Landscape and Garden Design Implications of Water Conservation

It is almost embarrassing to live in Louisville, Kentucky owing to the current weather trends. In mid-November we have yet to experience below freezing temperatures. The entire year has been incredibly moderate with near perfect periodic rainfall supplying near-perfect landscaping conditions. The very notion of some impending drought seems ultimately wacky.

But I sympathize with other geographical micro climates, having lived there and having always suspected this pass of water angst. The ideas below may seem absurd to Kentuckians, yet many of the artistic principles are being adopted here for purely aesthetic reasons. That is a also product of smaller land areas and sometimes with homes built on tricky land forms. Urban life, of course, deals heavily with dense populations and somewhat smaller plots for homes. And – make no mistake – water will become an issue at some point, even if it implies shipping it out and allocations of local water intentionally allotted at a higher level to those in need. And now I am making this unnecessarily long.

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I have 500 posts in a blog produced over the past 9 years, making it incredibly easy to forget how many times I have addressed a topic. 😉

It turns out, after a small audit, I have a dozen or more articles relating to water conservation. In reviewing these, it was almost like playing Pin The Tail On The Donkey choosing which ones to recirculate and why. But topical it remains, this entire water problem, particularly now with corporations buying water rights as a new investment tool, then undoubtedly allocating the supplies which were once free-wheeling and natural to us all. I hope the seriousness with which I view this now-growing problematic situation comes through.

All pictures in this post are of my own designs and installations. I have always felt a personal experience viewpoint delivers a more impactful statement of a subject of any complexity at all, because we can see my own adaptations to the realities, instead of it being some theoretical concept.

Water may well end up as the “new Oil”, in terms of resource value. Understanding this will matter as time goes on, especially Out West in the United States, as well as in countless other climates and continents. This is a recirculated post which – combined with a part 2 – explains how one town deals with landscaping in the midst of water shortages.

With the thought of conserving water borne foremost in mind, what does an unrepentant garden lover do to adjust to the new realities? How do we change the way we design gardens and landscapes? What fundamental changes are required in us to develop gardens in still-beautiful ways when we face so many hard decisions about social responsibility and in such a public way? Let’s face it – as I have said before, landscaping is the “Ultimate Cosmetic”. No one deals with a larger palette.

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What do we do when we find out we have an actual budgeted amount of water use? As absurd as this question may sound, it is the height of design wisdom. Water auditing for existing landscapes and gardens have been and should take place prior to their installation or further development. A sense of how much water we have used in the past should reflect favorably on making changes to lessen them in some very specific ways. The methods are out there and the results for redeveloping existing lawns and gardens as well as for installing future ones can be and should be more than exciting, actually. There is much to learn but it does not have to be anywhere close to disastrous. The fact is, done right, we can literally make things better as opposed to merely settling for some dire end.

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What to do with grass lawns?

In the first place, the primary sponge for water in typical landscapes remains lawns. I have always maintained that cutting down lawn space actually can give a completely new and fresher look to an existing home landscape. While lawns serve a variety of functions, including a place for children to play (perhaps its most important role, IMO), they do not have to be a monolithic presence. Broken up appropriately, over time, a lawn can change into many things, among them an adjunct and contrast to new color and new features. Lawns do not have to be gigantic at all. Inasmuch as their cool characteristics make them so similar to water in a landscape design’s effects, leaving a pool or “lake” of green is wise and refreshing.

Cutting the size down to resemble a feature in their own right can include shaping them to reflect their “semi-aqueous” nature. It can set a lawn apart, actually and thereby take advantage of how glorious colors look as a backdrop to swaths of green.

Grass can be engineered to resemble a literal trail, or pathway. Instead of having a monstrous assembly of grass as a mono-colored foreground, it can lead to interesting places, offering a cool walk in bare feet to inspect the place better. At the same time we find it interesting in form as well as function. The gentle and most inviting curves of a lawn lead the eye on in a wholesome way, appreciating the structure and form of a landscape itself. It’s a bath in cooling and soothing color and texture – the perfect use of grass lawns to a designer.

