Matthew 7:15

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” — Matthew 7:15

As George and I were driving home from the Saturday meeting, we passed the buffalo ranch near the Rio Grande crossing south of ABQ. It occurred to me that, as a penance for beating my gums at top speed during these meetings, I should stop, climb the fence, and subject myself to being trapped and mauled by these huge beasts. Upon further consideration, and being aware of my luck in these matters, I feared that they might, instead , be sexually attracted to me, and as with King Kong and Fay Wray, you ain’t done ’til the buffalo’s done. We drove on. I began to consider how to change the show a bit to try to improve it, and have come up with the following ideas. As you are already aware, none of this will be written in stone, and anything that seems stupid deserves to be placed at a point in my anatomy which never ( or at least VERY rarely) sees the sun.

1) We are going to limit each member to three main trees and three smaller accessory plantings. I have never liked to send home any trees which are alive and might be thought of as bonsai-like at least… but our shows look better when they’re not jammed. You should be considering which trees you might show now, and prepping them accordingly.

2) Though this dubious honor should go to Connie, since I am that one about whom St. Matt so carefully warned, I am going to commandeer one table for my porcine self and delicate son and set up a sekikazari. I would like for us to be able to give each member a certain space to set up her/his own display next year, if this works out. Besides, after the show I will have been drummed out of the Club anyway– more room for others next year!!

3) Your opinions always are somewhat welcome, so I  we will enhance the People’s Choice award, etc., and try to get more interactive with our viewers.

4) I really want to honor Nicholas in some way this year, especially by devoting a tokonoma to him. If any of you want to step up and manage such a project, let me know. Otherwise, I’ll ask Connie to do it and she can choose some people to help her with it. Flowering trees will be exempt from rule #1.

For you new members, if you don’t have a showable tree yet, here are some ideas:

1) Offer to help Queen Connie with her stuff. She is finding it more difficult to get it all together each year, and we’ll need to assist her.

2) Google “kusamono” and/or “bonsai accessory plantings” and put something nice together that will be a splash of color or other interest— remember small scale. These can be put together almost the day before the show, so their blooms will be good. Osuna and Plants of the Southwest are good sources, and small pots are readily available. Viewing stones— google “suiseki”— are also good to collect, and are easier to grow

3) With a hoarse cry of determination, come early-ish on Friday pm and help set up the tables, covers, etc. In recent years, it’s gotten pretty easy, and there has been a drastically reduced level of sputtering rages, the occasional fistfight, and stalking out of the building in a Capital Snit. I miss those days, though I know many of you who had large, meaty bites taken out of your posteriors do not. Perhaps one of you newer folk can rise to the occasion and inherit the title of which is currently vacant.
4) Don’t be tempted to run out and buy a “Mallsai” to show. You’ll have something good soon enough. Anybody who brings one of those “S curve” elms with a damn mudman in the pot will be terminated with extreme predjudice.

Again, if you think that any-or-all of this is a cheap load of crap, I welcome violent, free-ranging debates. Many of the small -minded among you will  doubtless consider this screed in the same category as listening to 12 year-old girls yammering about Justin Bieber— so be it. I know that many others will be awed by the gemlike gleam of the above thoughts……..