Restaurateur, rub board player with the Cornel Hurd Band, and bon vivant Danny Roy Young passed away yesterday.
To me, Danny was one of the last "good guys" here in Austin TX. Cut of a different cloth than they make folks from these days, he was always generous and kind, respectful and respected. To my mind he was a walking embodiment of the contradiction of Texas Good Ol' Boy and Hippie, displaying only the best aspects of each backround and none of the flaws, the very sort of person that made Austin the unique place it used to be. They called him the "unofficial Mayor of South Austin" and that was no idle honorific. His sudden and untimely passing marks the further erosion of Austin's creative culture, and creates a void I don't see anyone stepping up ti fill.
In happier times, I used to gather with Cornell, writer John Morthland and a rogues gallery of old honk tonk musicians for a weekly lunch at Danny's Texacali Grille. I would listen in as these old salts would trade war stories and tall tales over plates sweet potato fries and other comfort foods, with Danny's homemade root beer flowing all the while. It was a finishing course in music, show business and the manly arts, all of which Danny had a wise word for.
I've been going over it in my head since I heard the news and I cannot recall anything other than a smile on his face and a hearty laugh on his lips. We should all be so well remembered.
Here's his Obituary and notices of his passing in the local press.