Lawn grasses have been developed now which send their roots an insane depth, which require far less watering and are virtually geared to a more responsible water usage. They stay just as green for longer during Summers- in fact, more so than Bluegrass – owing to their drought tolerant natures.

My bottom line is this: so far, I have not cut out the notion of grass lawns, simply because I happen to love them. Admittedly, they should be used far, far less in desert climates – among others – and there is a body of thought that has no need whatsoever for a lawn to make a garden beautiful. In fact, let’s visit some of them now.

How do we replace lawns in design?

This is a huge and interesting subject. It reflects all that is newest in landscaping, from the array and plenitude of hard-scaping materials to even water features themselves. I realize how ironic it must seem to proclaim a water feature to be some sort of alternative method of landscaping with less water. But they do. And they do it well, indeed.

Water features recirculate water. Once filled, the same water does the same dance over and over and over – well, you get it. Yes, there can be evaporation loss and, yes, we install automatic fill mechanisms to “top off” the feature once it reaches a certain lowered level. But, even in hot and sun-drenched and hot Nevada, we rarely run a 3/4″ feed pipe more than 2 minutes a day on normal sized features, implying the use of about 30 gallons, or less than a shower a day.

Landscapes whose be-all and end-all in the past was a wide expanse of lawn studded with trees have now become far more complex and interesting. In place of the expensive water-thirsty lawn, we now have “features”, like this water feature and the pretty patio and walkway pictured here. Full of color and shape, the carnival atmosphere lightens the mood yet still provides a consistency of form and function. The ultimate irony of a landscape such as this is that, after figuring the watering costs for a lawn set ion the same place over time, this place will have comparatively paid for itself in three years. After that it is just beauty and money.

The home owner of this place below wanted lawn and nothing else. He owns a car dealership and he listened closely as we explained what the costs of lawns was and where they were headed. As a businessman, he investigated on his own as well, having some thinking fodder to work with. Delighted with his research, he assigned the water feature you see below which he thoroughly and absolutely relishes watching as it rushes along below his patio deck above. Lit up at night, the falls and the creek have phosphorescent appearances at three different falls locations. As with all well-installed features, such as lighting and waterfalls with pumps, it runs off a timer and stops automatically to preserve power. He also served good wine. 😉

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A different mind set in general accompanies all this increasingly complex designing, now that the monolithic lawn is out of consideration. Suddenly, things like more patio space are entertained. The notion of sculpting the actual land by creating hills and mounds studded with rocks and plants becomes a fascinating alternative, making the entirety of any landscape suddenly more riveting an event. More park-like, less boring, more interesting and livelier by far, suddenly we are actually released to play around a little bit. Art seeps into the equation at about this time and all designers, I bet, can trace the moment of this discovery. It actually gets a bit intimidating, the truth is, because designers become far freer to experiment and to entertain alternatives for the regular folks – instead of just for the wealthy. In fact, it becomes an imperative.

We arrive at features like Bubble Rocks.

We do new things – different things – things like inserting lighting, making vineyards, enlarging patio space and making walking platforms from natural stone – all of which I will show next as we consider what features we deem suitable for a water-conserving regime which retains beauty before all else.

Avante Garde Things – Real, Not Trends

Yes, this is another recycled post from about 3 years ago which I feel good enough to re-post with a couple of additions. Inasmuch as I am officially a “retired landscaper”, we will not be seeing more pictures of myself and friends on the job.  My last one was about 2 years ago, here in Louisville.

For a landscaper, any intensity of interest towards something Avante Garde might seem unusual. But these are the bizarre personal complications our Maker has decided to afflict some of us with. The inspiring nature of art needs to be a part of any grade school and especially junior high school curriculum. Artists hang out way out there in their own whimsy, dedicated beyond the norm to present a weird brand new world of wonder for we admirers to sensually and mentally take in. They perform these works selflessly and most often wordlessly.

Enjoy.

