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In the Joe Letter from the Editor 2. Letter from the Editor, Joe’s Mailbox 3. Paddleboarding in Austin 4. Ode to a Thanksgiving Turkey 5. Giving Thanks by Giving Back 6. A Night of Dishin’ with the Divas 7. For “The Jerk” 7. The Traditions I Carry 8.&9. A Few of our Favorite Local Eateries 11. Meet Don Snell, Creative Warrior 12. Welcome Home, Ralphie 13. The Funny in Falling Down 14. Joe’s Mug Shots 15. Contest, Joke, Wordsearch

Send us your comments, suggestions, etc. If you’d like to write for us, please email us your idea/query before you write the article. If you are interested in advertising with us, we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.|554-9905 THE REGULAR JOE 12407 N. Mopac Expy., Ste. 250-388, Austin, TX 78758

Dear readers, It’s such a pleasure to work with Austinites. It’s almost been like Christmas here, what with everyone supporting us and cheering us on. My first gift was from Mike at the K1 Speed, an indoor go-kart racing business. When the Circuit of the Americas media team couldn’t help us out with helmets for our shoot (because their last nerves are already frazzled trying to get everything pulled together for the big weekend this month), Mike went out of his way to have 4 helmets ready for us at the front desk.

Then the staff at Texas Rowing Center all took their time to make sure we got the best shot, and even took us out on the water for a while to ensure it. As you can see from the cover, Gerry nailed his desire to get a combination of speed, fun and Austin’s backdrop in the photo. The helmets made for some hot and sweaty heads, but our models, aka paddleboarding coaches, didn’t even murmur. Another delight was being able to print some of Lucas Adams’s work in our story on Don Snell, a nonagenarian (yea, I had to look that word up) who is still making full use of his days. And yet another great perk this month was the influx of invitations to great events — a perk I hadn’t expected. I almost feel like a socialite. Next thing you know, Kit and I will be needing personal stylists and makeup artists ... not! Nevertheless, Austin, thank-you for making us feel like kings and queens. Cheers, Sally

Owners of The Regular Joe, Austin, LLC Kit Christie Sally Hanan Editor in Chief Sally Hanan Photographers Lucas Adams Gerry Hanan Design & Layout Gerry Hanan Zack Hanan Contributors Cindy Arundel Sally Hanan Kit Christie Vennis A. Vennable Erin Young J.B. Bradford Chloe Morris Stephanie De Luna Jay Kerner

Joe’s Mailbox

I so enjoyed your 3rd edition of the Regular Joe! I love the front page with the sexy gals, guy and neat auto. The ‘40s and ‘50s look!! All the articles were interesting. The paper is uplifting and so well done. Keep up the good work! — Ilena Lea  Everybody loves the issue!! — Rebecca Frazier-Smith UT Press Your paper rocks! My coworkers have asked me to keep bringing a copy. ;-) — Tracy McCracken OTR, MOT, CHES

I was in Austin seeing my neurosurgeon and picked up your paper in his office. I really enjoyed it, especially the article on slacklining. My family and I would like to try it and wondered where the best place is to buy equipment. I’m looking forward to reading more issues and plan to tell my friends about the paper.” — Danny Pittsford We put Danny in touch with the writer, Cameron Felgate.

The piece Kit wrote about the group ... it made me cry. It was so beautifully written. Thank-you so much for doing that for us. — Celeste Epstein Tapestry Singers member

Your publication looks really interesting. I will look for the next issue and keep you on my radar. You certainly have a creative take on a community newspaper. — Laura Moore Rivercity Footworks, Inc.

This month’s cover shot was taken at the Texas Rowing Center, 1541 West Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX 78703 (down by the high school on Cesar Chavez Street) by Gerry Hanan of Hanan Exposures. 512-947-0296

Paddleboarding in Austin By Cindy Arundel

It’s as close to a perfect day on the water as one can get, and I’m sitting on the dock with three of the Texas Rowing Center’s instructors — Simon, Michelle and Greg — although one of them, I’m told, has the sole job of being eye candy. (That would be Greg.) So what’s the draw for people, apart from the water … and Greg? Paddleboarding.

20-minute wait on the next one. According to the coaches, it’s much easier to balance yourself on a paddleboard than in a kayak. Go figure. It has something to do with being able to use all the muscles in your legs instead of just adjusting your torso on a seat. A lot of people show up to try out a board and are very skeptical about it being easier, but invariably they stand and start to enjoy the water as they glide out and dip their paddles into the warm waters of Ladybird Lake. After a few sessions they start to bring their coolers and have picnics out here, or they just lie down on the boards and drift. Heavenly.

Greg, Michelle and Simon

The Texas Rowing Center has the recognition of being the largest renter of paddleboards in Texas. Yes, it has plenty of rowing boats and kayaks and canoes, but paddleboarding is the new thing. It’s what you do when you want to impress people. “Oh yeah, I was just out paddleboarding today and … what’s paddleboarding, you say?” I see what you did there. But seriously, paddleboarding is the new shizzle because it really is that great. I’m told the last time there was a holiday, all 150 boards were rented out with a

“Everybody can stand on a paddleboard, no matter one’s size, age or disability. People even take their dogs out,” says Brock, another of the coaches, “and we provide life vests for the dogs too. This is also an athlete’s sport; it improves agility and core balance and gives your legs and ankles a great workout. You can even take

a yoga lesson on a paddleboard here and learn about balance and quietude all over again. In addition to those benefits, you have what’s known as the calming Zen of water.” I have to agree. In just the 30 minutes we were out, I saw a pair of swans rise up off the water in one supple liftoff and head upstream, butterflies flirt around the boat, and dragonflies linger over the tranquil water’s surface. It nursed my soul. Those with physical and intellectual disabilities are more than welcome — the center is a Paralympic training center. And that’s not all: the center also offers team-building exercises, mini-races, events for inner-city kids, family events, individual coaching, scratch races, and entertainment like the Latino Serenade. The center is



open from 6 a.m. until dusk every single day of the year, so it’s a great way to spend an hour or a day with family this Thanksgiving if football and turkey are not your thing. The instructors are a passionate lot, all delighting in the ability to be here and get paid to help others experience it the way they do. All had different reasons for getting into paddleboarding — Simon came one weekend because it was free, Michelle got here from the coast and wanted something as close to surfing as she could get, and Greg wanted a new water challenge. Whatever your reason is, put it on your calendar to go visit and experience this. As Michelle says, “It’s trendy, it’s on the lake, you’re right by the trail, and you can see all the beautiful people ... like Greg.” :)



Ode to a Thanksgiving Turkey by Sally Hanan The Saintly Wife

Le Poem

It’s been a long time since I was back in the homeland of rain and little green men, and over there we never celebrated Thanksgiving the way they do here in the US. We had a church service during which the elementary school kids would bring their “offerings” up to the altar and say shaky prayers they’d written out on the back of Mum’s grocery list. In addition, we’d sing hymns that lacked any sort of rythmic beat or eclectic tune. Which is why I prefer the US idea of having two excuses per year to get families together and do the thankful thing — stuff their faces. Food ... the way to many hearts. Even Jesus agreed; after all, he was the one to come up with celebrating carbs and vino. I’m not so sure he’d be licking his lips over turkey, especially the reheats that run into December.... Nevetheless, I have two treats in store. 1. My timeless “Ode to a Turkey.” While we never publish poetry in this paper, I have made an exception this time because ... I can. :) 2. My Irish recipe for stuffing, which we’d put in the turkey before roasting. While the Europeans have adopted metric measurements since I lived there, Irish cooks still abide by the cook’s rules of a pinch of this and a smidgen of that. I’m saying this as a caveat for the measurements you are about to read. It will probably drive the perfectionists crazy. Sorry to put you through that ... but not really.... The ingredient list is very basic, probably because we were a third world country until the ‘80s and couldn’t get our hands on much else than bread, milk, butter and potatoes (hence the heart-attack amount of butter). Enjoy!

Oh turkey, turkey, woe to thee. You won’t laugh loud with family; instead you’ll be with sauce and beer and have some stuffing in your rear. Oh turkey, turkey, don’t be sad; you really should be very glad — your life is for this thankful meal — it’s really not such a big deal. Oh turkey, turkey, did you catch how I prepared your booby hatch? The onion, sage and breadcrumbs mix made you as tasty as Dixie Chicks. Oh turkey, turkey, y’know the flap that used to run right down your back? I got a needle and stuck it in — to that flabby, plucked pale skin. Oh turkey, turkey, it was hard to find the stitch to showcase lard; backstitch, running, slipstitch, tack — which one should decorate your back? Oh turkey, turkey, needle, thread did blanket stitch over that bread, and so continued down the line until your stuffing pit looked fine. Oh turkey, turkey, did you know that I was once a sewing pro? That’s why I took such a delight in stitching up your inner light. Oh turkey, turkey, such design to serve up with a glass of wine! Thank-you for being so delicious, (and such a huge hit with the missus). Your life on earth was so worthwhile, and you sure went on out in style. You’ve inspired me — a new frontier — it’s oversewing stitch next year.

Irish Stuffing 6 oz butter, 12 oz chopped onions 1 lb breadcrumbs, 2 oz or so of chopped parsley, some chopped sage, a pinch of salt and pepper to taste Melt butter in a large pot. Add chopped onions and saute until soft. Add herbs and spices. Add breadcrumbs and mix until all the butter is absorbed.

Giving Thanks by Giving Back As told to the Regular Joe by Jeff Blackwelder, Service Austin Committee Vice-Chair Service Austin Days are almost upon us again — three days of giving time and care to the Austin community right before Thanksgiving. This year it’s on November 16-18, the weekend before Thanksgiving. The idea for Service Austin came from a group of rotary club members in California, and it inspired the then Rotary Club president here, Tim von Dohlen, to do the same thing in Austin beginning in 2007. The giving weekend is just that — a weekend of donating your hands and feet to projects like beautifying school grounds and parks, clothing the homeless and kitting out a truck so they can shower, and my all-time favorite (by a 15-year-old girl): free hand massages for the homeless. One impactful project last year involved building ramps

for the wheelchair bound. We got all the materials and tools and had them out on the front lawn and then the supervisors explained what we were going to do and how to do it. Some of those people hadn’t been able to get out of their own homes for a year! Anyone can volunteer; we see a lot of high school kids who need to add community service skills to their college application letters. We also see a lot of college kids come with their sororities, lots of church/synagogue/ mosque groups, Boy and Girl Scout groups, etc. The weekend has grown significantly since it began; the 2011 weekend had about 40-50 projects and 800 volunteers from every faith and community group giving their time and labor to benefit others. That’s huge compared to the handful we had back in 2007. Another blessing we have now is to be able to work hand in hand with Austin’s city manager, because it’s important to have a direct

connection with the immediate needs of the city. People submit their project ideas up until the end of October each year, and all project leaders are able to put their event details on our website once we give the okay (we’ve never turned one down). Volunteers can also sign up on the site. We start to really push the promotion of the weekend closer to the time, and that’s when the website starts to overflow with projects. And then it’s action time! Once the weekend comes around we (Rotary Club members) are at the marshaling station every morning



with breakfast tacos and juice for the volunteers. We also give away t-shirts to the first 1,000 who show up. Some people show up and work the whole day, others just work for a few hours, but we are appreciative of all the help we can get. This year’s projects so far include the collection and donation of musical instruments, cleaning Sammy’s House (a house that cares for children who are medically fragile and/or developmentally delayed), building wheelchair ramps for the homebound, and creating a middle school food garden. Most of our volunteers come because they believe in doing good, and what’s closer to belief than helping someone down on his luck — making someone feel better. What’s more valuable than that? To find out more about Service Austin, and to volunteer for a service project this Thanksgiving, visit serviceaustin. org.



A Night of Dishin’ with the Divas! By Kit Christie Publisher/Diva Wannabe

The Beat Divas — Mady Kaye, Beth Ullman and Dianne Donovan — are a trio of jazz singers who have two shared bonds: their love of music and their love of cooking (and enjoying) great food! As songwriters, they naturally began including food themes in their songwriting. Says Mady, “Sometimes the dish inspired the song. Sometimes the song inspired the dish.” When I found out this talented trio was teaching classes at the Central Market Cooking School (music included), I had to give it a go. I could tell there were repeat attendees in the room and quickly learned why: the Divas make cooking so dang entertaining! With prep work done by several fine chefs and assistants, the Divas got things rolling with their appropriately titled song, “Cookin’ in the Kitchen.” I sipped wine and settled in for fun and recipe instruction, realizing I wouldn’t have to actually get up and do any cookin’ myself. Ah.... On the menu? Endless Summer Shrimp Salad, Seville Salmon a la Dianne (with spicy orange glaze over citrus-scented rice and pine nuts — I know!), Stuffed Peppers with Basil Crème, Raspberry Mascarpone Delight and Chocolate Mandelbrot. Singing preceded each dish. The girls’ sassy jazz stylings can be heard on their current CD: “Dishin’ with

the Divas - Songs of Food, Love & Mayhem.” It’s full of humorous ditties and tight rhythms, with names like “Sweet Potato Jive” and “Tomato Blues” — a song about the woes of losing your man to the crimson fruit. Tomatoes, tomatoes, my baby’s in love with tomatoes. He told me I was luscious and his only one, But he’d rather talk tomatoes when the day is done! Tomatoes, tomatoes, his conversation makes me snooze. This red, ripe, juicy little tart of a fruit Is giving me tomato blues…. — Mady Kaye John Aielli, host of Eklektikos on KUT-FM, describes the Divas as “The Boswell Sisters meet Crosby, Stills & Nash.” Don’t know the Boswell Sisters? Google ‘em. Don’t know

Photo by Kathy Whittaker

Crosby, Stills & Nash? Don’t make me cry. If it was just about mixing food and live music, the class would be appealing, but the big draw was obvious: Mady, Beth and Dianne were having a blast. Between songs, they prepared dishes and shared amusing anecdotes. I tried not to blow water out my nose when they’d trip over cords, forget lyrics, whip out kazoos or describe preparing biscotti as “You make the ‘pee wah doodle’ out of it ... You know how it is.” More songs followed, including “That’s Bebop” — an homage to the great jazz musicians of the era like saxophonist Charlie Parker; “Hard

Times”— a moving piece during one of the evening’s quieter moments; and “Blame it on the Devil” — a song about a grandmother who poisons her granddaughter’s boyfriend with her devil’s food cake … for jilting her. While Beth stuffed fruit filling in peppers (yes, fruit), it was announced that every plate had come back clean. The class had become chattier and weren’t quite as focused post glass of wine, to which Beth ribbed us, “You weren’t watching, were you? This was the coolest part of the night!” As dessert was served, a guest received an impromptu “Happy Birthday” song. The final song of the night, “The Word Song,” was improvised from audience suggestions. Words began flying: Emulsify! Pterodactyl! Couscous! Mayonnaise! I don’t remember how the song ended up ... just that it was one more clever, melodious, delightfully hot mess of harmony. Just like the The Beat Divas. For more on the Beat Divas, visit To book a place at the last class for 2012 (Nov. 17) visit aspx



Greatest Movie Ever? The Traditions I Carry By Vennis A. Vennable

The greatest movie ever, you ask? Surely this is satire. Well listen up, movie snobs ... and compare. When “The Jerk” was released in 1979, it marked Steve Martin’s first feature film — the story of Navin Johnson — who was born, as he explains early in the movie, “a poor black child.” He learns on his 21st birthday that he had been left as a baby on the doorstep of an African American sharecropper’s shack, and raised as one of his own. When told the truth of how he arrived, Navin’s first question is, “So does that mean I’m going to stay this color?” Navin decides to go out into the world to see what life has in store for him. While working at a gas station in St. Louis, he repairs some eyeglasses for a customer and installs a wire handle to help keep them from slipping. The owner turns out to be an inventor, who promises to market the glasses. Later Navin woos the underappreciated Bernadette Peters when she visits the traveling carnival where he works. She is reluctant at first, because her mother told her to wait for a man with a “special purpose.” That is how Navin’s adoptive mother had always referred to his genitalia. “Dear Mom and Dad,” he writes, “I finally found out what my special purpose is for.” Things change rapidly when Navin learns that his eyeglasses invention is a hit and he is suddenly rich beyond his wildest dreams, but then a class action lawsuit causes him to lose everything, summed up beautifully by Ms. Peters, who whines, “It’s not the money … it’s the stuff!” And now for some comparisons with other classic films. Let’s start with the theme. A young boy rises from humble beginnings to a position of power and riches. Are we talking about “Citizen Kane,” “The Godfather,” or “The Jerk?” When Orson Wells started on his masterpiece, many questioned whether his radio

By Erin Young

background qualified him to star in such an epic. Steve Martin faced similar scrutiny. Some say a good test of a classic movie is whether there is a famous quote. Ask yourself truthfully if you’ve heard any quote as often as “The new phonebook’s here! The new phonebook’s here!” in “The Jerk.” Vivian Leigh’s Scarlet O’Hara is certainly one of cinema’s classic beauties, but for my money she can’t touch Bernadette Peters in a sailor suit singing a duet with Steve Martin on the beach. The ethereal theme song, “I’m Picking out a Thermos for You,” was mostly ignored by the critics. “Citizen Kane” may have fixated on the recurring iconic image of a sled called Rosebud, but compare that with “All I need is this Thermos. That’s all I need … and this paddle-ball game” in “The Jerk.” Hopefully I’ve been able to shed some light on the gross unfairness that surrounds this timeless classic. In my house we use it as a screening method for the daughter’s potential suitors. We make them watch it, while we watch them. If they don’t laugh appropriately, they don’t make the cut. Join the legion of devotees to “The Jerk.” You don’t know what you’re missing!

It’s my favorite time of year. Bundling up in sweaters, I love to breathe the crisper, chilly air of morning. The dew is heavier and the trees are turning, and everywhere you go, people are lighting cinnamon spice candles. It also reminds me that it is the holiday season. As is the reality of the single/divorced parent, this will be the first year when my kids’ father will have them for one major holiday and I will get them for another. At the end of my rope in trying to convince myself of the many positives to be had of the scenario, it finally only boils down to one thing: When you’re a single parent sharing custody, you learn very quickly to be more appreciative of the time you have. Every waking moment of opportunity you were originally granted to instill all of the things you hoped they’d learn is suddenly compressed into a much smaller timeframe. Procrastinated intentions are now precious memories in the making. And though the precise measurements of my grandmother’s stuffing are very important, it is only a secondary lesson. It’s what’s in the tradition and sentiment of the day that teaches us the most. My family has always done it up for holiday meals. My father wakes in earlier morning hours than any sane man should in order to cook the turkey, and then monitors the preparation

Art by Artisticco

of the sides like an army drill sergeant checking “attention to detail.” Mom pulls out the fine china and sets the table with elaborate place settings that make one second guess which fork to use. The whole house is alive with chopping, stirring, talk and laughter, and everyone is given a job. And there was always any number of people throughout the years who shared that meal with us — whether it was a wandering musician, a friend with little family, or just someone with no real place to call home— s/he was invited to our house. A place was always set, and room was always made. Through dinner and dessert and laughing at familial conversation that ought to make a person embarrassed to even have company, there was always that twinkle of amusement in their eyes that made me grateful for what I had. It reminded me that no matter how dysfunctional, we were a unit. At the end of the evening, I would watch as our guests to-go plates were filled so they, too, would have the joy of leftovers. I think that was always my favorite part. It was charity in the humblest of ways — and my parents the pioneers. This is what I hope to pass on to my babies. These are the things I can teach them in any light, anytime, at any table and with anybody. These are the traditions I carry.




Hello Formula 1 visitors! Welcome to Austin, our favorite city in the western hemisphere. In honor of your arrival (and for all our regular readers), we’ve put together a short list of our favorite places to eat in the downtown area, all locally owned and operated. Locals, please take the time to go downtown and support your local restaurants while the Formula 1 weekend is on — we’ve been hearing from owners that they lose a lot of business at times like these because everyone wants to avoid the traffic. Avoid it you can! Metrorail will be running Friday, Nov. 16: 6 a.m. – midnight, Saturday, Nov. 17: 10 a.m. – midnight, Sunday, Nov. 18: 10 a.m . – 8 p.m. There will also be a free bus service from 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. every 15 minutes. It will circle 15th St., San Jacinto, 7th St., Red River, Cesar Chavez and Lavaca on a continuous clockwise loop.

A Few of Our Fa-

Downtown Austin 1. Amy’s Ice Creams | ice cream | $ |

6. Turf N’ Surf Po Boy (food cart) | $ | 4th and Congress

2. Hut’s Hamburgers | burgers | $ |

7. Paradise Cafe | pubs, American (Traditional) | $ |

3. Frank & Angie’s Pizzeria | pizza | $$ |

8. Chez Nous | French | $$$ |

4. Serrano’s | Mexican | $$ | serranos. com

9. Manuel’s | Mexican, breakfast & brunch | $$ |

5. 1886 Cafe & Bakery | Desserts, American (Traditional) | $ | 1886cafe

10. Annie’s Cafe & Bar | American (New), Sandwiches | $$ | anniescafebar. com


vorite Local Eateries


Farther afield 11. Caffe Medici | coffee and tea | $ | 12. Amy’s Ice Creams | ice cream | $ | 13. The Pizza Shop | pizza | $ | 14. Magnolia Cafe | Tex-Mex, breakfast, late-night dining, burgers, diner, 24 hours, sandwiches, vegetarian | $ |

15. Bartlett’s | steakhouses, American (New), American (Traditional), gluten free | $$ |

18. Tom’s Tabooley | Middle Eastern, vegetarian, Mediterranean | $ |

16. Sarah’s Mediterranean Grill | | Greek, grocery, Mediterranean | $ |

19. Caffe Medici | coffee and tea | $ |

17. Mozart’s Coffee | coffee and desserts | $ | 17. Hula Hut | Tiki-Mex |

20. Caffe Medici | coffee and tea | $ | 21. Juan in a Million | Mexican, breakfast tacos | $ | juaninamillion. com

22. That’s Amore | Italian | $ | 1620 E Riverside Dr. 23. 888 Pan Asian | Vietnamese, Asian fusion | $ | 24. Amy’s Ice Creams | $ | ice cream | 25. Serrano’s | Mexican | $$ |serranos. com



