The Austin American-Statesman and other media today reported that  I will retire as Chairman of Cohn & Wolfe Read-Poland effective July 31.  But the online version was a bit more accurate with the headline…”Public Relations Veteran to Retire…in a Way.”  I am very touched by the generosity of the Statesman article by Tim Eaton (and AP photo by dear friend Harry Cabluck) and the kind comments about it from so many friends and associates. I noted that this piece will save some Statesman reporter the task of doing an obit at some future date; they simply can put a different headline on it.

 I will indeed relinquish corporate duties on that date, but do not plan to shut down the brain. I will continue to counsel some Cohn & Wolfe clients and work with a few other select clients of my own.

I  intend to continue to post stories on this blog and work with contributors who have similar stories to tell. I also hope to get around to writing a book of my various career adventures as I have been urged to do by many friends.

Stay tuned. Every day is a new day!

–Julian Read

All of us who knew him or have been touched by the good cheer and good deeds of Lowell Lebermann are saddened by his unexpected passing yesterday.  Today’s Austin American-Statesman chronicled highlights of his lifetime achievements and public service. It also noted briefly an early, unsuccessful political campaign for State Representative in 1964.

That brought back a smile from personal memories of how Howard Rose and Larry Temple of Governor John B. Connally’s office and a young Speaker of the House Ben Barnes got me involved in that campaign.  They were all impressed with Lowell as a bright young student at UT with political ambitions, so our firm did the advertising and publicity for his race, with quiet support from Austin politicos. But alas, the voters of Norrtheast Texas  failed to grasp the level of talent offered.

Nonplussed  by the loss, Lowell went on to become a successful businessman and became widely admired for his distinguished record of public service as a member of the Austin City Council and the University of Texas Board of Regents, as well as his generosity toward community endeavors. And anytime our conversations would get around to that rare early-day setback, I will always remember fondly his infectous laugh while declaring “that was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Footnote: My late wife Anice Barber Read, who founded and directed the Texas Main Street Program for the Texas Historical Commission, was responsible for preservation and restoration of the historic Christiansen-Lebermann Photography Studio west of the Capitol in Austin. And Lowell and his late mother Sue Lebermann were honored guests on occasion of its debut as the Texas Main Street Center, now named after Anice Read.

–Julian Read