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2017 - 2018 Oral histories

B.J. Andrews hopes her interview serves as her love letter to Austin. She tells what was wonderful for her about Austin life, shares stories about her life with Rooster Andrews, about their business Rooster Andrews Sporting Goods, and about their family and friendships.

Skip Bohn has had many interests and many very successful enterprises. He describes the places in Austin he lived, including his family’s landmark house on 29th Street and Shoal Creek, and his businesses in the fields of retail, travel, and telecommunications.

Jerry and Barbara Carlson came to Austin in 1979 when Jerry became Austin IBM General Manager. With their immediate and deep involvement in the Austin community, Barbara become a Travis County Commissioner and Jerry an AISD Board Trustee. They have sought lives rich in experiences, from family to community, from teaching to anti-nuclear proliferation work, from technology to the great outdoors, from leading corporations to running for and serving in public office.

Elizabeth Christian A fourth generation Austinite, Elizabeth Christian comes from a family of writers, lawyers and givers to their community. A self- described risk taker and believer in giving 125%, she continued learning through various jobs in her career and eventually founded the very successful Elizabeth Christian Public Relations firm.


Lynn Cornelius Cooksey lives a hard-working, generous, and very productive life. She has made a strong mark on Austin and Texas, working in many areas as a professional and/or volunteer, with a focus on the public good, international relations, and public communication.

John Paul and Eloise DeJoria share how they founded their first big enterprise and grew the businesses to international concerns, and how they met, married and moved to Austin to raise their children and become extremely generous philanthropists of numerous causes.

Les and Winnie Gage have contributed to Austin in many ways to make life better for everyone because they say “yes” to challenges and live life with kindness and humor. Both have sought to make Austin and the world a better, fairer, and more beautiful place.

Arnold Garcia, the first Mexican-American reporter to work in Austin, learned journalism during college at the San Angelo Standard Times, moved to Austin as a court reporter for the Austin-American Statesman, and was promoted to editor of the Editorial Page in 1991. Retiring in 2013, he has worked to improve education, public defenders, US-Mexico relations and the welfare of veterans. A lively storyteller, he shares his philosophy on excellent journalism and recounts his experiences in the field and beyond.

Sheriff Greg Hamilton Three threads run through Greg Hamilton’s career in law enforcement in Texas and Travis County: working against corruption, working to improve relations between the community and the police, and an interest in the welfare of children.

The Jokers Members of the Jokers Fastpitch Softball Team discuss the founding of the club, the history of Latin fastpitch softball in Austin and the close community of the players’ families. The Pan American Recreation Center was a home to many of the players and their memories cover the years from the early 1960s until today.

Most Reverend John McCarthy was born and raised in a section of Houston that had seen better times and went on to become a Roman Catholic priest who served in three major urban areas of Texas. For the last chapter of his high-profile career, he was the long time Bishop of Austin.

Joe Osborn shares his family heritage, education, Army service and travels in Europe, law practice in public and private practices, civic activities, retirement ranching activities and information on his author wife, his children and his grandchildren.

Nancy McMeans Richey was born on a dairy farm in Michigan and eventually came to Austin to attend UT. While here, she was the fifth woman in 55 years to be elected Daily Texan editor-in-chief, catalogued J. Frank Dobie’s collection, and was managing editor of Go magazine. Favorite Austin spots are Eastwoods Park and Barton Springs, where she has been a year-round swimmer since 1972.


 Shannon Sedwick With the laughter one would expect from the leader of Austin’s premiere comedic troupe, Shannon Sedwick tells stories of her college days, and the hard work she and partner Michael Shelton have put into their businesses, which have become Austin icons.

Judge Bob Shannon grew up on a stock farm in post-World War II in rural Brown county, worked his way through UT, and began an illustrious law career culminating in his tenure as Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals. A lover of history and the Hill Country, he tells of the Triple C Ranch and the improvements his family made and still enjoy there.

Elaine Novy Shapiro, born in Ft. Worth in the mid-1930s, grew up in Austin on Enfield Road. Her father, Jim Novy was a Polish Jewish immigrant who came from outside of Warsaw as a young man, and started Austin Metal and Iron in 1913 with brother, Lewis (Lewy) Novy. Elaine and her son, Bobby, with other relatives present, recount their family history and presence in Austin throughout the past 105+ years.

Tips Building John Klein, project architect, Bennie Hoffman, historic researcher, and Charlie Betts, Franklin President recall their involvement in the historic Tips Building restoration at 712 Congress Avenue.

Williams Bray Family  Descendants of the  W.T. Williams, Sr. family share the story of how their family came to Austin over 100 years ago, the “Happy Days” of growing up in Austin during the 1940s and 50s, the work & civic involvement expectations of their family passed on through the generations, and information on their present families.

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