MUG: Novelty mug of unknown manufacture, featuring the UT Tower. The mug is generic in shape, size, material, but features a disappearing/appearing graphic feature. In theory, you pour in a hot liquid, and the tower lights up orange (as the tower does after a UT victory on the gridiron, or a national championship in some less important sport). Oddly, when at room temperature, this mug displays the tower sheathed in a poo-colored mantle.
COFFEE: Barrett's excellent Colombian Estate, medium roast (or, as Starbucks is re-framing this level of roast, 'blonde').
NOTES: This novelty mug commemorates the Main Building of the University of Texas at Austin.
The 307-foot tall UT Austin Tower, designed by Paul Cret of Philadelphia, was completed in 1937. Through the years, the Tower has served as the University's most distinguishing landmark and as a symbol of academic excellence and personal opportunity.The tower has notoriously been the site of many deaths over the years. Distraught sophomores used to leap from the observation deck to their death. I horrifically had one such student-suicide occur as I was sitting on a bench beneath the tower having lunch one day. Luckily, for me, he landed around the corner from where I was seated. The observation deck was closed soon after.
The observation deck of the UT Tower offers a spectacular view of the UT Campus and the Austin area in all directions. Thanks to the cooperative effort of students, staff, and the University administration, the observation deck has recently been remodeled and reopened to the public for the first time in nearly three decades. As a part of the renovation process, persons with disabilities now also have access to this monumental view.
Charles Whitman used the observation deck during his sniper-murder spree. My proposal in an art competition, to commemorate those who died that day, was to embed white marble outlines of their bodies around the campus where they fell. Strangely, it was rejected by the selection committee. Poo on them.