Ave Cedar! Nos sternueri te salutamus!

December 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hail Cedar! We who are about to sneeze salute you!

What is Christmas in Austin without cedar fever? This year it arrived about a week before, on the heels of that blustery cold front, the first real cold front of the season. Sometimes we are luckier and we begin the glorious new year with dry itchy eyes, runny noses, sore throats, sneezing, wheezing, coughing, sinus headaches, and a general malaise.

cedarCedar fever has been around as long as Austin has, but it was about 1926 when scientists finally figured out what caused it. In 1928 the Hay Fever Committee of the Chamber of Commerce campaigned for a city ordinance requiring all male cedar trees within the Austin city limits to be cut down. The committee believed that this grandly scaled exorcism would go far in relieving the suffering of victims. The committee ended its campaign when the Travis County Medical Society declined to endorse the proposed ordinance. UT’s Texas Ranger humor magazine offered its own unique humorous take, drawn by Joe Ernest Steiner, younger brother of Buck Steiner (owner of Capital Saddlery and bootmaker Charlie Dunn’s boss) and the most prolific college humor magazine cartoonist of his epoch.

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