After a Fashion

Old men shouldn't throw stone canes in glass nursing homes …

FIRST OFF I've made a grave error in giving the wrong contact information for you to buy the artwork and shoes by Billy Jewkes that I raved about last week. To remind you, he magnificently hand-painted Van Gogh's Starry Night onto a pair of canvas shoes for me, and I've been walking on air ever since. So sorry, Billy! Contact him at 832/212-9599, and see his work at

UNO, DOS, TRES ... My brother Bill's daughter is visiting Austin right now. Fifteen years old, smart, funny, pretty. But, oh, entertaining a 15-year-old when you're among the elderly and infirm can be a challenge. There are only so many trips to the convenience store or to Wal-Mart that a person can take, and she didn't always say what she really wanted. "Uh oh," I thought. "She's going to be high maintenance and need to be entertained." I conspired constantly. I'd already set up a television and DVD player in her room. I knew there was a box of Barbies around (well, duh), but was she too old for Barbies at 15? ("Nonsense," raged a voice in my head. "You're never too old for Barbies!") I get exhausted so easily now anyway that I thought about just driving into the parking lot and taking a right and driving directly through Wal-Mart's door until I reached the section I wanted. The aisles are certainly wide enough for a car, and there are no such things as stop signs to impede you. The first night Annie was here, I hauled her to Wal-Mart to pick out some things – snacks, drinks, toys, whatever. She smirked all through the Hannah Montana department (every department seemed to be the Hannah Montana department – there's even Hannah Montana cereal, for those brave enough to find out what Hannah Montana tastes like) and ignored the clothes and housewares, snapped up a couple jugs of Windex-colored Gatorade, and announced that she didn't need anything else. We stood in line at the cashier, and I was gazing at all those impulse items they taunt you with while you're corralled in there. My eyes were caught by the familiar red box of a deck of Uno cards. Uno, I thought. God, I used to play Uno night after night with my friends. The game is the perfect platform for social interaction and provides the opportunity to display many different emotions. I bought the deck with a glimmer of hope. Soon we were in an Uno frenzy. When Annie's friend Brenna flew down to visit with Annie, it escalated. We bought a Skip-Bo deck and were soon able to play it in the dark, which we did in the backyard by torchlight. But who wants to hang around night after night and not go anywhere? Next episode: Fiesta Texas.

After a Fashion
Photo by Gary Miller

NEW WAVE CHIC I missed the Blondie and Pat Benatar concert last week. Silly me, I would have had a great time, but I was just too tired to make it. From the photos, Benatar looked great: youthful and sporting long hair. Debbie Harry, on the other hand, looked like nine miles of dirt road. It pains me to say that. There was a time when Deborah Harry was the chicest woman in the world. Her blond hair, heavy eyeliner, and smart dresses made her the envy of the style world. But somewhere she lost it. I'm not talking about getting old. I'm old enough myself to have people talk about me, but Debbie! Did you look in a mirror before you went on stage? Love you anyway.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Austin style
The Good Eye: Where Everybody Sews Your Name
The Good Eye: Where Everybody Sews Your Name
Leslie Bonnell’s Stitch Lab insists that you are not a number

Amy Gentry, May 30, 2014

After a Fashion: A Stitch In Time
After a Fashion: A Stitch In Time
Fort Lonesome will not be lonely for long

Stephen MacMillan Moser, July 5, 2013

More After a Fashion
After a Fashion: The Main Event
After a Fashion: The Main Event
Your Style Avatar would look great sporting these parasols

Stephen MacMillan Moser, June 28, 2013

After a Fashion: The Jewelry Vault
After a Fashion: The Jewelry Vault
Stephen's got a brand new bag, and it has some local landmarks on it

Stephen MacMillan Moser, June 21, 2013


Austin style, Annie, niece, Uno, Margaret, Skip-Bo, Blondie, Debbie Harry, Pat Benatar, New Wave, Billy

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle