The power of Facebook: Within minutes, a posted street photograph taken more than 40 years ago on Austin’s Sixth Street was identified and lionized by multiple readers.
We asked: Who is here?
This picture came to us from Henry Williams via Debbie Russell as part of her ongoing project to recover the memory of the Old Pecan Street Festival.
“Although taken on East Sixth Street, it predates the Pecan Street Festival,” Williams wrote. “The men and women in this shot were active in the Austin arts community back in the day. Artist Jim Franklin is in the ‘Super Mex’ T-shirt but I am unable to identify others. I am told the photo is from 1974″
More than 50 Facebook friends and followers responded in one way or another. Among the first was Kerry Awn — artist, musician and comedian — who first wrote: “I know all of them. A lot of dead people here.”
He’s sure the photo was taken in front of the Ritz theater.
“This is the crew from the Ritz when Jim Franklin had it,” he wrote. “That’s me third from left. Bill Livingood … fifth from left. Franklin fifth from right. It’s also the seed of the Uranium Savages which were to make their debut later that year in December of ’74. The hippies moving from the Armadillo to Sixth is what this is. Early pioneers.”
Other respondents made stabs of recognition or simply expressed joy mixed with nostalgia.
Willis Rex Hudson: “Hippies still live!”
Danny Garrett: “Yes, the rush to Sixth practically rolled over Gordo’s and Toad Hall.”
Gayle Reece: “Oh Austin, how wonderful it was!”
Linda Olivier Stevens: “God, the good fun days! Miss them!”
Forrest Preece: “Don’t we all?”
You can’t understand New Austin without delving into Old Austin. One digital avenue for that quest is Austin Found, a series of historical images of Austin and Texas published at statesman.com/austinfound. We’ll share samples here regularly.