Knowing Black

RECEIVED Thu., April 15, 2010

Dear Editor,
    I have only known Louis Black since I was in diapers, as he frequented my parents' business while he was in college in Austin in the Seventies before he formed The Austin Chronicle. I was just a kid back then, but I can remember a good 33 years of memories with Louis Black: student, underground newspaper editor, film critic, husband, father, and good friend. Before I began to become known, when I was just my father's son, Louis always made time for me to chat. In the time when writing on the Web had no money and no access to movies, he let me write a few articles for the Chronicle and always gave me movie passes.
    Since I became quite lucky in my endeavors, I see a lot about Louis. But what I see most is a man that wants so dearly to help this city, community, and the arts themselves to blossom. He works too hard; I know this because we never have dinner though we always intend to. In fact, it has always annoyed me that there was a comedian somewhere with his name. He is such a wonderful personality that it irks me every time I hear his name and it isn't him.
    I was born here in Austin, and Louis is one of the treasures that keeps me loving it so. For me, Louis is the definition of Austin. The best of what a concerned, passionate, artistic, and liberal Austinite is.
    And SXSW is one helluva thing to be a part of. It brings artists of all types together to have an experience that changes them. The amount of just great solid people that I've met through the Festival, fellow badge-holders along with pass-holders and even just crazy folks I meet at the free events. It is the best beacon that Austin has to give people dreaming of this life a reason to join us in this beautiful life we have going here.
    Louis, Janet Pierson, and to the hundreds of people that make SXSW happen: Y'all rock.
    To everyone else upset at Louis, SXSW, etc., these are people that spend an enormous amount of energy, effort, and time away from relationships to make something amazing take place.
    If nothing else happened this year, Bill Murray was serving alcohol to a mass of folks at a club on Sixth. Jesus, we live in a city that had the Ghostbuster serving spirits. I wasn't there, but I saw it on YouTube. We live in that city, where that happened and we call it home. But without SXSW and Louis, that moment of Austin's legendary epicness may never have come to pass.
Harry Knowles
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