Public Notice

The Promise of Spring

Although Dewey Winburne -- one of the founders of the SXSW Interactive Conference -- was part of the Chronicle family, we can't pretend that we knew him all that well. We have kids at the same elementary school and would run into each other now and again at this school event or that. But Dewey was more than a face in the crowd -- anyone who knew him at all will say the same thing. We knew we had friends and interests in common, so there was a genuine affection thrown into our casual "Hey! Howzit goin'?"s and into our more in-depth encounters. He was a funny guy -- a real cutup, smartass, even. We seemed to relate to that in each other, and shared a lot of laughs. We had this running joke between us, last school year: He'd pull his van to the side of the road as we were walking home from taking the tyke to school, "Want a ride?" he'd chirp, his big smile pulling up the sides of his blonde Van Dyke even higher on his handsome face. "What?!" we'd reply, "And miss our token 10 minutes of exercise?" We'd occasionally run into each other at a school function, and when talk would drift into multimedia territory, he'd laugh and slap a hearty backslap and change the subject to something more kid-related. But always at the end, he'd gently guide our conversations back to the technical inquisition, "Listen, if you need any help with that, you know where to find me."

We miss Dewey. His passing last month hit us broadside -- knocked the wind right out of us. We lost a friend to similar circumstance a few years ago, and Dewey's death made those memories even more acidic and bittersweet. It's always painful to hear that someone we love is that sad. And it's tragic to learn of it when it's too late to make a difference. Because as sentient, sentimental human types, don't we all want to make a difference? Isn't it why so many of us work so hard to right the the wrongs of the very society we create, why so many of us stay in doomed, possibly unhealthy relationships hoping against hope that things will change, and why so many of us are willing to sacrifice of ourselves to help someone else along?

The Down Home Ranch, which assists people with Down's Syndrome, was close to Dewey's heart. He was an avid supporter of the ranch. Now, the ranch wants to give to the Winburne family during this heartbreaking time. The ranch will receive the proceeds from this year's Easter at the Backyard, an annual event for the last five years bringing folks together in a kid-centered celebration featuring games, food, face painting, balloon animals, jumping castle, jugglers, hot gospel tunes, and of course an egg hunt. The musicians featured are Malford Milligan, Stephen Bruton, the Shoreline Band & Choir, Broken Vessel, and the Imperial Crown Harmonizers. It all happens Easter Sunday, Apr 4, 2-6pm, with the egg hunt commencing at 2:30pm. The Backyard is located at Hwy 71 at 620. If you wish to donate directly to the Winburne Family Fund, send a check made out to the Down Home Ranch (with "For Dewey Winburne Family" in the memo slot) to Kevin Brelsford, 1301 Hwy 71 West, Austin, TX 78736. 263-4146.

A Kinder and Gentler "Screw You"

Well, the word is out and the news is official. The suspicion that Governor George W. Bush is nowhere near as gay-friendly as a $3 bill has been confirmed loud and clear by the sheep in wolf's clothing himself. We have to shake our heads at our naïve and open-hearted liberal colleagues who have deemed li'l Bush harmless and taken to his Hee-Haw manner and Aw-Shucks sheen. He's slick, that's for sure. But he's finally come out specifically against the dignity and rights of gay and lesbian Texans. He has categorically stated, "I am against gay adoption," and has come out against the inclusion of sexual orientation in hate crimes legislation. Well there go his reputations for tolerance and fair play. "Kinder," we guess to those who hate gays, and "gentler" to those who think nothing of hurting those perceived as such, not to mention their friends and families. Huh. While it was actually his dad who touted the whole "K&G" agenda, don't think for a minute that Shrub didn't aggressively cruise in on that platitude. Well, so much for it -- the sophisticated deception is over. So, now it's time to stop thinking and yakking about throwing support behind Lesbian Gay Rights Lobby of Texas; it's time to start actually doing it. It's time to talk these issues up and throw huge cash to our state's gay rights lobby. Tell folks from out of state the truth about our soon-to-be missing-in-action gov as he vaults for the White House. Tell them the truth about Texas. It's about time. 474-5475.

Passover Easter Spring

Whether your faith brings you closer to Christ, across the sands of Egypt with Moses, or simply to the brink of another spring in Central Texas this weekend, have a fine one.

E-mail: [email protected] Mail to: "Public Notice," The Austin Chronicle, P0 Box 49066, Austin, TX 78765. Deadline: Wednesday, 6pm, eight days prior to publication. Phone calls have a .001% chance of being returned.

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