Students of Wizard Academy have heard how 1 man with 5 helpers built most of our campus. This is a photo of that man with his original cast of helpers on the day we opened Chapel Dulcinea 16 years ago. Daniel Denny married Pattie, the older sister of Princess Pennie, when Pennie was about 10 years old.
Daniel was a builder who came out of retirement and moved to Austin in 2004 to build all the buildings designed by architect Marley Porter: Chapel Dulcinea, Tuscan Hall, Engelbrecht House, Spence Manor, The Tower, The Spence Diamond Pavilion, the Welcome Center, the Veranda Room, The Williams Marketing Building, Sunpop Studios, the Grapes and Grain Beer and Wine Bar, the Alamo Shed, the Garden of Joy, the Bride’s Changing Room, the Groom Room, and the big warehouse that currently serves as a barrel aging facility for the Crowded Barrel Distillery.
Daniel built all of that in just 9 years, then moved back to Oklahoma and built a new house for himself and Pennie’s sister, Pattie. And then he died.
Standing next to Daniel is Alberto, holding the $1,000 bonus check given to each team member every time they completed a building. After working for Daniel for 3 years, Alberto moved to Mexico to get married and buy some cattle and become a rancher. He was murdered shortly after he arrived by a man with a knife who was angry about a soccer game. The man in the bright red shirt is Alberto’s older brother, David. The last we heard from David, he was camped outside a jail in Mexico, waiting for his brother’s murderer to be released.
And then Eddie and Ed were lured away to other jobs. Watching this happen reminded me of how the game always fell apart when one of the kids had to go home for supper. The remaining players always drifted away, one-by-one, shortly thereafter.
At the extreme right is Joe Davis, the son of John Davis, the wizard’s close friend for nearly 40 years. Joe moved from Tulsa to help us build the campus. Then he became a real estate broker and a property manager and got engaged to Indigo after meeting her in the Welcome Center at Wizard Academy. Joe and Indigo are returning to Austin today following a 10-day trip to Maui.
Snapshots, when you look at them 16 years later, tell stories of the future that awaited each of the people in the photo on the day the picture was taken.
– Indy Beagle