Sunday, July 27, 2008

My "Fifteen Minutes"

I think I've recently come as close to a brush with greatness as I ever will, which, admittedly, is pretty sad; however, when one's personal aspirations aren't very high, little achievements mean a lot. I've mentioned before that I really enjoy listening to, watching, and teaching with many of the podcasts available these days on my trusty ipod, especially while gardening and working around the house; through this medium Ken Druse and Vicki Johnson have become two of my favorite "gardening buddies". Through their podcast (which is actually broadcast on one or two radio stations in their region), "Real Dirt with Ken Druse", they entertain and inform me every week as I water, pull weeds, and hack back the trumpet and cross vines which would eat our entire landscape if we allowed it. Ken has long been one of my favorite garden writers and photographers, and Vicki is a great gardener, environmentalist, writer, and photographer in her own right, so I was honored when they asked me to help them test out their new setup for integrating remote interviews into the weekly broadcast. Vicki was delightful, kind, and easy to talk to, which made the process at least enjoyable. The technical aspects must have worked reasonably well, since they used my stammering, rambling thoughts on yesterday's podcast; I hope I don't come across as too big an idiot.
Vicki and I talked about lots of things, including family connections to gardening, my haphazard approach to garden design (due mostly to space, time, and laziness), and the challenges of integrating botany (among many other subjects) into elementary music instruction. We also discussed my main reason for starting this blog, which was initially for weight maintenance - I can't type and eat at the same time! It was really a fun conversation, but knowing that it was being recorded somehow increased my tendency to hem, haw, and stammer; I guess that's true for most people in similar situations. There's no "backspace" or "delete" button when you're talking, and pausing to think translates into dead air, which is every bit as bad as it sounds.

I highly recommend giving Ken and Vicki a listen; you can do this at the computer without even going through the process of downloading itunes (though how life is possible without it is beyond me) - just visit this link

and follow the instructions available there. My somewhat flaky, but well-intentioned conversation with Vicki is included in the broadcast titled "Good Gardening and Blogging".


Zephyr said...

Thank you so much Jeff, for you kind words! It is people like you who keep us going when the going gets rough.

This is, as you know, vicki with her Blogger handle signature.

Cosmo said...

How great to hear your voice--I thought it was a wonderful interview (is Williamsburg really the boxwood capitol? Must be the British influence).

Did you survive the storm last night? Last I heard, you were still recovering from last week's. Once again, we got none of it--I'm probably going to have to water tomorrow.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the interview, and it's wonderful to know about Ken and Vicki's show.

Cosmo said...

By the way, Ranunculus had NOTHING to do with the bad weather yesterday, unless he did his own rain dance while I was out looking for planters.

Jeff said...

Thanks, Vicki, for everything - getting to know and interact with you was one of the great adventures of my summer!

Cosmo, you are too kind. I would say Williamsburg and Mount Vernon are about neck and neck when it comes to boxwood. I'm not crazy about it (I'm not into plants that need shearing), but I have about 6 which my grandmother rooted and gave to me when we bought this house, so I can't get rid of them. She rooted lots of cuttings, since one or more of her grandchildren managed to run over the ones that flanked the entrance to her driveway at least once a year.

BTW- I'm ready to invite Ranunculus over for a personal rain dance. We're getting nothing while floods occur all around us!

Phillip said...

I just had a chance to listen to the show today and you were great!