My Moments in Time

As I turn the pages of memory I am humbled by the graciousness of my GOD and the warmth of so many with whom I have shared those moments. Unfortunately I do not recall all their names, but will never forget those faces. I wish I could list all those who blessed me with their effort and talent as members of my choirs. The only time I was disappointed was when a student dropped choir to go another way toward graduation. After our first production in the Bryan Civic Auditorium, I borrowed a line from one of the musicals, “I know what it is like to hold moonbeams in my hand”. Praise GOD for all those moments. So many of them are “Good to have been here” moments. The trip to New York and appearance on NBC’s “Today”; the true story behind Thomas Stockton’s “Old Man River” in “Showboat”; the first ‘men in tights’ were members of the SFA choir in a performance of “Robin Hood” on the stage of the old auditorium; Christmas programs shared with full houses, year after year; “Somewhere” and “They Call the Wind Maria” in the first Pink Follies; every rendering of “The Little Drummer Boy” and our “Benediction”; “Secret Love” by Karen Kraft (with the croop) in “Calamity Jane”, her mom’s Christmas Candy each year, her brother’s ‘underground newspaper’,  her dad’s efforts in getting my “Director’s Chair” delivered on time and Thomas Davis sweating in that ‘wig’!; half-time as Buddy McGown and Jack Briggs put the finest show on earth on that field (Mr. Briggs was blessed with the contribution of Mrs. Austin and our Lass-Os/Shy-Annes”); “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Special Edition II” production and Doy Butler’s “Something Wonderful” in Guion Hall; First Baptist Church’s performance of “Night of Miracles” and Alice Butler’s “No Room” (later gloriously performed by her daughter, Doy and Marcia Mallard at Christmas in Central Baptist Church; “The Messiah” by community groups in the SFA gymnasium with vocal performance by Alice, Ed Carson and Pete Adams; the entire school breaking up with Cheesy Cook’s public address announcements of “Joann Rohl down to the office” or “I have a black girl’s purse (or white girl’s purse) in the office; the Texas Aggie Band at half-time; Harry Gilliam and my good friends from Channel Three; “Trail of Vengeance” by Frank Q. Dobbs; participation in Stage Center productions; my friendship with Ed Carson, Travis Bryan, Jr., Bailey Stone and Red Burditt; my daughters, Martha, An d’Lis and Jeanlizbeth and my son, James Steven Austin, my sons-in-law and all their younguns; my experience in business at “Sound Ideas” and “CCIV, Community Cablevision; my partnership with Mike Mistovitch and his play-by-play of Aggie football; Mentors Paul Hensarling, Earl Jones and C.J. Mattern at Texas A&M; George Conrey, Virginia Irvin and Charles Lindsay at SHSTC; my time spent with students at Cedar Bayou, Pampa, Bryan, Las Vegas and Charlotte; too many great accompanists to mention; Performance at “The Biltmore” at Christmas directing the Northside Christian Academy Choir”; Christmas Productions at Northside; years of great fun in broadcasting and the honor of induction into “Nevada State Broadcasters Hall of Fame”; the excitement of a National Tour of a Texas version of a Broadway Show; my Carolina Clan and over thirty years of loving my precious wife and my step-younguns. For all this and what’s to come, I ‘Stand Amazed in the Presence’ of a Gracious, Merciful, Forgiving GOD and my adoption into HIS eternal family through JESUS CHRIST. That’s another delicacy I get from My Box of ChocAMEN

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