Home > Howard Family, Hunt Family > From Eugenia Hunt’s 1987 Diary

From Eugenia Hunt’s 1987 Diary

October 4th, 2015

Jeana 1980s


The following is one of many of Jeana’s travel journals that I am lucky enough to have. I’ll be putting up excerpts from time to time. I thought you all might enjoy this one.



May 1987

Eugenia Howard Hunt
1317 Spyglass
Austin, Texas

Shell House

Here I am out at the Lake Travis at 809 Mariner. Rented my town house in Austin to Meg Ryan, a young Disney star. I stayed around at friends houses for a while because I felt this place was too alone. Ledi’s [?], Ella [Watson’s] and Dorothy [Barnett’s]. But Poppy and I decided to come on out. He certainly isn’t much of a watch dog but friendly. The Lake is a miracle of changing lights, and in this weather – huge clouds, dripping rain – clearing to sparkle than back again. This 29th of May it rained all night and is at it this morning. That soft soothing surreal note as it patters on glass, concrete and trees. The trees are whirling in the wind, but it doesn’t seem noisy just snug inside.

Dr. Bill Lockhart’s son-in-law called early this morning to say Bill is dead. Just after the lightning flashed and I felt as though I saw a great pine fall. He was always master of his situation right or wrong – and he was a fine, fine doctor. Every time no one else could fix me up I’d call Alpine or go up there. His wife Laura-belle is one of my dearest friends. I do hope this won’t be too hard on her. She’s such a loving lady. And if anyone [who] criticized Bill, he was an enemy forever.

I called Grainger to tell him about it. They want money for a heart machine in Alpine. I think I’ll send it to Laurabelle instead. She’ll need it for he did so much charity he couldn’t have made much money in his practice. And there are so many expenses after a loved one dies.

Jean Garwood called. I am staying at the Stephen F Austin [Hotel] with her for the Garwood wedding tomorrow nite, in Austin.

I arrived at the hotel – and had a large corner room. First T.V. I’d seen in weeks. The Lake has been so quiet, reflective and relaxing.

Jean calls hysterical. “Be ready at 6:45.” I was and Jean too in the lobby awaiting here son-in-law. He was ten minutes late, but she was quiet. We picked up Ellen Garwood, Jean’s mother-in-law. I praised Ellen for her T.V. appearance from Washington D.C. and the money to the Contras affair. She was steady straight and unafraid. She said however she would rather have me believe she was right then how she presented it. Of course I could say nothing. Giving private money to a war this country doesn’t approve – and then have the money disappear. She was a pigeon. But I admire her reasons. She honestly thinks she’s saving the world from the communists. Poor Mr. Colorado – Coors knew he’d gaffed.

The wedding was in St. Matthews, a new Episcopal Church, north. Twelve bridesmaids – They kept coming. But they were lovely to see. The bride and groom were well-matched and in love. The storms threatened but we seemed to miss them. Back to hotel – mezzanine has a mirrored ballroom opening to the above trees over Congress Avenue. The cool rain washed everything dripping and clean floated in. Lights and food nicely reflected in the mirrors – a dance orchestra, worlds of young people and a few of us older ones. Sam Dunham III was there. He danced with me and made my evening. The layered cake was half way to the ceiling and wreathed with freesias, summer rain and sweet flowers.

Sunday Ledi met me for a lunch at the buffet at the hotel – Too much non-simple food plus champagne. She and I can talk a blue streak about life, people and happenings.

Back to the lake after picking up yesterday’s mail. This sunset for the evening was Hell in the sky sweeping over the lake under ominous clouds. It swept from left of west to the middle of north. The radio talked about it – since several people have marveled. My old friend Bobbie Yount, the master carpenter said his wife said, “Bobbie, look outside and he though what now” He said, “He never saw such splendor.” Took pictures of it.

The next morning took pictures of the dawn – gold and gaudy pink. This morning – a piece of rainbow against an almost black sky.

June 2, 1987

I awakened early. Took my exercises – breakfast – wrote checks for mailing – cleaned house, showered – and was out by ten. A wild rain storm caught me. I had to pull of the road. All kinds of errands ahead. Cleaners. Travel agent, Maude Anderson’s for sweater and lunch. Rain – rain – rain. It’s 9 PM. It’s still raining. Steven Franden came out and got me for supper.

Sunday, the 7th of June [1987]

I am in my second Bermuda night. I feel as though I am in a civilized Crete. Wouldn’t they be amazed over that conclusion? The Greeks!

The water is soft, transparent and quiet. A Ryder moon – mysterious yet is illuminating. [Reference to American artist Albert Pinkham Ryder?] The air is divine after Austin’s deluge! I ran around in the rain for days until everything reached flood stage then like a rat in a trap. Took poor Poppy to the vet’s to be left for 2 weeks.

Spent the night at Ledi’s to be nearer in. She locks one in like a jailer – bars everywhere, key locks and bolts. I think I fear fire more than burglars.

Houston was wonderful. Stayed with Georgia. Doris Childress took me to the De Menil Museum opening. A tent-like a house with rooms and windows – delicious food. But first the crowds outside – the speech by Dominique was warm, tender and humble. She was never that way before exactly. Always poetic but not humble. The museum – perfect: simple, direct and bright – I would have liked a few more American artists – but after all! She is French and she had it made and furnished it with her collection. The Magrittes were fabulous. Magritte had no new technique – He used a simple direct almost colored drawing bent. He painted poetry – clouds were his symbols – mountains and rocks also.

  1. Ryland Stacy
    October 9th, 2015 at 17:27 | #1

    Aunt Genia was an amazing lady and looking at her, in Mom’s (Georgia) later years, (look at that pic) they looked so alike! Look at the eyes and nose and those soft kissable cheeks! We all had such fun growing up with the moms, aunts, uncles and grandparents we had and I do feel so thankful for all of them!

    Thanks Sperry for sharing your mom with all of us, I look forward to many more installments!
    Wish my mom had gotten herself together to share her doings and Nannie’s stories!

    Love you, Ryland (S)

  2. Sperry Hunt
    October 9th, 2015 at 17:38 | #2

    @Ryland Stacy
    Thanks, Ry! I miss them too and our waffle suppers, days at the farm, etc. We both had reciprocally wonderful mothers and aunts. They did have kissable cheeks!
    Much love,

  3. Clark Campbell Wren III
    October 10th, 2015 at 08:36 | #3

    Ryland, they were a magnificent generation of ladies and gentlemen. I have very fond memories of Aunt Nancy and Uncle Philo. When I was a teen she paid me to wax their gigantic Buick (’56 or ’57). It had so much chrome on the front bumper. I
    used to sit on their enclosed sun porch and read old National Geographics for hours. They had shelves of them out there. And the wonderful Thanksgiving dinners out at the rice farm. Great memories of the family.

  4. Paula Pierce
    June 29th, 2017 at 18:40 | #4

    Please need more stories about her 3 year constructed Sand Dollar Shell Home on Mariner built as her Art Studio. Currently for sale again. Really want yo assist in getting.a buyer to preserve it.

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