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Moon towers

February 13th, 2014 by jomo

Online this AM was a story about Austin’s moon towers, and that reminded me of something.

Cactus Pryor was a very well-known media personality in Austin, working his whole life for KTBC radio and TV (he died in 2011). Among the various programs he did was one which dealt with his reminiscences of growing up in Austin.

As a guest on that program one day he had a fellow who had fallen from the moontower at 9th and Guadalupe and survived. The tower is about 150′ tall, and the boy had climbed it, but slipped and fell. He plunged down inside of the triangular lattice support structure, bouncing from side to side so that he never achieved the velocity that free fall would have produced. His whole body was bruised and bones were broken, but he survived.

That had happened in the early 1930s, and it quickly became a schoolyard legend for Cactus and his schoolmates. Decades later Cactus still remembered the story, did some research, found the fellow still living in Austin, and had him on the show.

As I recall, the fellow was rather reticent, and Cactus had to work to draw forth his memories of the event. But Cactus was at his best, because he was speaking to one of his childhood heroes.

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