Meet Don Snell, Creative Warrior

Don Snell

By J.B. Bradford & Chloe Morris Photography by Lucas Adams In the USA, Veterans Day annually falls on November 11. This day is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended the World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918. Veterans Day is intended to honor and thank all military personnel who served the United States in all wars, particularly living veterans. At 90 years old, Don Snell still maintains the spunk and mischievousness of his younger days. When he isn’t sit-

ting around chatting with old and new friends at the coffee shop or handing out karma bucks, he lives and works in a secluded home/studio in Georgetown, Texas, which he and his wife of 35 years, Ruth Roberts, own. It is easy to catch up with Mr. Snell at Cianfrani Coffee — a place he considers his second home. Either place, all it takes is one question to receive hours of narrative from the Don’s textbook-like memory. Don’s early life took place in South Dakota, and it remained normal until an opportunity to make $30 changed things for the young man. “They offered me money to enlist and $30 was a lot of money for a kid like me.” So Don enlisted in the US National Guard. After about a year in that, an opportunity came about that allowed Don a short discharge from the Guard into the Air Force, and he took it. “We were supposed to do a oneyear hitch as a National Guard, but my buddies had to do three years on top of the year we already did. Moving to the UAF was the best decision I ever made.” That decision led him on a journey of theater instead of battle. His cre-

“An Offering”

ative life began on a night in 1943 — in the small market town of Bury St Edmunds, Don found a small theater and an idea. “I thought it would be great if our outfit could put on a show for the troops.” That idea lead to Don being recruited by a unit in the special services, which lead to more theatrics. He was slight in frame and not the model solider, but bringing a little joy to men who had seen the worst gave him a sense of purpose in his youth and a creative passion that still drives him today. “We traveled all around England in 1944 playing at different airbases. I was small and kept finding a way to let my hair grow out, so I kept being cast as a girl in our burlesque review. One night we were scheduled for a competition at the home of the 8th Airborne Division in West Wickham Air Base. The competition was between the best Special Services comedy troupes from England, Ireland and Scotland. General Doolittle was sitting in the front row laughing his ass off. We won, which was great because it meant we would get a threeyear performing stint in London and our picture in Stars and Stripes. Oh course, that never happened.”



The next day was D-Day. The creative gift has stayed with Don his whole life. The horrors he experienced during the war compelled him to do something greater once that period of his life was over — he took up painting in his thirties and studied art at various Texan colleges, which he then taught in until his retirement. Over the years Don has painted hundreds of abstract paintings, his works ranging from the intrinsic beauty of the women in his life to the horrors of Auschwitz. The way people treat each other is the main theme in his work, be that in his paintings or his sculptures. So far my career has been uneventful. But when you consider I am ... still producing great works of art, things have not been all that bad. —Don Snell


“Selected Paintings by Don Snell” is a 250-page, full color, 12x12” hardcover coffee table book with over 370 paintings done by Snell from the ‘50s to now, in chronological order. A very limited and autographed edition is now available for pre-order. Contact Snell Studios [roberts@donsnell. com] or Lucas Adams [lucastadams@] for more info.



Welcome Home, Ralphie


By Stephanie De Luna The Bastrop, Texas, fires that erupted on Sept. 4, 2011, destroyed over 1,500 homes, leaving thousands of families homeless. Many had pets that were left behind due to the emergency evacuations. This story is about Ralphie, a dog rescued from the fires, that I adopted on Sept. 5, 2011. It was a cool and windy September morning, much too chilly for Central Texas. I was a senior at The University of Texas and had recently moved into an apartment in the heart of the city with my boyfriend. It was Monday, but it was Labor Day, so I got to

spend the day at home. Around 9 a.m., I logged onto my computer and saw news feeds flooded with updates about wildfires igniting in Bastrop, about 25 miles away from Austin, the night before. While scrolling through images and video footage of the devastating fires, I came across a tweet mentioning that pets from Bastrop were evacuated to Austin Pets Alive!, a no-kill facility. My boyfriend and I had been talking about adopting a dog, so we decided to stop by APA! When we arrived, we were greeted by dozens of vehicles coming in and out of the parking lot, dropping off bags of food, blankets and other supplies for the animals. When we entered the grounds, cages were lined up outside. We looked inside cages, but almost all of them were empty. Parents with small children, couples and students were playing with dogs before taking them home. Everyone had a dog to spend time with except for us. Disappointed, my boyfriend and I walked into the indoor facility and began peeking into kennels. We found a few large dogs, but they were much too big for our 600-square-foot apartment. At this point, we were ready to give up. I walked toward the exit, and as my boyfriend opened the door, in walked a short, caramel-colored male dog with one of the volunteers. I turned my head as he passed by. My