My good fellow blogger Frances the other day lamented the curse of “trends” in gardening, speaking to an irritation I can cop to as well. Here is her rant – fairegarden -and I sincerely implore people to check it out – for the colorful explanations of her angst as well as her usual stunning pictorial abuse of her very own garden. It made me consider the qualities of art and, really, everything – and it also made me consider those things which move me most.

I have a very real fascination with what I consider to be current  ‘Avant Garde’ artists. I also like the connoisseurs of those artists who blog, review and attempt to describe their heartfelt relationships with wild ideas. A restless pursuit of new things can be an addiction – at its worst we become unseated from our table, off chasing the current butterfly. At best – and these are the moments we cherish – we discover something new, uplifting and which cracks open a window into another world entirely. The sheer differentness of utilizing normality to express meaningful connections in new and unique ways shows us our own potentials in their amazing variety. It reveals, too, a depth which is so fortunately unfathomable at its highest expression.

Here is Ernst Reijsiger and Mole Sylla last Summer at a workshop in Amsterdam using classical elements of beat, instruments and the rest but putting it into a stew of cross cultural and uniquely human celebration:

Nor does the stark ability of an artist in his or her moments of great achievement mean any less simply because of the era. Our discovery makes it contemporary in all the important ways, be it the Avant Garde qualities of Antonio Gaudi or the painted styling of Hieronymus Bosch. The unattributed photo below illustrates an incredibly stark imprint of time and place on the part of the artist. In its enlarged state, perhaps you too can find why and how I found myself utterly riveted by it.

A partially-excavated Sphinx looms in its unfinished excavated form and quite broken splendor over the relatively tiny bodies of workmen or perhaps passing Bedouins who had used it as a shady rest stop for Centuries. The contrast of modernity – which is the picture itself – mix with the grandness of scale and the breath of living subjects amid the ruinous nature of Time.

Clicking to enlarge this picture reveals far more than the compressed visual here. Indeed, all of these are prone to enlargement, although I have scaled back the monster shots which take up so much bandwidth, to Annette’s relief.

Less than a pursuit of genius – which is another level of inquiry and surprise – I glory in little discoveries of felt presentation which move me in mysterious ways. Needless to say, among the Avant Garde of modernity, architects and builders tend to rule over a region of art and accomplishment like few others – and I include landscape design artists such as Isamu Noguchi who make indescribably evocative and massive sculptures out of land and the products of Earth itself.:

Below is what was a landfill in Sapporo, Japan before Noguchi changed things:

More Personal – My Private Enthusiasms:

An absolute favorite artist of mine is a lady named Helen Nock – website here – who plies at garden furniture construction, sculpture, iron work, roofing tile salvage and who puts together gloriously beautiful and impractical pieces over in merry Olde England and with whom I share yuks on Facebook. Her overall body of work is absolutely and utterly unique:

Michael Eckerman of Santa Cruz, California is an artist in stone – among other mediums – website here – who constructs structural landscape elements using a bizarre variety of forms and materials. In the case of this landscape retaining wall, hard by a driveway, his love of surfing and the ocean display an uncanny sense of motion and force. Nor is this the only case where Michael works with nature to provide breathtaking works of landscape and interior home art.  His work has to be seen to be believed:

In closing, I can hardly think of a more interesting sampler of sound and depth than Joe Zawinul and his usual collections of the best musicians on the planet:

Random Pictures of Interest – Yawwwwwwwn

Strictly eye candy – hopefully enough to keep everyone entertained……… 😉

I am running extremely whimsical with this. In a way, I am just showing pictures from my Mighty Massive photo file system which have not appeared here before. New blood, as it were.

It also gives a chance to plain have some fun without too much hyped-up thematic discipline, so it’s even cooler. The pic below is my brother Mike posing with our very own Mother, often referred to as “Mom”.  They both seem reasonably happy, so why not etch that rare moment on historical online Eternity? 🙂 I lied, of course. Truth is, we spend most of our time laughing.

Anyways, sashay with me through various and sundry pictures, none of which match.

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Here’s a hole in the wall at the Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon.

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Modernistic planting, somewhere.

