Tonight Carolyn Nottleson and I went to the holiday sing-along and Christmas tree lighting at the State Capitol. She has attended it several times over the years but this was my first time. We took the bus because it would have been nearly impossible to find a parking place within a reasonable distance from the Capitol. Because several blocks of Congress Avenue were blocked off for the celebration, the buses had to use a temporary bus stop several blocks away.
The sing-along was sponsored by the Downtown Austin Alliance and led by John Aielli and the staff of KUT radio. It included both Christian and secular music and was very enjoyable. For several blocks along Congress Avenue south of the Capitol, there were decorations, vendors and musical groups.
A cold front blew in during the festivities but it wasn't overly cold, even though it was a bit windy. The decorations were bouncing around quite a bit, especially the balloons taped to the sidewalk. I was glad that I had taken a lined wind breaker. After the sing-along Carolyn and I stopped at Paglioli's for a slice of pizza, which was quite tasty. Then we continued our stroll down Congress Avenue and back to the bus stop.
There were some interesting and unusual decorations, one of them being the Angelina Eberly statue wearing knit cap, scarf and mittens. The spokes of the cannon wagon also sported knitted decorations.
In 1842, six years after The Republic of Texas had won its independence from Mexico, the capital was Waterloo (later renamed Austin). President Sam Houston thought Austin was an inappropriate location for the capital and campaigned to have it moved to Houston. When the citizens of Austin resisted his attempts to move the capital, Houston sent Texas Rangers to steal the government archives. Angelina Eberly, a local innkeeper, heard the rangers loading their wagons in the middle of the night. She hurried down to the the corner of what is now Sixth and Congress and fired off the town cannon, missing the Rangers but blowing a hole in the General Land Office building. The cannon fire roused the populace, who chased down the Rangers and recovered the archives near Brushy Creek. Had it not been for Angelina’s impulsive gesture, Houston would now be the capital of Texas. She has been hailed as the savior of Austin.
The statue of Angelina Eberly firing off her cannon was erected at the very spot where this historic event took place: Sixth and Congress. The sculptor of the Angelina Eberly statue is Pat Oliphant, the most widely syndicated cartoonist in the world.
After we had arrived back at Pecan Grove RV Park, Carolyn tripped over a speed bump and took a hard fall before I could get to her. She fell on the hip that had been replaced and also sustained a puncture wound to her right hand. I had some wound dressing and bandages big enough to cover the wound. I certainly hope her hip wasn't damaged and that her hand won't become infected. During her fall, she had lost her keys so we had to go back with a flashlight to find them.