Friday, December 19, 2014

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Austinites prepare to leave impression on F1 visitors

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TWC News: Austinites prepare to leave impression on F1 visitors
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Prepare to Qualify: On any given day, musicians like Justin Clark are learning their chords at Heart of Texas Music store on South Lamar Boulevard.

Ray Hennig opened the store more than a half-century ago. Since then, Hennig has helped stars like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Christopher Cross and ZZ Top get their start. He often loaned musicians guitars and amplifiers to be able to play at local clubs.

Hennig told YNN about the time Vaughan found his favorite guitar, "[He said] this is the feel I've been looking for all this time. He told me lots of times afterward, 'Ray, if I hadn't found that guitar, he wouldn't have played guitar like he did.'"

Guitars and the stories behind them aren't the only things tourists seek. Michael Young says the western storefront of Callahan's fits the vision many non-Texans expect to find in the Lone Star State.

"There is still that mystique--that cowboy mystique--of Texas," he said.

Young makes sure not to disappoint. "They can walk in here, and you can see a rooster up front, or you can see chickens in the back," he said. "You can see goats. We've got pet pigs that walk around the store.”

Young says tourists often come to get a custom-fit cowboy hat, one they choose from walls full of different shapes, colors and materials. The same is true for cowboy boots. The store has an entire room dedicated to them.

“I do not know what to expect. I know it's going to be a whole lot busier," Young said.

It’s also another chance for Central Texans to showcase the culture they're known for worldwide.

The Formula One race will be held in Austin Nov. 16-18. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP