I Can’t Go Back to Austin Anymore…

In the 1970s Texas legend Doug Sahm wrote a song by the above title…It appeared on The Return of Wayne Douglas album…I always thought it would be a great name for a radio program dedicated to Texas singer-songwriters…At any rate, this title comes back to the forefront of my mind as tomorrow I am heading for Austin, Texas for the Society for American Archeology meetings…I left Austin in 2003, I’ve returned only briefly tograduate in 2004….It’s been almost 5 years since I’ve been back to Austin…and I have mixed feelings.Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE the town and feel that I had the academic and cultural “time of my life” there

…the program was exciting and inspiring, the music scene was great, the food can’t be beat (I DID have problems with the weather & traffic however.

T.J. & I on south First Street in Austin, Texas in 1999.

But going back to Austin for a conference somehow feels weird…T.J. will be meeting me down there (It will be the first time I’ve seen my wife in a month as we are currently living on opposite sides of the state)… so combine that with the conference being in a town I once called “home” and it makes for an experience decidedly at odds with my usual conference behavior.

You see…I’m one of those “go to every paper, go to every happy hour” kind of conference goers…I feel cool stuff is being said in the papers and cool stuff is being said in the bars afterwards & I don’t want to miss a thing! Unfortunately, that means I often do not leave the conference hotel (…ask Davidson..he’ll confirm my story).

Well…This will not be the case at this year’s SAAs as I get to e with my wife and hang out in the town that we both loved…get to go to the old haunts, the old eateries…

Yet…I still feel those pangs of responsibilities calling me to the conference sessions….”Come hear about the engendered archeology of the nineteenth-century Midwest” it calls …or “You NEED to hear that paper on public engagement“…

I’ll let you know if I find the happy medium…wish me luck.

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