As if the small Town of Jarrell
hasn't had its share of tragedy ... Last week the town Lost Its American Legion Hall (Post 317) to Fire
. Now for a big, sprawling metropolis like Austin, that might not sound like such a big deal, but for a town as intimately teeny as Jarrell -- and don't forget, this is the very same small town just north of Austin that was devastated by the tornado of May 1997 -- the loss of an American Legion Hall is a veritable culture shock. The post offered its facility to any community group in need, free of charge, as well as generated a great deal of dough through fundraising activities for local groups. Until the post rebuilds, the town has one less place for community groups to meet, and veterans like Santa and the Easter Bunny have no where to go. This doesn't even begin to address the loss of the monthly catfish fries held by the hall. And if you've ever been out of town to a small town community catfish fry, you know we are talkin' major cultural loss here. Being the hardy (hearty) veterans that they are, the post is committed to rebuilding, but according to their missive, "Our insurance estimated the building and contents at $300,000 but we [have] half that. It took 50 years to build the post up to that worth and less than an hour to lose it all. We have nothing. We need everything." Their list of everything includes building materials, plumbing, kitchen, and electrical fixtures, interior appliances and amenities, office supplies, etc. The post convenes tonight, Thu, May 18, at the site at 201 W. FM 487, Jarrell to discuss options. They will gladly accept Tax Deductible Cash Donations
as well. Send checks to: American Legion Post 317, PO Box 317, Jarrell, TX 76537-0317 or American Legion Post 317, Building Account c/o Eagle Bank, PO Box 345, Jarrell, TX 76537-0345. 512/746-5445 or 746-4530 or 254/718-4904.
Like Mars, AFD needs women! Mary Ann Hubbard and other women from the Austin Fire Department will appear live on Cable Access Channel 10 on the Women's News Hour, Fri, May 19, 6-7pm, to show excerpts from a New Recruitment Video and to discuss life as female firefighters. Women's News Hour, 416-9000; AFD info, 802-1424.
... and you'd better learn how to fix your bike, shoot a video, and protect yourself before it's too late. It's never too late, really, to learn new things, but the annual Girlday proves as well that 12 years old is not too early. Girls 12 and up (and they mean girls only) are invited to the AIL/Youthworks building at Fourth & Brazos this Sat, May 20, 10am-6pm, to revel in the splendor that is Girlday and attend cool workshops like Videomaking, Car Repair, Zine Making, Bike Repair, Dating Safety, and I Am Gorgeous (Body Image 101). www.gurlpages.com/activism/ girlday or 477-9272.
Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Is One Year Old. Can you believe how time flies? (Groan.) In conjunction with this uplifting anniversary, Southwest Air is sponsoring a first-ever Plane Pull -- that's airplane pull -- at ABIA this Sat, May 20, 9am-3pm, to benefit Special Olympics Central Texas. And you'll feel ready to try out for the Olympics if you're one of the lucky Volunteer Plane Pullers. SWA is grounding all 106,000 pounds of one of their 737-300s to be used in a competition where teams of 20 pullers will face off in two tests of strength and endurance: fastest pull and lowest combined weight pull. Even if jerking jets isn't exactly your cup of "coffee, tea, or me," consider bringing the whole family out to enjoy a day of kid's activities, dunking booth (Nick? Carol?), music, food, and fun -- well that and the spectacle of straining superhumans pulling something at least 30.3x their combined size. There's still time to get 19 of your friends together for a good yank. Registration is $1,000 per team. 491-2931.
Kiss the Sky
Amy Babich isn't the only bike-liker to come down the pike. Wheatsville Food Co-op has never been shy about its luv for the wheelie-set. They just don't write as many letters to the editor about it. This Sat, May 20, noon-4pm, is the Wheatsville Bike Swap, featuring bikes, parts, and info from local bike bizzes and concerns, and the Yellow Bike Project's Open House at their new facility at the co-op. Oh, and next week, Sat, May 27, 10am-2pm, Bikes Not Bombs holds a Bike Sale there as well. And speaking of La Bab, she is one of the featured "rider 'riters" featured in this month's Wheatsville Breeze newspaper, dedicated to ... what else? The Austin bicycling scene. 478-2667.