Austin lost a legend early this morning: our iconic, cross-dressing Leslie Cochran, eternal mayoral candidate.
I thought this article from Texas Monthly online was really well-written, and this Austinist post puts it in a nutshell the best: Austin is now a little less weird. Make that a lot less weird! Leslie was definitely the Queen of Keeping It Weird. I hadn't been seeing too much of him in the past year.. but then you'd catch a glimpse of that barely thonged bottom meandering along a street somewhere and all was right in the world again.
For me, Leslie always brought back memories of my very first experiences in this city, when I arrived in November of 2005. The crisp scent of fire pit seemed to follow me around, I did a lot of two-stepping, spent more time in South Austin than probably the past five years combined, and Leslie sightings were quite a common occurrence. Back then, he was always out and about-- strutting around on South Congress, changing in the bathroom of Jovitas, humoring drunk folks on Sixth Street by posing for novelty photos...
(I had a great one with him which I was going to post right...*here* but can't find anywhere...will keeping looking..even if I have to hack into my old Myspace account for it!)
Not to sound trite, but without Leslie, a little bit more of old-school-Austin faded away. :(
Tonight at City Hall, at 5:30pm, they officially proclaimed tonight Leslie Day! This will be followed by a Love for Leslie march down Sixth Street, with Leslie attire encouraged (tiaras, thongs, cheerleader skirts, boas). This Sunday March 10th at 2pm there will be a memorial service open to the public at Auditorium Shores.