boyfriend and I looked at each other, smiled, and rushed back inside. We asked the volunteer if she knew any information about the dog, and she said that she just knew that APA! had named him Bob and he was one of the dogs rescued from the fires. The girl started putting Bob in a cage and he began to pull back, scared. That broke my heart, so I asked if my boyfriend and I could spend time with Bob. The volunteer handed us his leash and we led the dog out the door. Once outside, Bob happily walked around looking at other dogs and sniffing everything in sight. After 30 minutes with Bob, my boyfriend and I agreed that we wanted to take him home. We asked for an adoption application and began filling it out outside. People walked in and out of the facility. Some took a pet home, others just looked. After the application was complete, we were called inside to talk to an adoption counselor and to get Bob examined by a vet. We were excited to be so close to taking Bob home. While talking to the counselor, we found out that Bob was a Basset Hound and Welsh Corgi mix. He was rescued from either the streets or evacuated from a shelter in Bastrop and was transported to the APA! facility around 3 a.m.. Bob was a trooper, and he was now ours. When the three of us arrived at our apartment, Bob took a long nap on

a blanket I laid out for him. While Bob was napping, my boyfriend and I knew one thing about our new dog had to change — his name. We wanted to pick a name that was unique and reflected his looks and personality. We went over names like Bo, Phoenix, Dale, Boston. Finally I said, “How about Ralphie?” My boyfriend approved. Ralphie was our dog’s name. One year later, I can honestly say adopting Ralphie was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I will never forget the unconditional love and countless hugs that our rescued dog has brought into our home. Austin Pets Alive! is a private, nonprofit organization which relies on its caring volunteers. Volunteers who work directly with the animals can increase an animal’s chances of adoption by providing additional human contact. Volunteers are required to commit to a minimum of 8 hours of volunteer work per month and attend an orientation session, among other committments. November’s orientation sessions are: November 3rd, 10a.m. and November 18th, 10a.m. @ Town Lake Animal Center, 1156 W. Cesar Chavez St. For more information, visit http://

The Funny in Falling Down By Jay Kerner Founder of the Regular Joe

I was babysitting again for friends last week, and the boy and I were on the couch channel surfing. I promised Mom nothing but educational programming but hey, with volunteer help, you get what you get. So I was flipping from station to station, watching his expression as we went to see what caught his attention — a tradition, if you will. He likes black-and-white shows, for one thing. Old sitcoms: “Little Rascals,” “Three Stooges” and shows like that. I’m not sure if it’s the content or just that it looks different, but for some reason he watches it a lot longer than modern, cartoon type programs. He also likes baseball and can differentiate between other sports, which I think is a good sign. Maybe it’s the uniforms. I think it’s important to encourage this, so I give him all the candy he wants while we watch baseball. (I smuggle it in. Don’t tell his mom.) Every once in a while, I turn on soccer for a minute and then give him a little pinch. He hates soccer. So anyway, like I said, I was flipping around when I came to this show called “Wipeout.” If you haven’t seen it, it’s pretty much like the cruelest obstacle course in the world. Contestants take turns running and jumping over big colorful geometric shapes suspended above a large mud puddle. An actual announcer from ESPN calls

the action, including slo-mo replays. (I bet they never saw that coming when ABC bought them out.) As each contestant — from a nimble PE instructor to an obese lady bus driver — fell off into the muck, the boy had the same reaction: “Ha, ha, ha! He fall down!” Over and over. When one of the better athletes lasted longer than the others, the boy got frustrated. “Fall down!” he yelled at the TV. Almost immediately, he did. I know he thought he did it, because he giggled hysterically. I’m thinking that at 2, his sadistic streak shouldn’t be as developed as mine, but strangely it seems to be. Maybe it’s something inside all of us from day one. There is a German word that translates into something about taking joy in the misfortune of others. Perhaps

