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Michael Barnes

Shudde Fath: The Preview

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Big profile coming out soon from reporter Marty Toohey and me. Here’s a peek:

RGZ 0122 Sudde Fath

January 8, 2016 – Revered civic activist Shudde Fath turns 100 on Jan. 11, speaks with reporter Michael Barnes at her home in Austin, Texas, on Friday, Jan. 8, 2015. RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Her first foray into open combat saved a fire station.

In the early 1970s, the Austin city manager wanted to move the fire station on Kinney Avenue in the Zilker neighborhood to the other side of Barton Creek.

“If the fire station was out there, from one direction they’d be blocked by trains, from the other direction by floods,” says Fath, who turns 100 on Jan. 11. “I’d seen them save a child who was choking and a neighbor’s mother having a heart attack.”

So, not for the last time, civic activist Fath marched down to the City Council without any notes.

“I was just incensed,” she says with a gentle smile. “I went up there and blew my stack, then just walked out. They didn’t move the fire station.”