Alice Embree :
METRO | Remembering Frank Erwin and the Waller Creek trees

This feature is in the book ‘Celebrating The Rag’ to be released during festivities, set for Oct. 13-16, honoring Austin’s iconic underground newspaper.


Frank Erwin, former chairman of the UT-Austin Board of Regents. Art by Jim Franklin / The Rag / October 28, 1969.

By Alice Embree | The Rag Blog | September 20, 2016

AUSTIN — The following post, is a brief description that accompanies Jim Franklin’s cover art for the October 28, 1969 issue of The Rag.  It will be included in a book, Celebrating The Rag: Austin’s Iconic Underground Newspaper, scheduled for release in October 2016.  The book will be available at the upcoming Rag Reunion and Public Celebration of Austin’s historic underground newspaper, The Rag, that published from 1966-1977.

The Rag: 50 years and still raising hell! ©Furry Freak Brothers illustration by Gilbert SheltonCelebrating The Rag includes more than 100 articles from the original Rag, accompanied by art and photography, including work by artists Jim Franklin, Gilbert Shelton, Kerry Awn, Trudy Minkoff, and Marie Valleroy and photographers Alan Pogue and Danny Schweers, as well as several contemporary essays reflecting on the history and impact of the paper.  This is the third Rag Blog post of material to be published in the Rag book.

The Rag Reunion and Public Celebration, scheduled for October 13-16, 2016, will include exhibits, presentations and discussions, parties, a Gentle Thursday reunion, a concert at Threadgill’s restaurant and music venue, a live Rag Radio interview with historian Doug Rossinow, and much more. Learn more about it on our Rag Reunion page.

Jim Franklin’s iconic image of a tree growing out of the head of Frank Erwin was on the cover of the October 28, 1969 issue of The Rag. UT’s Frank Erwin, Chairman of the Board of Regents, was hell-bent on a massive expansion plan for the UT stadium that bordered the creek. Students, architecture faculty, and environmentalists drew up an alternate plan.

An injunction was filed against the construction plans. The university prevailed in court; the injunction was dissolved. Some 300 protestors massed to stop the bulldozers, many climbing into the trees. On the morning of October 22, 1969, protestors were pulled from the trees and 27 were arrested. Frank Erwin, with a hardhat and bullhorn, presided over the demolition as the bulldozers took down the trees.

Read more articles by Alice Embree on The Rag Blog.

[Rag Blog associate editor Alice Embree is an editor of the book, Celebrating The Rag, and an organizer of the October 13-16, 2016, Rag Reunion and Public Celebration in Austin. A veteran of SDS, the original Rag, and the Women’s Liberation Movement, Alice is a long-time Austin activist, organizer, and member of the Texas State Employees Union.]

This entry was posted in Metro and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Alice Embree :
METRO | Remembering Frank Erwin and the Waller Creek trees

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.