This Civil Rights Lawyer Remembers a Slower Austin

He saw the city transform into a hippie haven.

By Travis Putnam Hill & Caroline CovingtonJuly 5, 2016 8:12 am

David Richards has witnessed a great deal of change in Austin since first moving to the Capital City more than 60 years ago. The civil rights lawyer and ex-husband to Governor Ann Richards recalls the 1970s as an especially pivotal moment of transformation.

“Austin in the ‘70s was in transition from being sort of a typical Texas town being run by bankers and insurance men … into a city being run by all kinds of different types,” he says. “At the same time, the place was full of a lot of stoned hippies.”

For Richards, that era involved hanging out at the iconic Scholz Garden “plotting foolishness” with his fellow liberal advocates and spending weekends camping or canoeing with his family.

“Austin in that era was … just slower paced,” he says.

Listen to his story in the audio player above.