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Let’s face it. You don’t see Dry Water every day…………

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A highly-suspicious plant.

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Some interesting Iron Work a very good iron man did at a project of ours.

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Here’s some iron work of Antonia Gaudi’s. Now THIS is a gate!

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This fountain always tickles me.

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The Portland Japanese Garden is inspiring, quiet and beautiful. Even the fish agree:

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Yew Dell Gardens in Fall. Dude could use a haircut and a shave.

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Here’s that big Singapore fountain at night:

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Now, this is a river.

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Multnomah Fall just outside of Portland.

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I always loved traveling this stretch of road between Reno and Portland, Oregon. It was about 540 miles – which is a grind no matter how scenic – but this approach to Mt. Hood not only meant I was getting into more treed areas, it also meant I was within about 60 miles of home. Even in Summer – with the snow nearly gone – Mt. Hood was like a relaxing sight.

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Here’s a flower!

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Dealing with the desert – you can find some strangeness, for sure. Here is a mulch only a lizard could love. The good news is it grew up nicely.

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And the desert can bloom – don’t let anyone tell you different!

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Prune This!!!!!!!!!! 😉

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This is a lot of moving water. 6,000 gallons a minute, to be exact.

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Narwals:

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Making Bubble Rocks can put you in some tight spaces.

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And some are tighter than others:

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I always have liked what we did in making this little creek.

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I absolutely love this picture. I shamelessly add it here, not knowing where I got it. I hope the author does not mind.

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“Sobering” applies to this military cemetery in Louisville, I’d think. It is amazing quiet here. Speaking as a veteran, I often wish more of us would visit these places. You’d be amazed at how many connections you have here and elsewhere.

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You know you’re up early when this sight greets you on the drive to work. Of course, then again, it could be lunch time in the Yukon in December. 😉

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Would this be called a “Green Building”?

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Here’s something you DON’T want to see when you get low on gas.

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Those nutty Barcelonans will do anything for a laugh.

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An interesting landscaping idea?

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Here’s Louis XIV and an escaped horse in downtown Louisville.

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This is what it’s like driving from Reno, over the mountain to lake Tahoe in Winter.

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A patio and landscaping project in Portland.

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You don’t see rocks like this every day. Nor woodwork, for that matter.

HPIM1274An interesting Architectural feature from the Portland, Oregon Chinese Garden.

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The Truckee River as it courses through the midst of downtown Reno, Nevada. This shot is at the head of the fabricated kayak run, designed for competitions. Yes, it is in the middle of town.

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A luxury swimmin’ hole we helped construct in the woods near Lake Tahoe. We did everything on top – just not the pool itself. The paving, rocks and all that are ours,

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Another fountain, now that I am the Fountain Maven at my new blog at Pond And Fountain World………nothing special, just quite unique.

And unusual.

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Anyone seen my Narwal?

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The Class of 1966 – Musings Now From Distant Years

In August of this year, my high school graduating class reluctantly faces it’s 50th Reunion. I’ll qualify “reluctant” by saying not all are hoping it never happens. Far from it. We have some humorous people among us who relish the wonders of rediscovering our inner beauty with new faces and fresh new approaches. The fact is so many of us would not miss it for the world. In many of our cases, the new medium of Social Media – be it Facebook, Twitter or simply the internet in general – have allowed quite a few of us to actually get to know each other yet again, in an entirely new light complete with children and grandchildren, passions, and many of our diverse interests shared publicly. We have consistently been impressed with the creative energy of our peers as well as the richness of their family lives. We have also shared emotions.

At the same time, we lament the losses of friends who meant so much to us. It is a function of age that we encounter mortality on a recurring – if no less disappointing – basis. We all know the stab of pain we feel when yet another of us shuffles into the next world. We honor them with stories and memories from our past and prove and extend their immortality as we ruefully smile at the shared silliness and excesses back when we were helplessly thoughtless and probably at our most appealing. They still enrich us.

