After a Fashion
Exhausting! That's what spring has been for Your Style Avatar as he reflects on a life holding court.
Love & Death
It's been a whirl of a spring season. I've had fun, but I feel cripplingly exhausted from trying to go out to everything I could manage. My routine was the same: Arrive impeccably late – usually with Jacki Oh, though my friend Jon Jon (Jonathan Shakarisiz, an incredibly talented menswear designer) has also been a recent escort – and hold court in some corner where I can sit down and not have to stand or walk around. After an hour or so, it's either onto the next soiree or home to bed. My cane is once again a constant companion, and I am reminded that even though I've had a great time since SXSW, I'm paying for it in constant fatigue. (I'm so worn out that I sometimes feel like a cardboard cutout of myself – trotted out and placed somewhere conspicuous.) And I'm reminded that on my 55th birthday this October, I will have been living with terminal cancer for five years, far outliving my prognosis. I have to face the inevitable fact that my family will be unable to care for me, and I will need some generous care – care that will probably come from Hospice Austin. I think that what they do, in terms of caring for the terminally ill regardless of ability to pay, is so deeply kind and compassionate that I've been a fan and public supporter of them since even before I found out about my own cancer. Recently, Hopsice Austin launched a new program that has touched me deeply. As an animal lover – and being well aware that there may come a time when I am not able to care for my beloved pets – I admire Hospice Austin's Pet Peace of Mind program (www.hospiceaustin.org/ppom). When you're ill and cannot give your four-legged friends the care they deserve and require, Hospice Austin is there to help by making sure your furry friends can stay with you at home throughout your journey – offering feeding, walking, play, and affection, as well as financial assistance, veterinary care, boarding, and most importantly, placement (if that becomes necessary). This program has simply moved me. I hope you feel the same and will offer your support.
Hill Country Ride for AIDS was the usual riot of family fun, riding, walking, and running through the gorgeous hills of Central Texas. HCRA Executive Director David C. Smith oversaw the festivities of the ride for the last time. He's moving on in his life. There was no denying the emotional undertones of both gratitude for his accomplishments, as well as sadness due to his departure.
The Umlauf Sculpture Garden Party was lovely – perfectly planned and laid out, with big band entertainment, divine food, and mouthwatering auction items. Divine!
The Wildflower Center Gala honoring the centennial of Lady Bird's birth, as well as the 30th birthday of the Wildflower Center already happened. Boo! I am sad I had to miss this ... I heard it was spectacularly beautiful. The center is all abuzz with news of the largest gift they've ever received – $1,000,000 from Luci Baines Johnson and husband Ian Turpin – earmarked for a great lawn for kids of all ages to enjoy. In addition, some of the personal valuables of Lyndon and Lady Bird were on preview before a fundraising auction. You can see and bid on these historical items at www.ha.com (search Lyndon Johnson).
Jacki Oh and I stopped in for Forrest Preece's fundraising event at the Long Center; Celebrating Voices in Ink, for Badgerdog Literary Publishing, featured charming cocktail music by singer Liz Morphis, followed by readings of great works and the presentation of the Forrest Preece Literary Light Award to Philip and Donna Berber. Badgerdog offers "womb to tomb" literary programs for everyone from children to seniors – equipping writers of all ages with the language skills necessary to become the authors of their own lives and to publish work that furthers our culture's collective vision.