Thursday, December 3, 2009


Yesterday I had lunch at the Blue Dahlia with three Very Smart Gals, (left to right), Aralyn Hughes, Debra Winegarten, and Mari King, and I'm still buzzing.
Aralyn Hughes is described on her website as a "two-legged fiesta," which is not an exaggeration. This icon of Keep Austin Weird, and realtor extraordinaire, is so full of energy and complexity that if we could figure out the conversion, we could use her to stop global warming. Not only does she live in a super-cool loft in one of the old historic buildings downtown on Congress, but she doesn’t own a car. How does a realtor not own a car? She’s that smart! Debra Winegarten works at UT in the Astronomy Department by day, and by night, she writes biographies of women in Texas history for middle school students. Like her mom, Ruthie Winegarten, Debra is a quiet, insightful observer and documenter. Many years ago Debra’s mother Ruthie, and Jan Humphrey and I, produced a history of Austin Women, “Austin Women – 150 years of Trial and Triumph.”  I feel fortunate to have discovered Debra – I just feel smarter when I’m around her – so I’m going to try to be around her more. Mari King is a new friend and new Austinite (having just moved here from New Mexico), and gal-howdy she’s a good one. I loved it when she said something along the lines of, “I’m really smart so I need to be putting that to good use.” My New Mexico friends had told me she was super sharp, and they weren’t kidding. She’s looking for a cool job, so if you need someone with a big brain, lots of initiative and no fear – here’s your gal. Her background is real estate (specializing in relocation), and as a business owner and consultant in the spa industry.


  1. Great photo! Maybe I have an overactive imagination but does the pose have anything to do with "I Feel Sad About My Neck" by Nora Ephron? (one of my favorite books) Everyone who has read it will relate. Whatever, you have neat friends! Charlena

  2. You crack me up Charlena. I had a serious photo and this one, and just thought this one had lots of pazzaz. I love Nora Ephron's books too. If you haven't read any of Ruth Reichl's book, I think you'd enjoy her. "Garlic and Sapphires" is wonderful, "Tender at the Bone," "Comfort Me With Apples."

    Yes - I do have neat friends - like you!