Susan Coffey, with the undoubted help of the indefatigable Sharon Hagerman, Larry Masters, Nancy Russell and suspicious other characters as yet unknown to me have decided I could contribute this piece as something worth entering in the silent auction which was such a resounding success in our other reunions. I confess I am intimidated as hell by the threat of producing work for this crowd whom I expect is anxiously awaiting my failure but not in a nasty way, ironically. Ha ha, anyway, it is my own private tension. Perhaps most readers of this are wondering at my doing something like this. I assume it is likely unexpected to many who have not followed me in recent years. Face it, I was a highly Non Intellectual high school quasi-student, know more for sports, laughs and flirting than scholarship and the cultivation of memory. That is an unfortunately proud legacy, in fact, a childishness which has stuck like glue to me and which I secretly hope never to leave behind.

Having said that, I certainly look at this project as something fairly serious and I absolutely relish the challenge.

Lord love a duck, we have all been through some incredible times.

Thus armed with qualifiers, I’m going to begin with a statement which comes from that era and which I feel has always more or less defined our group as placed inside the world’s “Whole Shebang”:

September of 1963 was one hot deal. My earliest memory was pre-admission ….I remember myself practicing football in weather that would shame Las Vegas. It stayed in the high 90’s with unendurable humidity during our 2 practices a day in August as classmates Steve Bare, Danny Howes, Roy Kennedy, Tom Higdon, Wayne Catron, Sam Tandy, Bill Smith, Larry Adkins, Sam Estes, Larry Moorman and others I probably should recall all lined up for Coach Ralph Genito’s uncompromising torture chamber. A group of 60 plus eventually made its way downward to just 31 players in a reprise of the Bear Bryant “Junction Boys” film. That Genito played for Bryant was readily – and painfully – obvious.

What eventually transpired was a very successful season, which led to even better seasons by the time this group graduated. This brutal introduction made for a supremely tough bunch of lads. I believe the eventual total record during our time at Senior High was along the lines of 34-6, if memory serves. Each season also saw OHS ranked at Number 1 in the state at various intervals.

When school commenced, we had already been there, is what I am saying. Of course, so had the marching band members, among many others in the various clubs and organizations which reached out to incoming sophomores.

I so remember my initial sense of finally walking the halls at Senior High at what seemed a vast, unending stream of friends and total strangers passing hurriedly by from class to class in an incredible maze of personality, style and vocal tone.  My own experience very much included choosing faces of strangers as symbols of my own strangeness – every single day I literally and silently recorded new faces for my entire high school sojourn. Every trip down a hallway represented an experience of seeing people for the first time.

As freshmen at Eastern, Southern, Foust and Western Junior High Schools, each and every one of us had looked forward to finally “getting there” to the Big O – Senior High. It was a virtual and shared Rite Of Passage. In many ways, we all felt the same nervous energy and curiosity. The sight of our friends provided us a comfort zone which we regularly relied on in our strangeness. There was no Hubris to be found. We arrived as the “tourists” in a gaping maw of high school energy, the smallest and perceived youngest of them all. As Captain Beefheart so eloquently put it in his song “Ashtray heart”:

“It was a case of the punks! Right from the start!”

Honestly, how were we to know that what we entered then would set us up so incredibly well for our futures during the upcoming turmoil and amazing churn which was and always is American history? The lessons experienced in Crystal Edds’ or Louise Brodie’s English classes had ramifications over which I have long wondered at their persistence. The Math classes of Mr. Puckett’s resonated hugely for Jim Nation, Jim Gilmore, Denise Hilliard, Susan Parish, George Dejarnatt, Jimmy Walker as they patiently picked their ways through intellectual puzzles which led to eventually terrific and successful careers as achievers, Moms and Dads. Speech and debate classes so overlooked by so many led to some eventually marvelous political awareness on the parts of so many who embraced them then. We had a virtually world class chorus. The Rose Curtain Players presented near-professional dramas.

