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The Texas Embassy Living Museum (1985)

Wallace and Euna Pryor

Sound | 1985

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  •  Texas actor Guich Koock is among the supporters for the Living Museum 
  •  The vision for the museum is outlined 
  •  A wildlife park will be another attraction at the museum 
  •  An outdoor amphitheater will be built for Texan musicians and entertainers 
  •  Austin has been chosen as the museum’s site  
  •  Texas: Its spirit must be preserved!  
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Narrated by Wally Pryor, this slide presentation advocates for the creation of the Texas Embassy Living Museum in honor of Texas’ sesquicentennial. Supported by notable Texans such as Guich Koock, this living museum would present a glimpse into the rich history of Texas by presenting authentic buildings from a hundred years (1836-1936) of Texas history. In addition to buildings and historical re-enactors, the living museum – located in the Texas hill country – would also feature skilled craftspeople, numerous theaters, exhibition halls, and a wildlife preserve. It was hoped that the Texas Embassy Living Museum would function as a major tourist attraction for visitors to the state and for proud Texans.
Known to many as the “Voice of the Longhorns,” Wally Pryor served as the announcer for UT sports from 1953 until 2002. While his voice was certainly recognizable he also played an active role as a producer – for KTBC, amongst others – and regularly served as an emcee for various events. Wally regularly worked as a producer for his older brother Richard “Cactus” Pryor. The films in the Wallace and Euna Pryor collection represent a range of films, including home movies, various pieces he produced, and films featuring himself or Cactus Pryor.  
Guich Koock, born William Faulk Koock, is a sixth generation Texan whose mother was Mary Faulk, sister of Texan author and famously blacklisted radio entertainer, John Henry Faulk. Koock grew up on 23 acres in a Victorian home just south of Austin, which his mother turned into the well-known Green Pastures restaurant in 1946. Consistent with the Faulk family's progressive values, Green Pastures was open to all races beginning on its opening day, 18 years before the Civil Rights Act. The Koock family lived above the restaurant, raising animals and enjoying constant visits from friends and extended family.
In high school, Koock worked as a driver for author and folklorist J. Frank Dobie. His access to Dobie influenced his intellectual interests and led to his acquaintance with many prominent Texans, including Tex Robertson, who hired him to work at Camp Longhorn. At Camp Longhorn, he befriended Cactus Pryor and Hondo Crouch, with whom he remained friends into adulthood. Koock studied history and English at Texas A&M University. His Master's thesis was a history of slavery in East Texas, compiled by Koock from an extensive series of interviews with the children of former slaves in the region. Koock was later awarded a Lomax Fellowship from the University of Texas to collect Texas folklore from South Texas ranches.
In 1970, Koock teamed up with Crouch to buy the town of Luckenbach, Texas. With the help of its owners, Luckenbach became a major tourist attraction in Texas and hosted five World's Fair celebrations. It was in Luckenbach that Steven Spielberg's casting director spotted Koock and recruited him for a supporting role in The Sugarland Express (1974).
Koock spent the next two decades traveling between Texas and Los Angeles, where he perfected the part of the "good ol’ boy" in movies such as Piranha (1978) North Dallas Forty (1979), American Ninja (1985), and Square Dance (1987) and television shows such as Carter Country (1977-79), Lewis & Clark (1981-82), and She's the Sheriff (1987-89). He also made recurring appearances on Good Morning America, The Tonight Show, and The Merv Griffin Show.
Koock has three children: Travis, Dobie, and Jennifer. He continues to occasionally appear onscreen and is currently working in green technology development with his partners.