The Good Life in Austin Texas


Keep Austin Texas Weird -What's that all about? (LOCALISM FEATURED)

Keep Austin Weird 5K"Wait, what was that, I ask?  My son responds again, "its 107 degrees according to that thermometer at the starting line".  I moan and try to figure out WHY I have agreed to participate with him in the Keep Austin Weird 5K (and costume contest with each entrant issued a pair of "Elvis" sunglasses) at 6pm in the afternoon in the middle of a brutal Texas summer... The event is a benefit for the RunTex Carrozza Foundation, a nonprofit group that provides running shoes, coaching and race entry fees for people with low incomes. Paul Carrozza is also the owner of RunTex, the absolute coolest running store on the planet located here in Austin Texas!

Keep Austin Weird 5KWe start off together and my son says he wants to go on ahead and I quickly agree mumbling something to the effect that I will catch up later (oh sure...) After two miles I am sweating like a politician in church and just about to say to "heck with it" when who should come running towards me? My son who has doubled back and is laughing as he tells me he wanted to be sure I was okay. I can barely see from the sweat pouring into my eyes and I am gasping for air in the torrid heat but I manage to say, I'm good! I struggle to keep moving and try and not pass out while slipping into that spacey zone that comes before heat exhaustion!

I am thinking all the while that we only have a mile to go and if I can keep from barfing up a lung I just might make it! He then tells me to "smile" for the photographers by the roadside and I do laugh when he catches a scoop of Amy's Ice Cream tossed from the Water/Ice Cream Stop by volunteers to anyone who picked up a cup a few yards earlier! (I told you this was weird!)

Keep Austin Weird

Keep Austin Weird is an axiom chosen by a group that promotes small local businesses in Austin, Texas.The Austin Independent Business Alliance picked the phrase from a remark made by a librarian at Austin Community College in a phone call to a local radio station. Red Wassenich and his wife, Karen Pavelka, placed the slogan on bumper stickers, distributing them free to businesses in Austin. "Keep Austin Weird" was later trademarked by and used to market T-shirts, hats, and mugs.

The slogan is a reference to the many small businesses, events, functions and personalities in Austin which give the city its unique cultural identity.  The Keep Austin Weird website describes itself as a "collaborative fission of coordinated individualism" and it gets somewhat weirder from there, learn more at: . The whole concept is really just a celebration of all the things that that make Austin so unique and enjoyable. Austin Mayor Will Wynn supports the foundation and the group focusing on supporting local business! I read this quote by him recently, "The city is so weird, he joked, that his parents bought a house in Round Rock. But what exactly makes Austin weird? Wynn said it is the high quality of life in a growing city that feels small. "We don't feel nearly as large . . . because we have a unique quality of life," Wynn said. And I could not agree more, every day brings some new and interesting weirdness!

Weird 5K finish lineWe finally cross the finish line behind a crowd that includes two girls rowing in a cardboard canoe, people running in various costumes, a scuba diver and a collection of Dr. Seuss characters. A short time later, after we manage to cool off and refuel with a few quarts of ice water, some Amy's Ice Cream and a half dozen slices of Mangia Pizza, we wander over to the Free stage to watch some great local music.

Keep Austin Weird Tie-DyeKeep Austin Weird is really about the rich diversity & eclectic ideas of our community and the melting pot nature of all the things that TRULY make Austin such a wonderful place to live. I love Austin and have lived here a long time and I even enjoy the fact that the Weird "slogan" sometimes irritates those who do not fully understand the meaning.  Of course, there are always party poopers in every crowd but in Austin they are vastly outnumbered!



Russell M. LewisPage copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape 

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82 commentsRussell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI • October 24 2008 01:58PM


Russell, I wanted to stop in and thank you again for introducing me to Active Rain. It's a great site and this is a good post. Austin is indeed weird in a wonderful way and this is another good example!

Posted by Scott Harvey (AvenueOne Properties) over 2 years ago

WOW! Now that I have met you, this post reads a lot differently.  I can just imagine you being all excited while telling the story if we were face to face.  It was a blast meeting you yesterday, Russell!

Take care!

Posted by Amanda Hall * FORT WORTH TEXAS Real Estate Broker * (Hall Team Homes ) over 2 years ago

Russell, what a way to have bonding time with your son but all for a good cause.  It was WONDERFUL meeting you in person yesterday.  The day flew by didn't it.

Posted by Marchel Peterson Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) over 2 years ago

Local races are an excellent way to bring people together to showcase local businesses and raise awareness. Now that's my kind of 5k. Ice cream at the water stops? Perfect.

Posted by Craig W. Barrett - Hughesville MD Real Estate (RE/MAX 100) over 2 years ago

Russ it sounds like you and your son had a lot of fun at the keep Austin weird event. By any chance was a Mr. Crouch part of this event - LOL

Posted by Bill Gassett Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 2 years ago

Scott Thanks for dropping by and I am glad you joined Active Rain too! Everyone in Austin has their own version of weirdness here and you fit right in!

Amanda It was a real treat meeting you at the ReBar camp and I am glad that knowing me adds some enthusiasm to the story. I enjoyed the meeting and especially getting to know you because you are definitely a firecracker too. (I wish I could have stayed and met your husband) I have followed your comments so long and they are so funny and I look forward to more in the future!!

