Austin — Forever Changing

Austin has always been all about change.

Austin skyline, 2018

Austin skyline, 2018

My earliest memories of Austin come from the early 60s when we would come up from Houston to attend UT football games. Often, we’d meet up with Uncle Willie and Aunt Marion, who had come down from Dallas. I can clearly recall walking the campus and Aunt Marion, in particular, would be startled, point to a building, and ask, “What’s that? That wasn’t there before!” or point at something and say, “That used to be…”

You can see how my earliest impressions were that everything about Austin was subject to change. Well, everything except maybe a few things like the State Capitol, the UT Tower, and…well, that’s about it. Nearly everything else I thought might be permanent back then— El Matamoros, the Nighthawk Restaurant on the Drag — has disappeared over the years.

So, coming back to my former home of over 40 years this week after having moved away last year, I feel like I’m re-enacting Aunt Marion’s reactions to the changes we see in Austin today. And yet, Austin springs eternal, you might say. Here’s a set of short films of Austin through the years, seen through the lens of a movie camera.


This clip dates from back in the days when my mom and her older sister, Marion, were looking to leave San Angelo to go to “The” University. Back then, it was well-understood that meant the University of Texas, in Austin.

Austin: The Friendly City


This matches the time period of my days wandering the UT campus growing with Aunt Marion marveling at all the changes.

Austin: The View From Here


Here we see Austin circa 1987, the first year for SXSW, the music festival.


Still, Austin has always had its unusual approach to controversy. Here, for example, is short film about an historical event 25 years ago: the Mooning of the KKK at the Capitol.


Austin: still weirder than you think.

About bullersbackporch

I am a native Austinite, a high-tech Luddite, lover of music, movies and stories and a born trainer-explainer.
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