Art by Jay Lincoln/ Photo by Robert Byron

focusing on someone else’s troubles takes our minds off our own. We don’t necessarily want to see anyone get seriously hurt, but just a little hurt is hilarious. Like “Hey, my life may be all screwed up, but at least I’m not that guy! Ha, ha, ha, He fall down!” I’m not big on reality programming. At the end of the typical day, I’ve had about all the reality I can take. But this “Wipeout” show is taking things to a new level, at least for American audiences. You can dress it up and call it a competition if you need to, but I think my little buddy got it completely. Really it’s just a show about people falling down. But then I thought That’s nothing new! That’s what “Cops” is. That’s



what “Jerry Springer” is. Hell, I could argue, that’s what “Oprah” sometimes is. Do I have to mention the “Jackass” phenomenon? Maybe the car chase, the physical challenge or the battling incestuous step-cousins are just the setups for somebody falling down! I think the “Wipeout” people might be geniuses. As long as the obstacle course is ridiculously hard, we don’t have to wait long between splats. Wait! I’ve got it! How about a show of nothing but splats? Spectacular splats! Belly flops! Pies in the face! The ever-popular exploding cigar! People stepping on rakes. Falling in manholes. Thrown by animals. Eaten by animals! Think of the ratings! Just one slam, bam, thank you ma’am after another. No setup, no backstory. Just splat, splat, splat. But wait! Maybe that’s still too complicated. Maybe I just buy a lot of bananas and peel. All I need is a camcorder and a city sidewalk. Simple and low budget. Hollywood would eat it up. I bet I could donate the fruit itself to the food kitchen and get a tax deduction. Yeah, but then you’d get the amateurs doing it. You can have all the “Don’t try this at home!” messages you want, but within days there would be thousands of banana peel videos on YouTube. Before long I’d be out of business. People ruin everything. But I bet the boy would bust a gut.



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The 911 Call



A man was going to bed one night when he realized that some people had broken into his shed and begun to steal things. The man called 911 and was told that there was no one in the area to help, but that they would send someone over as soon as possible. The man hung up. A minute later he called again. “Hello,” he said. “I called you a minute ago because there were people in my shed. You don’t have to hurry now, because I’ve shot them.” Within moments there were six police cars in the area, accompanied by helicopters and an armed response unit. The police response time was so immediate that they were able to catch the burglars in the act. An officer on the scene said, “I thought you said you’d shot them.” To which the old man replied: “I thought you said there was no one available.”


7. How can you save a precious life? 8. Which business is open from 6 a.m. to dusk every day of the year?



With 50 of Austin’s Finest Actors, Singers and a 15 Piece Orchestra

ON NO See it snow on stage in this classic featuring Berlin SA W tunes like “Happy Holidays” and ”White Christmas.” Great for holiday parties with discounts for 8 or more! LE !



Glorious and Inspirational! Snowy Holiday Family Fun!


Elizabeth Koepp (L) and Meredith McCall. Photo:


Book by TERRENCE McNALLY Lyrics by LYNN AHRENS Music by STEPHEN FLAHERTY Based on the novel by E. L. DOCTOROW

Directed by DAVE STEAKLEY Musical Direction by ALLEN ROBERTSON Musical Staging by NICK DEMOS

Bold anthems, Harlem ragtime and delicate waltzes fill the premiere production on Austin’s newest stage. A must-see, once-in-a-lifetime experience! Live in ZACH’s new Topfer Theatre • Wednesday-Saturday at 7:30 • Sunday at 2:30 Production Sponsor

Executive Producers


Karen & Gary Goldstein

Maria & Eric Groten

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Purchase tickets Now! 512-476-0541 x1

Pick your seats online and save time and print your tickets at home. Meet friends for drinks in the lounge. Bar opens 1 1/2-hours before show.

Music & Lyrics by IRVING BERLIN Book by DAVID IVES AND PAUL BLAKE Directed & Choreographed by NICK DEMOS Musical Direction by ALLEN ROBERTSON

Starring MEREDITH McCALL, ELIZABETH KOEPP, MATTHEW REDDEN and MATT GIBSON Based upon the Paramount Pictures film written for the screen by Norman Krasna, Norman Panama and Melvin Frank

Enchanting sets, glittering costumes and SNOW transform ZACH into a winter wonderland and the perfect family show for the season! Live on stage in ZACH’s new Topfer Theatre Wednesday-Friday at 8 • Saturday at 3:30 & 8 • Sunday at 2:30 & 7 Executive Producers


Jim & Terry Whorton

Bill Dickson

Tickets start at $25 ZACHTHEATRE.ORG

Or buy in person at ZACH’s Box Office at 202 South Lamar (Lamar & Riverside) Connect

The Regular Joe, Austin, November 2012  

A newspaper from Austin, TX, that is filled with humorous, interesting and inspiring local news.