Marchel I had the best time yesterday. As I have said before, it is a really great thing to actually get together with people who have become friends but never actually met! Marchel it was a pleasure meeting you in person and I look forward to a continuing friendship in the future. I just wish Liz could have made it but I know she is getting better and we will see her soon!

Craig The group is almost like the weird cousin of the local chamber of commerce and it is an excellent way to support our many home grown businesses! Amy's ice cream is awesome. The scoops actually juggle and toss the ice cream at several of the locations so it was a natural to do it at the race. (I had to wait until about 30 minutes after the race to eat any so I could make sure I was still alive!

Bill It was a lot of fun and you know  there is a world of difference between my son 18 and me 56 *ouch*but we did enjoy the time together. This event was a couple of weeks before I joined Active Rain and met Jason. Hmmm...I am not sure if Jason is a runner though he would be a heck of a basket ball player (I think he must be at least 6'5" or TALLER!)

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Russell - thanks for the explanation of keeping austin weird.  I surprisingly didn't know what that was all about.  Looks like you guys had a great time (& tiring).  I applaud you for getting out there & completing it!  Great job.  KM

Posted by Kristin Moran, San Antonio,TX~Real Estate 210-313-7397 (Owner - RE/MAX Access - over 2 years ago

Congratulations on starting and finishing the race! I think that actually finishing any race or task in life is something that many people have forgotten how to do. I think it is incredible that you and your son did this together. You just seem like such an amazing dad and human. I'm glad you are my friend! GBU!

Posted by Elizabeth Nieves - Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team (The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group) over 2 years ago

Russell, this was a wonderful story and the fact the your son and you had such a nice time together makes it more special.  You said:  Austin is really about the rich diversity & eclectic ideas of our community and the melting pot nature of all the things that TRULY make Austin such a wonderful place to live.  I think that anywhere in the world where you have diversity all mixed up into a wonderful stew is a wonderful place to be.  Great story, thanks for sharing it.

Posted by Susan Mangigian, West Chester PA Realtor RE/MAX Preferred, ABR (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) over 2 years ago

Hi there! I remember you two doing this and it's a funny story. For someone who has run marathons this should have been a piece of cake! HAH! JK... walking in that heat was tough enough and you are right, it is yet another of the really cool things about living in Austin! Oh, you know what, you should post about the "Turkey Trot" at Thanksgiving or the "Jingle Bell" Run at Christmas. They are fun (and the weather is a LOT cooler) 

Posted by Mattie Lewis (AvenueOne Properties) over 2 years ago

Hi Russell - How can anyone run in 107 degrees, that's brutal!  I found myself suffering vicariously....but sounds like a fabulous day especially having your son taking such good care of his Dad ;-)  I'm not sure I told you we came close to moving to Austin about 10 years ago.  I love the way you write about your town, we would have enjoyed living there!  I especially love WEIRD!!! ~ that's where you come in...laughing

Gail MacMillan Titusville Fl Real Estate 

Posted by Gail MacMillan - CRS, e-PRO, GRI ~ Titusville FL Real Estate Brevard County ( over 2 years ago

Kristan Thanks for dropping by. It is an unusual slogan but it has a real impact on local business and it's been embraced by the community. The fun part is that it has created some interesting events that help focus on our "weird" diversity!

ElizabethHey there! Actually I have finished several marathons but none were as HOT. It was also fun for my son and me because he just went away for college last August and now we actually miss him! The teen years are so we don't have as much trouble letting them go right? I am a big fan of your blog so thanks for dropping by...

Susan I am laughing because we are a stew of sorts...though in Texas we make chili and throw in almost everything. The best part about Austin is that we are incredibly diverse and also very tolerant of others most of the time. it really is a live and let live community!

Mattie You are so funny...and yes i have run marathons but 3.1 miles in that heat was almost too much for me! Thanks for the suggestion about the Turkey Trot and the Jingle Bell Run! And just think You and your brother are members of a very small group actually BORN IN AUSTIN!

Gail No one in their right mind can run in that heat, however my son and others like him are still "bulletproof" at this age...ah youth! You would love Austin and i am laughing out loud because you already know me to well! Weird? Oh yes...I definitely resemble that remark! Thanks for dropping by, you are one of my favorite friends here at Active rain!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Hey Russell,

when is this race? Sounds like fun and something I might be interested in!  Who wouldnt want pizza and ice cream after a workout?!

Posted by Jennifer Chide (Prominent Title) over 2 years ago

Russell that picture of you and your son is classic! I am happy you made it but you have to remember that kids are almost unbreakable at that age (and they will let you know it too) thanks for another wonderful slice of Austin Texas Living!

Posted by Anne Giles (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) over 2 years ago

Russell - Sounds like I need to visit Austin.  My brother actually lived there for two years and loved it.  So your son is bullet proof?  I can identify;)

Posted by Jason Sardi, Pretty Fly for an Allentown Guy (None needed;)) over 2 years ago

"its 107 degrees according to that thermometer at the starting line"

Hey Russell,

Ouch.  Is that a "dry" heat?  :)

Congrats on being able to run a 5K with your son!  You're a better man than I am.  When I was young I ran everywhere, to the amusement of my neighbors.  However, if I attempted a 5K today, I would probably curl up and die somewhere in the first mile.

