Family and Friends Honor Activist/Writer Nadine Eckhardt

Farewell to the Duchess of Palms

Next Tuesday evening, Jan. 22, 6-9pm, family and friends of Nadine Eckhardt will gather at Saengerrunde Hall to “celebrate the life and times” of the legendary beauty, activist, writer, and raconteur. The venue (next door to Scholz Garten) recalls the heady days of Scholz’s as a Made-in-Austin political/literary salon, with Nadine a presiding spirit.

Nadine as the "Duchess of Palms," 1948 beauty queen, McAllen, Texas. Cover photo for her 2009 memoir. (Courtesy of Shelby and Sidney Brammer)

The public is invited to the memorial celebration for Eckhardt, who died Dec. 8. As Eckhardt’s eldest daughter Sidney Brammer put it, “It's impossible for us to limit her friendships to an invitation-only list. Who knows how many Austinites she knew?”

Food and drink will be provided, along with remembrances by, among others, former Texas State Representative Curtis Graves, Austin Sun Founder Jeff Nightbyrd, and Susan Walker.

Best known for her marriages and creative partnerships with novelist Billy Lee Brammer (The Gay Place, 1961) and Congressman Bob Eckhardt – and now locally for her daughter, Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt – Nadine was a lifelong progressive activist, briefly a restaurateur (Nadine’s, with her son, Willie Brammer-Eckhardt), and always a freewheeling adventurer. In the words of lifelong friend and filmmaker Robert Benton, “Nadine’s life is her art.”

For more on Nadine Eckhardt and her circle, see this week’s print edition.

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More Nadine Eckhardt
Friends and Family Gather to Honor Activist Nadine Eckhardt
Friends and Family Gather to Honor Activist Nadine Eckhardt
Eulogies and memories at Saengerrunde Hall

Michael King, Jan. 23, 2019

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Nadine Eckhardt, Sarah Eckhardt, Scholz Garten, Saengerrunde Hall

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