Public and Private
The basement of the Texas State Capitol is full of family photos. Underneath the castle of pink granite that rules over the city of Austin and all of Texas (the “extraordinary edifice by any measure” has the most square footage to its name of any state capital), the walls are lined with rows and rows of these:
Yearbook-style photos of state legislatures, by year, smiling out from the late 19th century to now (even George Bush’s gubernatorial pics). The tone is warm and family-oriented, with the photo assemblies including secretaries, clerks, pages, and legislators’ children – some lucky babies and girls even get to be official “mascots,” “sweethearts,” and other elaborate, exciting-sounding child government positions. I’m wondering about the selection processes – hopefully democratic.
We were in the Capitol at night, when the public is apparently free to nose around if it feels like it, or at least the security guards don’t seem to care.