Trink Mehr Bier!

One of the activities many guides enjoy is assuming the identity of historical personages. I’ve been lucky to do this twice in the last two months. In March, during our Austin Tour Guide Association’s annual gala, I became August Scholz, the German immigrant who founded Scholz Bier Garten in Austin in 1866. This guise was appropriate for two reasons: the ATGA has always held its yearly party at Scholz, by all accounts Texas’ oldest continuously operated business. The other connection is that my great-grandfather, Claus Henry Frick, came from Germany to Central Texas about the same time as Herr Scholz. I’ve also dressed up as my relative and preformed portions of his autobiography.

It’s getting to be quite a habit: For San Jacinto Day, I became Jesse Billingsley, veteran of the battle, for a hotel and tourism conference. Here’s how I appeared:

Fighting for Freedom

Credited with originating the victory cry of “Remember the Alamo,” Captain Billingsley had come to Mexican colonial Texas from Tennessee, a neighbor of David Crockett. Settled near Bastrop, he joined the Sam Houston’s army as part of Edward Burleson’s First Regiment. After the Revolution, this early Texan served as a congressman and representative.

During these attire-base adventures, I learned the difference between mere costumes and replica clothing. Those that don such period pieces are truly serious about authenticity. Thanks to such inspiring examples and the thunderous response I received, I’ve now added full-regalia presentations to my slate of tour offerings. Look for August or Jesse on Austin’s streets again soon!