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Michael Barnes

Stephen and Jill Wilkinson target Heritage district, Joe Gross rates summer flicks, Pam LeBlanc talks peaches and grapes, and seeing Art Anderson’s Texas

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Stephen and Jill Wilkinson are trying to save the eclectic feel of the Heritage district.

Stephen and Jill Wilkinson are trying to save the eclectic feel of the Heritage district.

CITY + STYLE: Aldridge Place couple helps to save eclectic feel of Heritage district. Taken from my Statesman story: “The first house that the Wilkinsons saved sat across the street from their Aldridge Place home. “It was sort of unpleasant,” says Stephen Wilkinson, a retired lawyer and banker. “The house was about to turn into all bedrooms. They wanted to put as many people in it as possible. Experts looked and said: It’s a disaster. Historic people didn’t see it that way. We ended up buying and renovating it. It’s a nice house now.” ubsequently, more alert to preservation issues, he and his wife, artist Julia “Jill” Wilkinson, turned their attention to the neighborhood across Guadalupe Street from Aldridge Place. The Heritage district, which lies between West 29th and West 38th streets, with North Lamar Boulevard as its western boundary, is an extremely eclectic enclave. Unlike Aldridge Place, developed in the early 20th century, Heritage has grown piecemeal since the 1840s.”

Earns-Disney-Movies.JPEG-03MOVIES + BUSINESS: Looking at summer’s high grossing movies. Taken from a Statesman story by Joe Gross. “We are, as far as the summer movies go, about thalfway through the season. Some movies have triumphed (hello, “Jurassic World”); some have flopped (“Entourage,” we long to forget you). It’s too early to tell how a few movies are going to fare. For example, the well-reviewed “Magic Mike XXL,” which opened July 1, has grossed $26.6 million so far, not too shabby for a movie with a budget under $15 million. Interestingly, “Terminator Genysis,” which opened July 1 and received absolutely brutal reviews, has grossed $28.7 million, which is not exactly what Paramount was hoping for.”

SLT-peaches-and-wine-04FOOD + TRAVEL: Grapes and peaches thrive side-by-side in Hill Country. Taken from a Statesman story by Pam LeBlanc: “Drive out on U.S. 290 into the Hill Country and you might wonder if grapes are replacing peaches as the staple of Fredericksburg farmers. The short answer? No. Experts say both industries are thriving, even benefiting each other. But the long answer gets a little more complicated. In Austin, most people are familiar with Fredericksburg peaches. Nationally, though, Hill Country peaches are only a blip on the peach-growing radar. The top peach-producing regions are California, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. Not so with wine. Within the past five years, the Hill Country wine scene, which includes 60 wineries — about 30 lie between Johnson City and Fredericksburg — has drawn attention on the national and even worldwide stages.”

Art Anderson's USA from November 1946 LCRA News.

Art Anderson’s USA from November 1946 LCRA News.

ARTS + CITY: Here’s an anecdote left out of my upcoming story about LCRA graphic artist Art Anderson. His nephew Ross Smith writes: “His dad was hired in 1918 for a year by the New Mexico highway department to oversee the section of Route 66 connecting Sante Fe and Albuquerque and the Indian pueblos inbetween.  They lived up on La Bajada Mountain.  His mother took him into Sante Fe once a month for shopping, and Art told me of riding his tricycle up and down the long boardwalk porch of the old Governor’s Mansion.  (Years later, in the early 1990’s, I got to talk with some of the very old Indian artisans working there – they still remembered Art, and said he was a holy terror, because his trike shook the porch so much they couldn’t get any work done.)”