Posted by Not Yet Licensed over 2 years ago

Jennifer...It's in the hottest part of July! next year i will probably the event (unless of course I have to meet a challenge from my son!) 

Anne I can say in all honesty it was one of the brief moments I was able to smile DURING the run! It was much easier after when chowing down on some free groceries and enjoying the music of Alejandro Escovado!

Jason Come on down my friend, you are always welcome. and yes you and my son are most assuredly cut from the same cloth. I should send you a recent picture after the Tulsa Rugby team played the team at SMU!. *OUCH*

 Not Yet Licensed Very funny...Heat that hot is like hell! I am laughing because I have run a number of marathons and I do not think that any 3.1 mile section of them was any harder or more difficult!!!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Congrats on the Feature!

Posted by Amanda Hall * FORT WORTH TEXAS Real Estate Broker * (Hall Team Homes ) over 2 years ago

Russell - what a great blog post! We've always liked the "Keep Austin Wierd" tagline - the truth is (from a visitor) that it has wierd and it has un-wierd, so take your choice, or alternate. And Congratulations for running with your son and for finishing the race!

Posted by Sharon Simms St Pete FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (ALVA International, Inc.) over 2 years ago

Russell I was sent the link to your latest blog and it is a doozy!!! You and your son look great (at least in the picture you do) I am glad you posted this because in spite of the popularity of the slogan, very few people know what it really means (besides the obvious part! oops! Now I am laughing again! Thanks!

Posted by Lynne over 2 years ago

Fantastic post. And I'm not just saying that to leave a post for points... I've already posted my 10 comments for points today. Not only was your post informative, it was a fun read. What a great example of how to write for localism. This is something to strive for! Thanks!

Oh, and kudos for the completion of the event. I know of Austin's heat. Can't imagine running in it!

Posted by Alisha Harrison ~ Allyn, Belfair and Hood Canal real estate expert! (John L. Scott, Belfair) over 2 years ago

Russell .... great article and now that I have met you I can picture you telling this story all animated and with your great laugh!!!!!


Posted by Pippa MAC, The Woodlands TX Real Estate Remax Real Estate Spring Texas Realtor (Remax Realtor, The Woodlands and Spring) over 2 years ago

THat is absolutely hilarious -- I have never heard of the "Keep Austin Weird"5k & Festival.  Fantastic localism post!!!

Posted by KERRY LUCASSE - Your Intown Atlanta Real Estate Consultant (Nest Atlanta Real Estate Group) over 2 years ago

What a great event and I sure you had your share of the fun. We were there I beleive a couple of years back of course I think Austin is one of our better cities any way.

Posted by Charles Stallions Real Estate 800-309-3414 Pensacola, Fl. over 2 years ago

I was visiting with some friends last night as to why the slogan "Keep Austin Weird" cleared that up for me.  Congratulations on the run.  Great Post.  Keep up the good work... and it was featured???

Love ya... Karen David-Mohr

Posted by Karen David-Mohr (Prominent Title, LLC) over 2 years ago

I think the slogan should be that Russell keeps Austin weird!!!!!! You are the best and the stupidest to run in the month of July in our awful hot Texas summers. I am so glad that you have shared with all of the world the crazy thangs Austinites do!!!!!

Posted by Allysoun Musslewhite (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) over 2 years ago

Excellent post Russell. I think the slogan and graphics are great so don't let the party poops ever change the attitude of Austin.

Posted by Cameron Wilson: Murrieta/Temecula/ Menifee California Real Estate (Century 21 Tri Valley Realty) over 2 years ago

I would never have guessed he was that tall. This did sound like a lot of fun:)

Posted by Bill Gassett Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 2 years ago

Russell,  I wish I had your ability to write great localism posts.  Whenever I start I am reminded that I don't have the ability so I cut them short,  Karen

Posted by Karen Kruschka - Prince William, Fairfax ,Stafford County VA Real Estate Service (RE/MAX Olympic Realty) over 2 years ago

Amanda Hey thanks! i had answered the previous comments and left to do some work. When I returned there it was with a star and i am extremely flattered1 hey, I also wanted to let you knwo again how great it was meeting you in Houston! You ROCK!

Sharon I really appreciate the compliments and like you enjoy the fact that I can alternate between weird and un-weird. It makes for an interesting balance!

Lynne It's good to hear from you! You are making me laugh because you know us all too well!

Alisha Thanks for the compliment. I have really made an effort to post things in my Localism category that were compelling and fun too. It helps break up the market data etc. that is so often posted. of course I probably need to post more of that too but this is more fun for sure!

Pippa Thanks and thank you! I really enjoyed meeting you in Houston and hope to send you business if I ever have anyone heading that way! You are so enjoyable and i like reading your posts about the neighborhood and children! Have a great weekend!

Kerry Austin is a truly unique place especially for Texas we have so many odd and fun events here and it really does illustrate the huge diversity that happily coexists in our town!

