Doug Austin is a presence in the community that everyone knows. Austin, a gentleman, is master of ceremonies at the Idyllwild Summer Concert Series, appears on stage with the Olde English Theatre or Stratford Players and always goes out of his way to greet friends and strangers with kind words and a humble personality.
His time in Idyllwild has shown him the importance of community and has kept him busy continuing to grow his passion.
Another thing about Austin: Every week for the last 10 years, he has given his beloved wife, Patricia Austin, a rose to show her his love.
“Patricia Alvarez Austin is the greatest gift I ever received,” Austin said. “Her intellect, charm and beauty would impale all men’s hearts.”
Austin has lived in Idyllwild since 1986, after moving here from Winchester, California. Even though he was away from the town for a little over five years due to work, Austin has called Idyllwild home since he fell in love with the community, it’s cozy cabins and beautiful views.
“I had a dear friend and employee that lived here,” Austin said. “He invited me up and I fell in love.”
Many know Austin for his use of the Old English language and desire to keep it alive. At a young age, Austin was taught the importance of proper English.
“From 12 to 16 years old, when I would come home, my father made me read Shakespeare for a half-hour every night before I got to turn the TV on,” Austin said. “I didn’t realize the great value of that until I got into high school, taking English literature, because I knew all the characters.”
Austin has been a thespian his whole life, combining his passion for acting and the art of the Old English language.
“I was in theater in high school,” Austin said. “I have a bachelor’s and a master’s in theater. It was a different world. Back then, I was able to run my master’s and bachelor’s concurrently in Southern California colleges and universities. Being in theater gives you the chance to be who you’re not, which is part of my passion for it.”
After his schooling, Austin wanted to pursue acting as his career. But considering it was tough to financially support himself on acting alone, Austin spent 30 years in the corporate sector while keeping up with his love of the theater.
Austin can be seen on stage more often than not, whether it’s community theater or as the emcee for events like the Idyllwild Summer Concert Series. Austin’s love for the community is part of why he calls Idyllwild home.
Austin spends much of his time being active in the local Rotary Club, the children’s reading programs at Idyllwild School and reading the classics of the Old English language.
“The great value of the community is not the duty around them, but the people within the community which is the real treasure,” Austin said. “Idyllwild will provide you everything, even though we don’t have a cobbler on the Hill.”
Austin, who created the Mary Austin Scholarship and Grants Program in honor of his late wife, helps students achieve their goals in the arts and academia.
When asked what advice he would offer to our future generations Austin said, “Believe in yourself. Believe in others and most importantly — if you’re looking for perfection — it’s already there.”