Before you even ask, yes…I’m that mom. You know the one that dresses her dog in cute outfits, takes her everywhere and has about a billion candid photos of her? I’m her and I am PROUD to be her.
Can you blame me? Look at my fur-baby, Mocha Gurl. She is a 6.5-pound Imperial Shih-Tzu.
Mocha became my fur-baby on May 5, 2010. I call that date “Cinco de Mocha.” She was a loving gift from two friends of mine in Las Vegas; and her Papa Jim and Uncle Jeff had to fly to Vegas to pick her up at 12 weeks old and bring her back to Texas. She was born full chocolate like her pup-dad – hence her name, but as you can see she decided to ‘go blonde.’
Mocha goes just about everywhere with me. Did you know that Barnes and Noble, Lowe’s, Home Depot and a host of restaurants in Bee Cave and Austin will allow you to bring your fur-baby with you? When she isn’t with me, and I’m not at work, she’s at Dogtopia doggy day care in Lakeway on 620. She plays with lots of other small dogs at day care and I can watch her online via their webcam! She doesn’t know she is small and this past August was attacked by 2 German Shepherds and won! Her first friend was a Great Dane! She and I visit the Bee Cave Dog Park off of 620, and even have our own newsletter and Facebook page. I’m telling you…she’s THAT great of a dog.
This little package of fun is one of my pride and joys (we have a 16-year-old sister kitty, who I also treasure). Like most pets (and I hasten to use that term), Mocha loves simply to be with me, doing whatever it is I happen to be doing. Her favorite activities are going to Dogadillo at the Galleria for their monthly “Yappy Hour” and running through the fountains of the Bee Cave Amphitheater during the hot summer months.
Like most parents, I care about my fur-baby’s on-going education. She is an American Kennel Club-certified Canine Good Citizen and has graduated from all doggy obedience training with Miss Christine at PetsMart. She understands four languages: English, Spanish, American Sign and dog; she communicates her wants and needs very easily. All she has to do is look at me with those big eyes and I know what she wants.
Rayborn Rex Jackson
1920 – 2012
Rex devoted his life to education and helping those less fortunate than himself. He received a bachelor of science in education from Texas Technological College in Lubbock. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp in 1942 and served for the duration of the war.
While stationed at the Bryan, Texas, Air Base, he married Loraine McNeil of Hearne, Texas, on October 14, 1944. Rex and Lorraine were happily married for 68 years.
Jackson received a masters of education degree in 1947 from the University of Texas at Austin and immediately went to work for the University as Assistant Director of Admissions. He held that position until 1957, when he took the job of program examiner for the Texas Commission on Higher Education, now the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. In 1963, Jackson returned to the University of Texas as Associate Director of Admissions, a position he held until his retirement in 1980. He then continued to work part time in the admissions department through 1988. In 1990 he received the Arno Nowotny Medal from the University of Texas, which honors retired staff members who have made outstanding contributions in student affairs.
Jackson was a charter member of the Asbury United Methodist Church in Austin, and was very active in the First United Methodist Church in Marble Falls, Texas.
He was an avid Texas Longhorn fan, and he loved to travel with the UT Flying Longhorns and good friends. During their retirement, he and Lorraine flew all over the world with the Flying Longhorns. He also was a gardening enthusiast and shared his vegetables with the community – especially those in need. The produce from his garden was often featured in the local paper because of its enormous size, and he frequently won local produce contests.
He is greatly missed by his community, numerous god children, friends and family, including his wife Lorraine and his daughter and son-in-law Jenny Jackson and Robert “Jake” Jacobsen, nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews.
Martin Don Lebow
1948 – 2008
Martin Don Lebow was a strange man. He was brilliant in school; but he had struggles fitting into modern society. After he graduated from college, he moved to Hawaii where he could live mostly “off the grid.”
As his niece, I didn’t know his choice of lifestyle wasn’t the norm. To me, he was just Uncle Don and he happened to live in Hawaii and work in a cool T-shirt shop. Of course, it was 1979.
Now, nearly three years after his death, it’s easy for me to look back on his life and know that I, too, share some of his quirkiness. I’m proud of those quirks. Through Uncle Don, disappointing as he may have been to some of the family, I have found a sense of freedom of choice. He didn’t confine himself to societal norms. He worked on computers before the age of the Internet. Microsoft courted him for work and yet, he chose either through apathy or direct will, to continue working in his hourly job at the T-shirt shop. He was in constant need of money – Hawaii isn’t the least expensive state in which to live. He also had many friends and was much loved by his coworkers. Weird isn’t just celebrated in Austin; Hawaii welcomes it, too, evidently.
Outside looking in, it can seem that Uncle Don was a hermit who chose to live his life a part from his family on the mainland. And that’s okay. He was unaffected by his choices. He lived as he wished to live.
Diagnosed with adult diabetes, he again made choices that defined his very existence and ultimately his death. He chose not to care for his body and for his life. It’s easy to get frustrated at an adult who knowingly chooses to not participate in their health, and make the choices we ourselves would make. It’s hard not to judge this weird, strange, and not-quite-right guy. But, he was my Uncle and he was who he was.
His death was unpleasant and most likely wasn’t peaceful. But, he died the way he lived…his own way.
I think Uncle Don would like knowing that this computer, a machine he loved so much, is dedicated to his memory. He would like the fact that other people, who may or may not be like him in their quirks, are living their lives the way they wish and using technology to ensure they get to keep their quirkiness.
Mike “Moosey” Muchow
1961 – 2011
My brother, Mike went home to God on January 20, 2011 and I miss him so much. Mike was an awesome father, brother and husband. He was a self-taught engineer for ALPS Automotive for over 25 years. He was a genius at building things, a creator. I have memories of amazing toothpick constructions. He once built a small plane with one of his high school teachers and flew it from Colorado Springs, Colorado to Pueblo, Colorado. He built manufacturing robots for ALPS which made items such as the computer chips that go into automobile airbags!
Most of all, I remember us as kids, helping him eat when he had patches over both his eyes or playing school (I was one strict teacher) or when we were playing house and I made him eat paste cookies—-and he did!
He loved life, his family and his Harley. He never met a stranger and he had a million quotes. “FOLLOW ME,” “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE GOOD TIMES,” and “YOU GOTTA MAKE THE GOOD TIMES”are some of my favorites.
Mike, gone too soon…….