Charles It is so easy to have a good time here. I have to tell you that it is probably the reason I did not marry till later in life. Lots of fun and a lot of really good people in this community!

Karen See what I mean? Even people in Austin do not know the whole story! Although i do not think you will find many citizens who will disagree with the slogan! Yes we do have our fun!

Allysoun You are cracking me up (as usual) as a fellow afficianado of all things weird in Austin, I can truly say you resemble your remark too! 

Cameron Austin is one of those incredible places that just keeps getting better (in spite of the whiners who complain because folks keep moving here). It is a great community that will not ever let the Buzz kill effect make an inroad! Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 2 years ago

I love Austin, its the birth place and where all our corporate heads hang out too, but more important it has an amazing vibe. And such a great event for a father son, keep austin spirit alive.

Posted by James Engel KW Beverly Hills (Keller Williams Realty Beverly Hills) over 2 years ago

Russell, this is quite funny and so like you! You and your children always seemto have fun in everything that you do! WOW I also realized that this blog is a featured post. Congratulations and keep up the good work!

Posted by Jeannette Spinelli (Avenue One Properties) over 2 years ago

I want to visit Austin... I knew nothing about Austin until a few years ago.  I thought it was the same as the rest of Texas until I met a Realtor who lives in Tulsa OK  who wants to  move to Austin... I saw a video about Austin and I WANTED to move there.  Or at least visit.

I like weird.


Posted by Maureen McCabe (Real Living HER (HER Realtors) Columbus OH. ) over 2 years ago

Hey YOU!! I came back to see if you read my smarty pants remark and see that you responed in kind! You are so funny and keep writing these interesting posts. I actually had someone tell me earlier that they never knew where the phrase came from so you did a good deed and told a fun story at the same time!

Posted by Allysoun Musslewhite (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) over 2 years ago

Hey I was in Austin at a Keller Williams Head Office event a few weeks back and I had a great time, what a cool university town and dont get me started on all the Live Music!  I'll be back!

Posted by Scott Leaf Real Estate Marketing & Associates (Keller Williams Elite Realty, Port Coquitlam, BC) over 2 years ago

I need to get down there and experience the weirdness more often.


Posted by Tom Burris | Texas Mortgage Dallas Mortgage FHA ( over 2 years ago

Bill  The first time I met Jason , I looked up and said " are one tall drink of water" and he started laughing! And you already know the rest of the story. Oh BTW just about any of the "WEIRD" events in Austin are fun!

Karen I really enjoy writing for Localism and frankly have to try and cut my words short (which I should probably do when talking too) It's my favorite type of post and in Austin there is an endless supply! Tell Art I said hello!

James Austin is indeed the birth place of KW. Back in late 1988 I was in one of my first RE classes and Joe Williams spoke. He is an incredible firecracker of a personality and the company has done well nationwide! Austin does have an incredible vibe and it's shared by folks from all walks of life!

Jeannette Thanks for commenting, I really do enjoy writing for Localism and if it has something to do with my family or friends...all the better!

Maureen Austin is not a lot like the rest of Texas which is WHY I moved here from West Texas over 30 years ago! It's funny you mention Tulsa, my son (the same one in the picture) is now attending Tulsa University and I have to tell you Tulsa is so much like Austin and maybe even a tiny bit better because it is similar to Austin in the 70's before we had a population boom! Anyway you would indeed love Austin, we have enough different kinds of weird to go around!I know a great agent in Tulsa, who were you referring to??

Allysoun I am in good company because you are so funny too. And frankly I owe you for all the help you have provided over the years. You are certainly one of the best! Thanks!

Scott As you already know, KW started here and what a great treat that you would have to visit on company BUSINESS (and maybe even get in a little music and party time too!) Come on back anytime!

Tom I hear you and you should indeed visit more often. There is always something to do and some fun people to do it with! Come on down!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Russel - I love the spirit and creativity the Austin embodies!  What a great place.  Now tell me this, "Why did Liberty Lunch ever get closed down?"  I loved that place.

Posted by Kent Simpson 520.302.5368 Tucson Homes Land & Investment (Tierra Antigua Realty) over 2 years ago

Hi Russell!  Congratulations on that little gold star but, most importantly in participating in the race with your son!  What a great story and the 'Keep Austin Weird' slogan is what drew me to it!  (I love the tie-dye photo with the slogan!)

Debe in Charlotte 

Posted by Debe Maxwell - Search Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte NC Neighborhoods (Helen Adams Realty) over 2 years ago

Congrats again on ANOTHER GOLD STAR! Your Localism posts are the best so don't wait so long to do another! (No pressure, they are just so much more fun and different from some of the other fare). Austin has so much to write about and the subjects are never ending!

Posted by Mattie Lewis (AvenueOne Properties) over 2 years ago

Russell, this looks like soooo much fun! Where are you getting your energy my friend? I would have had to ride on your shoulders through that one. Too hot and too much work...bits of fun if you live through it...right? I loved meeting you this week although I hope to get to spend some time getting to know you next time. K? Take care and keep that smile going.

