Memorial Day weekend 1981
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Thread: Memorial Day weekend 1981

  1. #1
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    Memorial Day weekend 1981

    So around 6:30 this morning, it dawned on me that this is the 34th anniversary of the Memorial Day Flood of 1981. The flood that took out so many homes around Shoal Creek, destroyed Strait Music Co. on Lamar and 9th, and other assorted disasters around our town.

    I was playing music at the Lumberyard (Burnet Rd. and 183) the night when the storm hit, and the rain was so loud on the metal roof of that honky-tonk that literally the musicians couldn't hear their instruments onstage. I didn't get to my house in the Delwood area that night; I crashed with my girlfriend in N. Austin. But when I got home, I found the neighborhood like a war zone with downed trees, though my house was safe. Then the news started to break about the various problems folks were suffering through.

    If you remember that flood, what is it you were doing that weekend?
    RO and lorax like this.
    Son, we live in a world with lakes, and those lakes have to be guarded by men with fishing rods.

    Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg
    ?

  2. #2
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    We had rain both Saturday and Sunday evenings that weekend.

    I was working for County Line at the time. After working a day shift Saturday, my girlfriend and I drove out to C.L on the Hill to watch the storm front roll in. Back in '81 the cedar trees hadn't grown up around C.L.'s patio so you had an amazing sunset view. We wanted an even better view, so we climbed up the firewood stack onto the roof and kicked back.

    When we first got there, the storm front was still 30 miles away. We watched it gradually get closer. Like dumb 20-somethings, we stayed as the lip of it rolled over us, probably less than 500 feet above us. It was one of the more amazing sights I've ever seen. the clouds behind the lip of it just arched high into the sky, lit up by the lightning behind it. BIG raindrops started. We scampered off the roof and inside for shelter.

    Sunday I was off work. Our band was supposed to play at County Line on the Lake outdoors on the deck. We were cancelled due to weather. I hung out there for a while anyway before it all went down. Some of the folks who lost their lives that night were in vehicles that tried to cross flooded Bull Creek right there by the restaurant. Some of my friends tried to help folks who made it to trees on the other bank...not much they could do but shine a light.

  3. #3
    RO
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    I'm pretty sure we'd gone fishing that (Sat) morning 34 yrs ago. Rain never stopped us. I do recall going down to see our neighborhood creek (Quail Creek) flood the bridge at the bottom of our street. I recall the COA running bulldozers through the whole creek bottom in the weeks and months after, destroying my favorite holes. They did the same on Shoal Creek, what an "improvement." And we can see from this weekends floods, humans' attempts to improve upon Nature's designs often fail. Sorry for the flood victims both then and now, but maybe the lesson is not to build in the 100 yr flood plain? Reckon we'll be seeing more droughts and floods. Let's think ahead.

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  5. #4
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    Don't really remember...but I was probably at either the Silver Dollar drinking and two-stepping or on my way to there or home from there....don't remember much back then. I was single till 1984....haha

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    I was -6 years old.
    International Ambassadour of the Royal Order of Lightning Wolves

  7. #6
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    The city archive has pictures form that flood here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/austin...7626196677382/

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChitownLonghorn View Post
    I was -6 years old.
    You're excused, Chi, . This is for the more... um... youth-challenged amongst us.
    Son, we live in a world with lakes, and those lakes have to be guarded by men with fishing rods.

    Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg
    ?

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by phikapPHIL View Post
    The city archive has pictures form that flood here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/austin...7626196677382/
    Wow, there's some memories right there. Thanks for posting that link!

    The man with the red t-shirt and shovel in front of Whole Foods is my friend Craig Weller, one of the founders and original owners of WFM.

    The man in the striped polo shirt in the mess that was Strait Music Co. is my good pal and benefactor, Dan Strait. Dan is now approaching 90 years of age.
    tmart, RO, DTodd62 and 1 others like this.
    Son, we live in a world with lakes, and those lakes have to be guarded by men with fishing rods.

    Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg
    ?

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghphotography View Post
    Don't really remember...but I was probably at either the Silver Dollar drinking and two-stepping or on my way to there or home from there....don't remember much back then. I was single till 1984....haha
    You probably drank and danced to my band at the time: Texas Fever. We worked Tuesdays at the 'Yard, Thursdays at the 'Dollar (Nickel beer night) for a long time. Then the frequent weekend nights at those joints as well, when we weren't playing the Lakeview Club (Bryan), the Hall of Fame (College Station), Melody Ranch (Waco), the Cowboy Club (Mexia), Schroeder Hall (Victoria), the Ramblin' Rose (Llano), the Double Eagle (Sunset Valley), the Side Saddle, the Spoke, Courthouse Blues (by the 'Yard and the 'Dollar), and many dance halls hither and yon.
    RO and J-Hooked like this.
    Son, we live in a world with lakes, and those lakes have to be guarded by men with fishing rods.

    Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg
    ?

  11. #10
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    We were primitive camped in Sandy on Travis Friday night. Got the shit beat out of us that afternoon with rain and hail. This was the small storm before the Sunday deluge. We decided to head back to Austin that Saturday afternoon for no other reason in that we were tired and bruised. Then the shit hit the fan that night. Slept right through it.

    Pa had to go to work Sunday morning cause all his customers downtown had water in their basements. Mainframe computers and water don't mix. The IBM branch office was at 15th and Lamar. Driving down Lamar, he kept noticing lumps covered by sheets. He saw 6 of the 13 that died that night. We had four families that were close friends lose their homes on Shoal near Northwest Park. All survived.

    I've got some of the same pics that you see in most others online archives including some of the true whitewaters on Town.


    And I know that I've seen your band FS......those were my familiar stalking grounds for this horndog.
    J-Hooked likes this.

 

 

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