From the desk of John Egert regarding this Saturday’s meeting (9:00 a.m. May 2 @ Heights Cumberland):
Well, I have now entered the yearly phase of Bad Bonsai Dreams. Last night, I dreamt that a rival bonsai club– full of charlatans who showed artificial trees and strange papyrus-like plants— were horning in on our show. They were bullying us and stealing/destroying our plants with dismaying impunity. We finally decided that violence was the only solution, and my last image was of Connie– dressed in full leathers– wailing away with a wicked Hell’s Angels-style chain whip………. the horror….the horror.
But I know that those of you with Real Lives don’t have these visions. I did get a couple of questions about the show, which I’ll go over now and on Sat. 5/2 at our meeting.
First, we have rarely–if ever– had as many new members in the ABC as we have now, and I’ve never had as much fun with the gang of bull-goose loonies that have apparently been sent by their parole officers to the Club— God knows why. My whole approach to teaching newcomers has changed as a result of watching our earlier wave of new people, who have learned very fast. If you are new, and want more basic teaching/info, let me know. All my mental thrashing around over the show may have resulted in giving less attention to those who are totally new to the art, and I’d be glad to spend extra time after our meetings, or?? Hang in there, and keep reading and watching Graham Potter and Ryan Neil on youtube.
#1: What about this stand issue?? If you have stands for your trees, that’s good, but usually everybody brings whatever they’ve got and we mix-and-match( making it a good idea to tag the bottoms with your name, BTW). So, if you’ve got something good, bring it, and we’ll find a stand for it.
#2: How about training wire?? Some wire on show trees is OK. In the post-Kimura era in Japan, it is now seen as a sign of willingness to improve even old, established trees by wiring, and it is acceptable there. Big wires on the trunk would probably be considered too crude.
#3: How many trees?? My three tree limit idea was an effort to improve the overall quality of the show, which is always better uncluttered. If you’ve got more than three good trees, bring ’em. I have no idea what will show up each year, and with lots of new members, this year will be especially surprising, for good or ill….
#4: If I don’t have anything to show, what can I do to participate?? The Friday afternoon/evening setup is always a tableau of some weirdness, and is always entertaining. Generally, several tragedies are narrowly averted, and occasionally old friendships have been sorely tested— though things have been fairly quiet and smooth in recent years. We now have a number of action-oriented new youngbloods in the club, who could probably set up the whole damn thing in 20 min….. Therefore, I have taken steps to provide a taste of the old personal invective and bitterness which lent color to the setup and takedown….. more about that at the Sat. meeting. Also Google-up “Shitakusa” and “Kusamono”, and see if you can put together an attractive accent plant— we usually need quite a few, and they can be done at the last minute.
Also, we need to have a group of members doing docent work during show hours. It’s fun to do, and you hear some of the oddest comments by viewers. Even if you’re a beginner, you know light years more than our average visitor. We’ll have a signup sheet for this at the meeting.
I haven’t thought too much about the Sat. demonstration…. George wanted to get a bunch of small junipers and let viewers try their hand. We’d need some experienced hands to help…. we’ll discuss.
What else?? God knows that should be enough….. Keep talking to me with ideas— even if I start laughing hysterically. I’m really looking forward to what you brainiacs have in store….
Oh, I forgot.. Burt is going to do a segment for the KRQE AM news show on Thurs. this week. He’s supposed to be in the 7:00 am hour, which, I THINK, means it’ll be seen on KASA Channel 2, but I’m not sure. I’ll call the station tomorrow and try to clear that up and let you know. Burt has apparently had his Duck Dynasty-Style hair and beard greatly subdued, so don’t be deceived if some Young Republican-looking guy is yammering about bonsai on Thurs.