Later in the rain~Deb

Posted by Brooks Prime Properties, LLC over 2 years ago

Hi Russell!
Wow...I so admire you determination!  I would have died after a few steps...I just wasn't built to run!  Austin sounds awesome and my kind of place. I will have to visit sometime...maybe just in time for "Keep Austin Weird"!  Fun Post!


Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunnigan, REALTORS (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) over 2 years ago

Russell, I am so impressed! I would never have it in me to accomplish a run like that. In fact, I believe I would have had my first heart attack. What a great experience with your son and memories to last a life time. So glad you shared it with us. Now, you will go down in my mind as the Austin runner!

Posted by Gena Riede, Real Estate Broker Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699 (Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792) over 2 years ago

Russel, You're AWESOME!  That is a great photo of you and I am assuming your son.  That is one for the photobooks.  I am sure that meant a lot to him that you ran with him, even if you were dying....I know I would be.

Posted by Ashley Berg *Seattle's Green Real Estate Agent* (Realty Executives BRIO) over 2 years ago

Great post.  I give you credit for running.  I wouldn't have made it.

Posted by Robert W. Bowen (Equity Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Russel said  Austin is not a lot like the rest of Texas which is WHY I moved here from West Texas over 30 years ago!

I'm from WI and went to UW, in Madison.   Madison is different than the rest of the state and when I saw the video about Austin I recognized something I have missed in all the years I have been away from Madison.  IT.  There are pockets of IT in Columbus...

Russell said "I know a great agent in Tulsa, who were you referring to??" Her name is Brynn... she is a member here but has never participated.  I met her on RealTalk a few years ago.  Her dream is to move to Austin or was.  I think it is Brynn Masterson, but will have to go check. It's Minsterman.  Brynn was with a real small company.  A relative newbie to real estate.

Posted by Maureen McCabe (Real Living HER (HER Realtors) Columbus OH. ) over 2 years ago

Russell - congratulatios on your feature post, and for competing in the race. 107 degrees sounds a little warm for me, and your son is awesome for running with you! And keep Austin weird - great slogan.

Posted by Sharon Paxson Newport Beach Real Estate (Prudential California Realty, DRE License 01501912) over 2 years ago

Kent You sure do know Austin! Liberty Lunch (a former lumberyard and hardware company) downtown was converted in to a very eclectic club and music hall. Partially outdoors-main stage, covered with tenting and the rest an inside bard and venue. I saw so many great shows there and in the early 80's performed there when I was in a rather eclectic band. It was an incredible place but finally went the way of Soap creek Saloon and of course the immortal Armadillo World Headquarters!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Debe Thanks so much for dropping by. It's funny but very gratifying that we were both featured the same day and at almost the same time! As hot as it was I am glad we ran together and as far as Keep Austin is a slogan that describes Austin nearly as much as the Live Music Capital of the World! Oh and the tie-die's still around from the times the Grateful Dead were through here!

Mattie Thank you for the compliment! And yes. Austin has so many great things to write about that it's hard to find the time. I have decided to do at least one for Localism each week!

Deb I am laughing so energy is just there but I usually find ways to burn it up every day! I do run on a regular basis but this was so hot I was out of my mind to even start and certainly crazed by the finish! I also enjoyed meeting you and promise that stay longer next time we all get a chance to get together. I thoroughly enjoyed you and all of the other good people at ReBar! 

Paula There is something in Austin for EVERYBODY and come on down sometime because "Keep Austin Weird" is a round the year state of mind here! 

Gena Good to hear from you my friend! Yes, it is important for me to run because it helps to dissipate some of my sometimes "ornery character" and then there is also my love for ICE CREAM! If I did not run I would end up looking like Jaba the Hut in about 6 months!!!

Ashley That young man is our son and I was impressed that he ran the race and then ran back to make sure Dad did nit QUIT and it was fun that we crossed the finish line together!

Robert I appreciate the Kudos and have to tell you that I do run on a fairly regular basis but plan to avoid any runs with extreme heat in the future!

Maureen I completely understand. I have friends that have gone to school in Madison and always say that it reminds them of Austin. It is so similar on so many levels and that is really great. It's almost the same in Tulsa. We took our son (the same one in the photos) to start school at Tulsa University and it is remarkable how much it is like Austin. Maybe a little better, because the city is smaller and a bit more intimate like Austin back in the 70'S and without the huge influx of people and population growth. The agent I know in Tulsa is a fine man who I have communicated with here at Active Rain. We have never done business but he seems very honest and straight forward. Here is his profile info: Paul Lemay 

Sharon Thank you for the compliment, I am fortunate that my son will slow down or, as in this case come back for me. And Austin makes "weird" something good for everybody of all ages and ideology...Wait did I actually use the term "ideology"? Scratch's fun for all! Thanks again for dropping by!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Hey Russell, Wow you made it on to the front page (I guess that means you were featured) That is so cool and I was just asked about the phrase keep Austin Weird the other day and had no idea that it was more than just another fun saying about Austin. Thanks and again congratulations on a great article about our town!

Posted by Michelle over 2 years ago

Kudos to you for participating and finishing the run. Way to go!! BTW- nice legs! Have a wonderful fall and see you soon!


