Ice House

December’s Perfect Party

The New Year is Nigh… Edition

By Catherine Matusow November 30, 2014 Published in the December 2014 issue of Houstonia Magazine

From top left: Doug Abernethy, Pam Erwin, Gwendolyn Climmons-Johnson, Claudia Acuña, Chris Kinjo, Robert A. Pruitt, Kay Stevens, Lance Berkman

Image: Chris Danger

As 2014 comes to a close, change—welcome or not—is on our mind, and we aren’t the only ones, it seems. Doug Abernethy and the team at Radio One, where he’s regional vice president, made a change we mourned mightily—the yanking of news station 92.1—although we’ll admit to digging the 2.0 version, Boom 92’s classic hip-hop playlist. It was change of a more tragic sort that befell Pam Erwin and her husband Jimmy. The 2010 death of their 24-year-old son inspired them to create the new Will Erwin Headache Research Fund in his memory in an effort to cure migraines, an underfunded research area. Gwendolyn Climmons-Johnson, charged with stealing $400,000 in a scam involving bogus lawsuits, found herself facing a life-changing sentence, indeed: life in prison. Claudia Acuña, the Chilean singer who made a name for herself transforming jazz standards into something very much her own, performs at the Wortham, Dec. 6. Chris Kinjo, MF Sushi chef/owner, and his brother/partner Alex shuttered one of the city’s top new restaurants (see October’s Houstonia), leaving fans wondering what their MF problem was. Robert A. Pruitt and his cohorts at Otabenga Jones & Associates, the Houston-based art collective, were inspired by that great time of change, the civil rights era, in creating their critically acclaimed New York City installation—a sawed-in-half, pink ’59 Caddy that broadcast interviews and music in a Brooklyn park. Kay Stevens went from enthusiastic Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo volunteer to recipient of the rodeo’s Pearl Award for extraordinary dedication. And Lance Berkman made a transition of his own, from Major League Baseball player, mostly with the Astros, to student at Rice, where he’ll complete the kinesiology degree he began working toward in the ’90s. Now everybody sing along: “To everything turn, turn, turn...”

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