumph Out of Tragedy: The Mitchie Mitchell Foundation Most Civil Liberating Lady: Lisa Graybill Best New Crossover Hit: Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge Best Hammers of Justice: Austin Pride Build 2007

2007 › Critics › Politics & Personalities

Most Sincere Embodiment of Old Austin: Brooks Brannon

Most Sincere Embodiment of Old Austin: Brooks Brannon
PHOTO BY Bret Brookshire

An Alabama native who’d gone AWOL during Vietnam to cut a record with some buddies, Brooks Brannon was primed for the whole cosmic-cowboy scene when he hit town in 1976 – just in time to play at the Soap Creek Saloon and befriend a who’s who list of Austin icons. Later, he took up residence at campus dive Hole in the Wall, where he remained till this spring, working sunup to sundown and holding court behind the bar to college kids, Austin City Limits staffers, and cranberry-and-soda veterans alike. He’s a bandanna-wearing, cigarette-rolling, natural-born storyteller who can tell you about the days when Townes Van Zandt and Blaze Foley would sit on the sidewalk outside the Hole waiting for it to open and when the Hickoids’ Jeff Smith regularly closed it down with an onstage self-depantsing. These days Brannon’s farther out of town, tending bar at Poodie’s (owned by longtime Willie Nelson stage manager Poodie Locke), but you can still catch him slinging drinks at the Hole on a Saturday night – or better still, playing onstage Friday nights and ready to trade a good story for a shot of Patrón Silver.

Brooks Brannon, Poodie's Hilltop Roadhouse, 22308 Hwy. 71 W., Spicewood, 512/264-0318, www.poodies.net

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