Posted by Betina Foreman-Serving Lake Travis, Lake Austin and the greater Austin area! ((512)771-6318 Prospect Real Estate Solutions, LLC) over 2 years ago

Russell, WOW I am at the office now and Scott told me that you had a featured post on Active Rain! Very cool and since we just recently moved to Austin from Houston, I can say without a doubt that we love all the weird and un-weird things about Austin. Happy to be here and working with you too!

Posted by Erin over 2 years ago

Russell - I love Austin and I have never wanted to move from Lynchburg, VA but if I did Austin is the place I would want to go.  My brother lived there and still owns property there, I used to have friends there and my niece lived there and taught school at Round Rock Elem before she passed away 3 years ago.  I got to know her wonderful friends and co-workers when she was sick and after she passed away.   Do you ever eat at Shady Grove - my husband used to order t-shirts from there - and we love the food!!  I'm going to subscrib to your blog so I can keep up with Austin and if I need to refer someone I know who to call.  Keep running!


Posted by Kathy Carson Lynchburg, VA, REALTOR VA HOMES - LYNCHBURG, BEDFORD, CAMPBELL (RE/MAX 1st Olympic, ABR, GRI) over 2 years ago

Russell Here it is Saturday night - I was hoping you had a new post I could respond to - I'm just sitting here while my husband is doing his Rotary thing - we both belong to different Rotary clubs - he's out picking up trash along our reservoir - I hope he doesn't bring me any souveneirs  Karen

Posted by Karen Kruschka - Prince William, Fairfax ,Stafford County VA Real Estate Service (RE/MAX Olympic Realty) over 2 years ago

Michelle Yes it is nice to be featured, especially when it's about our great (and very cool) city! It is funny how many people live here and experience "weirdness" all the time but do not know all that the slogan represents!

Betina You are cracking me up! You were referring to my least that's what I am hoping!  Thanks for commenting!

Erin Austin is a nice relief from the big ole city of Houston. I am glad you are enjoying your mov and I can tell you that it will just get better!

KathyI completely understand your thinking and if I HAD to move, there area few places I might consider! I am so sorry to hear about your niece, that was a real tragedy. As far as Shady Grove, it is only a few blocks south of my office and I was there last week. The food is great and reminds me of a lot of Texas Cafe's. The people who opened Shady Grove also own Chuy's a wonderful Mexican restaurant and museum to Elvis! Look back at my blog and also check out my post on Amy's Ice Creams and the most recent Chronicle Hot Sauce Contest. Thanks you for subscribing because these are the types of osts I enjoy writing most of all. And finally...please send me any referrals and I promise to do the same. I am going to check your profile and add you as an associate! Thanks again-Russell

Karen I have been remiss lately and have not kept up with my blogging but since I went to Rebar camp, I plan to do so more consistently! Now about Art and the clean up, I have to say that almost every,  time I have participated in something like that I usually find SOMETHING that I just have to bring home! Have a great evening!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Starting with a temp of 107 is way beyond my tolerance... The Halloween 5k up here will this morning will be a little warm with a temp near 60...

Posted by Dan Cummings - Connecticut's Running Realtor (Raveis Real Estate) over 2 years ago

This is a great localisim post.  Was it really 107??? Boy, that is hot hot hot!  Austin is a wierd place with a lot of weird people (just kidding)!  Glad you and your son had a successful run!

Posted by Joan Whitebook Southern New Hampshire over 2 years ago

Austin sounds great!  I've heard it described as "artsy" but never "weird".  It's great to have so many small businesses dotting the landscape and keeping the hometown character.  Northern Virginia is full of national logos on stores, big and small.  Very few locally owned businesses.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, GRI, SFR (Long & Foster, Gainesville, VA) over 2 years ago

DanDon't get me wrong, hot running events are not my usual fare and that Halloween run sounds like some fun! If you want to get technical I really enjoy running between 40 and 50 degrees. Our family is traveling to Dallas this Thanksgiving and we will do the Turkey Trot. The course is 8 miles but is flat and fast and usually in the 40's temp wise. I still remember running (years ago) to the finish line and hearing someone chanting "Two pieces of Pumpkin Pie and ..." at which point others began chiming in "and rolls with butter, extra gravy...and sweet potato casserole" and extra helpings of all sorts of Thanksgiving fare! Too funny and always a good time!

Joan Thank you I always enjoy writing for localism and you are more CORRECT than you can imagine...Austin is a magnet for all types from all over Texas and the rest of the country too! 

Chris Ann For sure...Austin is "Artsy" but also has a huge helping of "Weird" the healthy fun type. I hear you about national chains. There are parts of Austin that look like "Anywhere, USA" too but we have been fortunate that there are also a large number of local businesses that folks support!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Russell  excellent post for localism and you managed to bring you love for running as well as you humorous attitude to the subject! Great  work, keep it up!

Posted by Ross over 2 years ago

Ross Thanks for commenting. I think I enjoy writing for Localism more than any of the other posts. Unless of course I am stirring things up but that is a very rare occurrence! I plan to do another one about running that will be a pictorial about Town Lake!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Hi There Russell - Just popping back in to see if you're still grounded after all the flattery and a #7 featured post.  After reading the comments I know there's at least a couple of us who'll keep your feet on the ground.  7 features - well OK - you're pretty good :-)  Kudos from Titusville FL!

