Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Few Words From My Friend Darrell Hodges....

Darrell Hodges

   Once upon a time, I worked for the same college newspaper as Darrell Hodges. He was the Lifestyles and Entertainment Editor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and I was the Science and Technology Editor. I feel like his brief commentary below is nothing less than poetry.

   "Our society's craven urge to engage in 'slut shaming' says a lot more about us than it does about those who it deems in need of a scarlet letter.

   "Prior to Super Bowl XXXVIII, Janet Jackson had 24 top ten singles and 10 number one songs; after February of 2004 she never had another top ten single, much less a number one song. As for Justin Timberlake, the man who put malfunction in 'wardrobe malfunction,' his career continued on its meteoric rise as if nothing had happened, and he's as popular as ever today.

   "For all the talk of Miley Cyrus, there's been next to no discussion of accountability with regard to twerkee Robin Thicke. Thicke is married and nearly twice Cyrus' age. As Morrissey once sang, 'You could've said no if you wanted to...you could've walked away, couldn't you?'

   "Alas, things are no different in the political realm, as men like Bill Clinton, David Vitter, and Mark Sanford have proven, political viability (if not outright rehabilitation of one's reputation) has become - at least under the right circumstances - possible for male politicians. Has there been a female politician for whom the same can be said? If so, I'm not aware of her." 

Monday, August 19, 2013

My Grandma's Flowers

"Some people say a flower is just a flower. But that's not true - they bring joy and happiness."    
                                                      -Frieda Spelevoy 

This is my Gramie, Frieda Spelevoy. She will turn 97 in three days. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Gentle World of Stan Brown

I know two professional plant breeders. They are both men, and they could not possibly be more different. One of them is a University-based, many-patent holding, world-traveling businessman, and the other one is more like the legendary Johnny Appleseed. The latter is named Stan Brown, and he owns a plant nursery in Clarksville, Arkansas. Stan always has time for his customers. He can answer nearly any question about any plant, and I have never seen him in a hurry. I visited Stan recently on an outing to purchase catnip and lemongrass plants for my homemade bug repellent experiments. While we were talking in the main greenhouse, I watched him feed his pet turtles that are living in a large tub full of aquatic plants. Stan helped me find the plants I needed as we casually strolled through another large greenhouse full of beautiful, wonderful-smelling things. He showed me the red crepe myrtle shrubs he bred. "You can leave two things (after you die)," he told me. "One is your kids. The other...is a nice plant."
Stan Brown and his red crepe myrtles. At Blossomberry's in Clarksville, AR. 

Favorite Quote #10

"Show a girl a pioneering hero - Sylvia Plath, Dorothy Parker, Frida Kahlo, Cleopatra, Boudicca, Joan of Arc - and you also, more often than not, show a girl a woman who was eventually crushed."

                                   -Caitlin Moran, "How To Be A Woman"