asked by Detroit interviewer Matt Watroba how he came to write “Pancho and Lefty,” he said he wrote it sitting in a chair and “if you’d been sitting in that chair, you’da written that song.” Well-maybe. Everyone knew he drank a lot and drinking could complicate his appearances. It hurts to consider how it may have complicated the rest of his life. Though admirers often feel fierce protective urges toward their admired ones, who can say exactly what elements enhance or threaten a creative person’s sensibility, and where the delicate line is drawn? It is good to know he died at home, surrounded by his family. The Good Vibrations Record Store in San Antonio sponsored a memorial gathering January 11 to remember Townes Van Zandt. We lit candles under a stunning new mural of Townes, painted just days before in six hours by a talented artist who happened by. He managed well to catch the glint in Van Zandt’s eye. Musicians Melissa Javors, Dow Patterson, and Bruce Gladwin, among others, HEARING THAT VOICE MADE ONE FEEL MARKED, ENLARGED. MAYBE THAT’S WHAT LEGENDS DO. THEY STRIKE A TRUE NOTE, LIKE A TUN-ING PITCH, PERVADING THE AIR. sang Van Zandt songs. A few people sang their own, saying they could never do a Townes song justice. A saxophonist named Michael O’ Dowd said, “Townes was the truth and sometimes the truth is not pretty.” C.J. Berkman told about Townes taking guitar lessons in Houston way-back-when, from Lightnin’ Hopkins. He said Townes never even got a driver’s license. Master of ceremonies Joe X. Horn of the Third Coast Music Network made gracious toasts to Townes and his life, as little cups of Thunderbird wine were passed around. Stories abounded from musicians about behind-the-scenes drinking antics and gambling, but I found my mind drifting off drinking stories aren’t very interesting in retrospect. I’m not sure they’re terribly interesting even if you’re there. Anyway, they aren’t what was indelible about Townes Van Zandt. What satisfied, twenty years after first hearing him live, were tapes of his recent performance at San Antonio’s Cibolo Creek Country Club, when the resonant voice of the man whom Dublin critic Nick Kelly called, “the Lone Star State’s lonest star,” filled the room. A giant hush. We already miss him very much. [11 CLASSIFIEDS ORGANIZATIONS WORK for single-payer National Health Care. Join GRAY PANTHERS, intergenerational advocates against ageism and for progressive policies promoting social and economic justice. $20 individual, $35 family. 3710 Cedar, Austin, TX TEXAS AIDS NETWORK dedicated to improving HIV/AIDS policy and funding in Texas. Individual membership $25, P.O. Box 2395, Austin, TX REVOLTED BY EXECUTIONS? Join the Amnesty International Campaign Against the Death Penalty. WORK FOR OPEN, responsible government in Texas. Join Common Cause/Texas, 1615 Guadalupe, #204, htip://www.ccsi.com/-comcause. TEXAS TENANTS’ UNION. Membership $10/six months, $18/year, $30 or more/sponsor. Receive handbook on tenants’ rights, newsletter, and more. 5405 East Grand, Dallas, TX 75223. END LOGGING OF ANCIENT FORESTS and roadless areas, stop clearcutting of our National Forests. Join the nationwide campaign to protect and restore America’s wild and natural forests. For a free brochure contact Save America’s Forests, 4 Library Court SE, Washington, D.C. CENTRAL TEXAS CHAPTER of the ACLU invites you to our noon Forum, the last Friday of every month, at Furr’s Cafeteria Banquet Room in Northcross Mall, Austin. For information call LIBERTARIAN PARTY Liberal on personal freedoms, but conservative in in Dallas NATIONAL WRITERS UNION. We give working writers a fighting chance. Collective bargaining. Grievance procedures. Health insurance. Journalists, authors, poets, commercial writers. Forming locals in Houston, Austin, and E-mail: [email protected] PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. Join the Texas Civil Rights Project, 2212 E. MLK, Austin, TX 78702. $25/year. Volunteers also needed. Contact Jim 474-5073. VOLUNTEER BRIGADE to Leon, Nicaragua, July 26-August 8, 1997. Experience in building trades useful; recreational and educational events planned. Tecnica, PO Box 4392, Austin, EMPLOYMENT ENVIRONMENTAL COMPANY. Experiencing huge growth. Offices across the country. Looking for good people. -7472. E-mail: [email protected] LIVE ON THE EDGE! Las Americas Refugee Asylum Project, a non-profit legal office in the mexcla-cultural border mecca of El Paso, seeks mero/mera jefe \(executive direcbudget, supervising 5-member staff, record-keeping, advocacy, networking, special-needs programming, media relations, public education, some fundraising. Qualifications: commitment to social justice for immigrants; understanding of border issues; strong management, advocacy, publicinterest background. Bilingual preferred. Salary $24,000. Start date 6/1. Send cover letter, resume, writing sample, 3 reference letters, postmarked by 3/15: LARAP Search Committee, 715 Myrtle St., El Paso, TX 79901. iAporate! \(No phone calls, Las Americas is an equal opportunity employer. SERVICES MARY NELL MATHIS, CPA, 20 years experience in tax, litigation support, and other analyses. 901 Rio Grande, HOUSEBUYERS, The Consumer’s Agent. Specialists in representing central Austin residential buyers. WORLDWISE DESIGN, awardwinning graphic design studio. For creative, effective and professional designs for your educational and promotional materials, call DIGITAL ARTS CONSULTING-Computers for Communication. We provide the tools for digital media production, including digital video editing, interactive CDROM, digital photography and Internet 524-8548. http://www.d-a-c.com . CLASSIFIED RATES: Minimum ten words. One time, 50 cents per word; three times, 45 cents per word; six times, 40 cents per word; 12 times, 35 cents per word; 25 times, 30 cents per word. Telephone and box numbers count as two words, abbreviations and zip codes as one. Payment must accompany order for all classified ads. Deadline is three weeks before cover date. Address orders and inquiries to Advertising Director, The Texas Observer, 307 West 7th, Austin, TX JANUARY 31, 1997 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 31
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