Ruby Ridge

Garden Clubbing

So, kittens, did any of you notice the article about the Alternative Gardening Club a few editions back in QSaltLake? It certainly caught my eye. In case you missed it, here’s the skinny. Apparently the boys and girls of the Garden Club completely ripped out, weeded and replanted an entire flower border at the Kearns Senior Center as a service project. Isn’t that fabulous! I was fully engorged and throbbing with pride to hear of our community members doing something so selfless. So much so, that I e-mailed Russ Pack, the leader of the Garden Club, to offer my heart-felt congratulations. He e-mailed me back and graciously invited me to attend one of the club’s meetings, which are held the first Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at Sugarhouse Park’s Horticultural Building. I must admit, cherubs, I was a little apprehensive meeting a bunch of gay men I didn’t know in a small concrete building in Sugarhouse Park at dusk, but apparently it happens all the time! You would think you could recognize these folks by their gardening garb, but a word to the wise, petals – not everyone wearing knee pads in Sugarhouse Park is a gardener. I guess some of the folks trolling Craigslist come seriously prepared! 

Anyway, muffins, I met the Club and I have to say, they are just the most delightful bunch of people!  The particular meeting I attended had an informative discussion on pruning shrubs and trees led by local gardening guru Dean Anesi. Pumpkins, I learned more in an hour than I have in years. I learned when, why, how and where to prune, and the great thing was, the meeting was so comfortable that I didn’t feel intimidated – or to be politically incorrect, “retarded” – because of my complete lack of experience. I came home so motivated and brimming with ideas that I jumped on the computer that night and googled everything I could find about Cheyenne Privets and Chanticleer Pear trees. Darlings, I feel so empowered that I am going to reforest the entire planet one bayberry shrub at a time.

But the funniest part of the evening was after the meeting, when everyone was mingling over refreshments. Only then did the truly gay roots of the Garden Club get exposed. Lo and behold, someone was contemplating painting their house exterior and innocently pulled out a fan of paint swatches. I kid you not, darlings, there was a collective high pitched squeal of gay excitement that probably scared the dogs out of the duck pond. This wasn’t one of those little four color swatches from Lowes, either. Oh, hell no. This was a gigantic industrial strength two-hander with thousands of colors. Oh my God, it was gay pandemonium and I LOVED IT!

But here’s what I learned from this fun experience, kids. We (as a community) need to get out more. How many gay folk are cooped up in their homes or apartments, wasting hundreds of impersonal hours on the internet when they could be out meeting people, making REAL connections, improving ourselves, learning skills or just basking in some real world social interaction? There are dozens of organized opportunities where you can meet people like the Hiking Club, Gardening Club, bike teams, Gay Bingo, Spicy Dinner groups, seminars or even continuing education classes. So I say there is no excuse for you to stay home and feel isolated. Go call an old friend and have a coffee or a cocktail. Call someone you haven’t seen for a while and go see a flick or have brunch. Call some buddies and go cruise the Car Show or the Farmers Market. There are heaps of things to do in this town, so get off your bum and put yourself out there. You will do yourself (and our community) a world of good. Happy mingling, babies!

Oh, and before I forget … Third Friday Bingo in September will actually be on the fourth Friday at First Baptist Church in Salt Lake City (777 S 1300 E at 7:00 p.m.). We will be performing at the Camp Pinecliff Retreat for People with AIDS during our normal Third Friday time slot, so hopefully we will see you on Friday the 26th instead. MMWUHH big kiss!

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