Gail MacMillan Titusville Fl Real Estate


Posted by Gail MacMillan - CRS, e-PRO, GRI ~ Titusville FL Real Estate Brevard County ( over 2 years ago

Gail Thanks again for dropping by! I have been very fortunate to have received the gold stars and I am flattered! While at ReBar camp I learned that I need to post more often and also fill out my posts to include more Real Estate related material so I am ging to make the effort to post 3 times a week instead of once every 8-10 days and have more business info. I do enjoy writing about local stuff and for Localism and will continue to do that too! Now I am headed to your blog to see waht is new in your part of the world!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 2 years ago

I have a Keep Austin Weird tie-dyed t-shirt and I love the concept!

Posted by Emily Lowe - Nashville TN Realtor (The Lipman Group Sotheby's International Realty) over 2 years ago

Russell, you are our AvenueOne Hemingway of blogs! (Or at least Dave Barry) Thanks for another fine post!

Posted by Terri Moore (AvenueOne Properties) over 2 years ago

Emily Thank you for dropping by, I added you as an associate and if you ever need a replacement for that tie-dye t-shirt, let me know!

Terri I really appreciate the compliment and I probaly look more like hemingway and think like Dave Berry (my son thinks he is hilarious) but really, as much as I enjoy it, I am typing more than writing! Have a great week!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Russell, I stopped in to your office to say hello and Terri told me about your blog. I am and you are doing quite well in the blogging world. This post is so good and a cool explanation about the entire "Weird" phenomenon. Keep up the good work and keep up the running! I am going to raed some of your other posts when I get a chance this week!!

Posted by Jimmy over 2 years ago

I lived in Austin for a year between 1979 and 1980. I loved it! Still have friends who live their and will not live any where else. It doesn't have the the "town" feel any longer, but it's still weird. Can't beat the Mexican food or the Bar-B-Que (there will be arm wrestling over this statement), and IF you are a vegan you'll find plenty of restaurants, cafes and diners catering to your tastes.

Roy Spence, the CEO of Idea City, runs one of the coolest businesses in town. Idea City is an advertising agency with great spirit and purpose. I know that most people don't equate spirit and soul with agencies, but this one really is different. Their synergy revolves around PURPOSE and you can feel it when you walk into Idea City. Some of the most creative people in the world work there and their personalities are outrageous. The work environment was built to inspire and it does... some people go to work in their pajamas, there's special parking for expectant mothers, a diner right out of the 1950s, conference rooms with a ping pong table, a huge cow hanging from the ceiling... I think you get the "idea." If you are looking for a nationally recognized ad agency you need to call Idea City (GSD&M of Austin, TX). Tell them Linda sent from Air Force Recruiting Service sent you (I worked there and they know me).

Thanks for a great post about Austin... brings back a lot of terrific memories.

Posted by Linda Bourgault (lulugraphix-creative photography) over 2 years ago

Jimmy Sorry I missed you today but thanks for commenting on the post! I enjoy writing for Localism and the "Weird" thing was just a natural

Linda 79 & 80 were some very fun years in Austin! And you definitely have a handle of the mood and vibe of our great city! (even if we have grown) I work only 3 blocks from GSD&M  and you are right that is is an incredible place. I also have a friend that works there and a man who I used to run with actually designed the logo. Very cool environment and the home of an ifantastic wealth of creativity. here is something you may have heard but Roy Spence  wrote a book awhile back entitled "The Amazing Faith of Texas" that is very interesting and the web site for the book describes the work:

"Travel slowly along the roads and highways of Texas, and you are less likely to miss the turns that lead you into the heart of this great state - to the places of amazing faith. From tiny churches on dusty back roads to temples, mosques, synagogues and megachurches along the highways, The Amazing Faith of Texas is a stunning exploration in words and pictures of the strong, abiding beliefs that sustain faith-filled Texans. Beliefs that transcend the boundaries of religion. Transcend the dogma. Transcend the differences. We have heard all we need to hear about what divides us when it comes to faith. Now let's talk about the common ground that unites us."

Texas and Texans for all the myth and hype is an incredible place to be from and live. I am not one of those that wants people to stop coming to Texas because that is unrealistic but I hope that we can maintain some of the integrity and the wild zaniness that makes our home so unique. Thanks you so much for yor comments!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 2 years ago

I was watching a show called "Its always sunny in Philapdelphia" on Thursday nights on FX channel and last week a main character was wearing a Keep Austin Weird t-shirt, I had no idea what it meant

Posted by James Wexler, Scottsdale AZ Luxury Homes (Coldwell Banker) ( about 1 year ago

Hey Russell, you can really run, I tend to ride(horses) its a heck of alot easier on the body, Great story and I can so see you pushing thur the pain to the finish line. Enjoyed lunch with you last week.

Posted by Crystal Ledbetter (Texas Home Group) about 1 year ago

James It is funny that you see the t-shirt popping up in the most unlikely places! And it's even more interesting that it has a serious meaning coupled with the happy go lucky attitude that we also ahve in Austin! Thanks for dropping by!

