RareBits for May 20th
The Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks
By golly, Karolyn Farrell did it again.
[O.K., let’s have a little background music here (the music is swing with a tap dancing routine to get things going.] An early morning cloud burst stormed in. The gray threatening skies, along with some intermittent misty patter had Karolyn figuring
“There won’t be many that’ll show.” And later:
“Probably only a few will show up.”
Fortunately some people didn’t get the word as 25 PAPO people and guests sashayed in. WOW!!
Be-bopin early was the Bunny who took advantage of the quiet air to snooze a bit. Karolyn arrived with homemade cinnamon muffins. Then John Dillingham – who just had to have a muffin with his coffee. Then Victor Parkerson with his snazzy rain hat and folding chair, came bopin in. Karolyn provided a model for us: Caroline Esch, a cute teen recently graduated from high school — and ready for college. Caroline was a flawless and adept model. With Jerry Plumlee trumpeting and Brenda Longworth humming an Armstrong tune, the six of us set up under the lower white tents. (The upper white tents were reserved for a kiddie, mama and papa program).
The music continued with the harmonic voices of Laverne Nelson, Julie Hayes, Annetta Gregory, Roz and Harrison Ramey and Kay Pickett. Both Annetta and Kay found colorful poppies to paint (nope, none of the brown stuff was around). The next couple to dance in was Barbara and Dan Evans. As Dan swung Barbara around in a waltz step, she managed to show us a unique computerized photo Dan had made.
Gloria Pendry, humming a golden-oldie, completed an oil painting she had started at another Garden paintout. A view that contained a small waterfall splashing down into a quiet pond rimmed with stones. (Ahh, rocks – a calamity for some of us.) Also making the scene were Carol and Mike Tillery, whose musical tastes today ran to uplifting instrumentals. But watch out: the Tillerys are ready for Dixieland! Joan Ausburn and Jaquita Ball had ragtime on their minds as they two-stepped in.
Music from the upper tents drifted down to us. ‘“Not I” said the rooster. “Not I” said the mouse’ as the kids listened intently. However we were not as absorbed as they. Well, most of us weren’t. Victor’s shoes could be seen tappin’ in time with the music. Soon enough he managed to say (loudly) “I’m HUNGRY.”
Just as we were breaking for lunch (a little early to accommodate Victor) Joan Reynolds made the scene. She decided to stay at the Gardens and paint. If anyone stopped to talk with Karolyn this morning and had decided to join us for lunch – well, let’s just say, there wouldn’t nr any empty tables at La Hacienda Restaurant (where we would chow-down). Karolyn asked friend Natalie Olsen to join us while Karolyn’s newly-wed friends – Berta and Louis begged off. (Hey – they’re newly-wed . What can I say?)
We rocked and rolled right into lunch at La Hacienda. Some of us rolled better than others. Caroline’s mother, Liz Esch, and Laverne’s husband, Tal joined us. What a lively and rockin’ group!
But durn, they didn’t have a dance floor! So all we could do is raise our voices. Well, not in song ‘cause we couldn’t agree on which song to sing. We had to make do with talk and gossip and chatter and small talk and chit-chat and speech and scuttlebutt and nonsense and – oh yes – Hot Air! Yep, you could see it’s puffy smoke wafting upward toward the ceiling. Constantly.
Karolyn, thank you so much:
for making all the arrangements for us to once again enjoy the Botanical Gardens. there is always so much to paint and we never run out of varied choices.
for providing our model, Caroline. What a sweetie.
for bringing the muffins. Sorry I didn’t get to them in time. But I noticed that John and Victor were chomping away.
and for arranging our lunch at La Hacienda. Good food with good friends.