July 12, 2007
My favorite place in Austin is the Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail. It’s a great place — you’re outdoors, it’s natural and pretty, and there’s always a big group of folks there, enjoying being active and being with other people.I run on that trail as much as I can. Liz and I also have used it as a place to just clear our heads, walking around the lake talking and thinking through things that have just happened or that we need to do.It’s really hard for me to imagine Austin without that place. In lots of ways, it defines our city and region.Lady Bird Johnson, who died this week at 94, should be and will be remembered for many great things. That trail will be one of them.I had many opportunities to spend time with Mrs. Johnson over the years. She and her family were very generous to me in that regard. She fascinated me, and she was always willing to graciously indulge my questions about history.She leaves an important imprint on so many things. Her example and her approach should inspire us. As I told the Austin American-Statesman, “Most of what we do today to enjoy our remarkable quality of life, from conservation to simply walking along our beautiful Town Lake, we owe to her legacy. Our actions today are the offspring of her vision.”What a life well-lived.