Crystal Thanks for dropping by. I just added you as an associate and I have to tell you that I am so impressed at your work ethic! Glad I met you and hope to see you again sometime!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Russell, thanks for doing your part to "Keep Austin Weird" while keeping us smiling at AveOne!

Posted by Susanne Lee (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Hi SusannaThanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. I do enjoy the weird parts of Austin AND AvenueOne! HAH!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell...

I must confess  after reading  that wonderful, well deserved feature (AGAIN),  plus all 74 comments  I am so tired, I feel like I ran that marathon in 107 degree heat.... LOL

Lets see...... you volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, run 5-K marathons in 107 degree for the Austin Chamber of Commerce ( or should )  and are a master of words.....un-real Mr. Lewis

I think you are hiding from us that you have to be a professional writer.  Your post are excuse me I think

I will make a quiet exit from blogging and get back to selling houses,( and watching my Steelers )

You sure set the blogging bar  high.

It is so wonderful to see you and your son creating that special memory together.I wish for you many more memories and races together ( only not in 107 degree heat)   Austin sounds like a great place to call your home. I will direct my Austin hopefuls to your direction.......


Posted by June Lewis Realtor® Northwood Realty New Castle,Pa Lawrence Co 7247304571 (Northwood Realty Services) about 1 year ago

June, you are making me blush and I always look forward to reading your posts and our comments to each other too! I must confess that I am not much of a writer but I just take a bit more time and post less often. However, I do also sell houses and like you have to spend more time in the real business world. I like blogging and went to ReBar camp awhile back and learned that i need to start writing more real estate related stuff so will begin...eventually posting some listings, neighborhood info and market updates for the areas where I specialize. Not as much fun but necessary.

I have really enjoyed really enjoyed finding my "voice: here and it has helped to know people like YOU who also post great stuff and write good comments and I also enjoy our friendship that started here. Heck, I even watch the Steelers now! The cowboys are my team but they have turned into a group "drama queens" It's a disaster but wait, I digress...Thanks for your comments and I am a subscriber to your blg too so keep p the good work yourself! Thanks and I will also send any prospects I have to you!!!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Hi Russ again..about those Steelers....Big Ben almost gave me a heart attack during that Redskins game on election eve.Thank heaven our back up Leftwich carried them to a win.  I just heard Ben will be questionable for Sunday against the Colts.  Another nail biting Sunday.  yep...sorry about your Cowboys  but I am sure the Steelers enjoy having another fan.

Our fans dominated Washington with there terrible towels on Nov 3 

BTW  I can not believe you are saying you are not much of a writer....well my friend you are..and I am backed up by 76 others in these comments who agree. Keep it up..its all about quality, interest and enjoyment have it all 
What is a ReBar camp?



Posted by June Lewis Realtor® Northwood Realty New Castle,Pa Lawrence Co 7247304571 (Northwood Realty Services) about 1 year ago

Hi June! I am so disappointed in all of the squandered talent that makes up the Cowboys...I really have watched two Steelers games and rooted for your guys! (There is probably a demerit or two from my fellow Cowboys fans for that)!

Thanks again for the compliment, I have really tried to improve while at Active Rain and Like the progress so far and if anything I need to make my posts shorter (and I probably talk too much in real life too!) posts shorter (and I probably talk too much in real life too!)

ReBar camp was a blogging conference held in Houston recently that had all of the big guys from all over the web and country including Rich and Brad from Active Rain ( my personal favorites) and it was an amazing learning experience.REBarCamp - "The FREE Social Media & Networking Conference that Comes to You!" was FREE, I just had to drive down that morning. I think they are planning something for your part of the world in the future so check it out!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Thanks Russell  I must have missed all that information on REBAR AND WILL KEEP WATCH FOR THEM TO COME TO THE EAST

I am not a fan of long post, but their are exceptions some post like yours, Brads, Rich, Elizabeth Nieves, Donna YAtes in fact all the ones I subscribe to...I read every word and enjoy every word.  Your post are so fun and interesting don't cut them down

(they are not wordy)

Like our Steelers .................keep on, keep on ...........going

Posted by June Lewis Realtor® Northwood Realty New Castle,Pa Lawrence Co 7247304571 (Northwood Realty Services) about 1 year ago

June, Thank you so much. I am going to keep posting the fun stuff (Austin is a gold mine for interesting and "weird" material) while at the same time doing more about real estate. I appreciate all of your comments and have a great weekend!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

I have always wanted to do this run fun, thanks for all the info!

Posted by Kristy Owen, Realtor, GRI (Moreland Properties ) 11 months ago

Hi Russell!
First, congrats on the feature!  Austin sounds wonderful!  I gotta ask you about the local government there.  Our new mayor has introduced the "executive mayor" concept, which we get to vote on next year.  Our council is completely opposed (gee, I wonder why!).  I woman who came to speak to us told us about Austin's local government...council members are at large rather than having districts, if I understand correctly. What is your mayoral power there?  What do you think of the system Austin employs? Is it successful?  This woman raved about how fabulous Austin is and that any city would be proud to have such a successful city! I am going to have to visit someday!

Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunnigan, REALTORS (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) 11 months ago


What does the graphic say?