The intellectual growth fed to our class by such a competent teaching crew has led to many accomplishments by high-end intellectuals, but it may have formed an even more important lesson plan for the less renowned among us. In the end, it is my belief that a good education supplies more than simple job qualifications. I honestly believe we were taught that absolutely anything is possible. The promises of a bright shiny future, which are the staple of Valedictorian and High School Principle’s speeches upon graduation led us to understand the subtle relationship of idealism and personal success. When they kicked us out into the world, 3 years after we entered, we joined the speedy maw of history, some in ways far more direct and immediate than others.

We eventually lost friends in Viet Nam, that great vacuum of turbulent idealism and counter idealism which sucked us up and tossed us around like dice in a cup in Las Vegas at unfortunately tender, barely mature ages. As a result, for some of us, our collisions with reality contained the absolute and most horrific “worst of Mankind” – War – death and destruction on a scale which was so incredibly hard to fathom. It killed James Conkwright, a person I am still delighted I was enabled to spend time with, (even if Tommy Jones and I once cheated him out of $8 in a poker game, a shame we both still talk about in a wry admission that we both miss him to this very day). The Viet Nam veterans in this class were numerous, a list I am afraid I cannot render. But, know that within 4 years of our matriculation at Senior High, we had men falling physically to wounding and death during a controversial war which sucked up numbers of young men like an out of control industrial vacuum. Nor does this begin to cover the psychological and spiritual wounds which many of us carry to this day.

We moved along, graduating from colleges, many of us already reading the future and just plain going to work, some of us even before graduation. We began the hard work of being citizens and many of us moved directly to the equally hard and rewarding work of being Moms and Dads. We mowed our own lawns. We had some beer. We flirted and searched for acceptable mates. We got married and bought homes.

Some of us traveled, unready to settle down entirely while so much mystery remained to be studied and seen. These were the restless ones, people sort of like myself, actually, to whom I always feel obliged to seek out to discover what they found themselves. Their captivating stories of their adventures in France, Tokyo, Saudi Arabia, or merely their fascinating inner journeys to psychological continents and planets of which we know little we let  speak of in poetry and art. Or they inform us in words we learn to value, in dimensions of time and space we had not seen before this. I am unaware of anyone who became a preacher or Priest, but I am willing to bet top dollar that we produced some.

It is my belief that the rudiments of our educations alone put us in an excellent vehicle to make whatever journeys we all embarked on. At the time of our experience, Owensboro High School was exceedingly proud of what their students were accomplishing. And, make no mistake, this piggy-backed on top of what had already been accomplished by others who went before us and resulted from the successful educators who led us to these moments. It was obvious to us all that a high quality of student and eventual citizen was not some weird anomaly from our school. We were – in the last analysis –  an extremely fortunate group.

We discussed values and often economics in our school. We were forced to study our histories in those classes we were so hilariously reluctant to attend. We studied higher mathematics, from Plane and Solid Geometry to Trigonometry to Calculus. We had Physics and Geography classes, Government, Chemistry. We were required to write out in long hand form and, of course, in some cases typed form, entire thematic choices for our Senior English subjects. We were made to pay attention whether we liked it or not. To this day, I respect the manner in which we were taught. It was a tough love in so many ways, added to which were the expectations of our instructors which were etched in rock. Those expectations as much as anything else were the engine which drove the bus.

It was a good, high quality education. We had an education which, in the very highest sense, kept our curiosity alive. This was the essential gift of our lives. Curiosity knows no age. It is as timeless as the memory of our first kiss.

Real Life

And we moved along with the river of Time itself. Our children matured, politics raged as some of the vital material of good citizenry. Controversy abounded as the best of us relied on the give and take of dialogue to try and reach clearly imperfect decisions. We oversaw so many social changes it frankly boggle the mind. The racial and gender-specific changes which occurred since our graduation, while bumpy as hell, have produced a far more egalitarian society.

We have watched the incredible birth and development of technology and the Internet. The global nature of life has become immediate. I regularly communicate with Israeli’s on a near daily basis. Got a question? Just ask. In 5 minutes now, we know the answer from another perspective, even if it comes from Mexico, Australia, Iraq or Israel.

Our careers have been recorded and, for most of us, they are also finished. The achievements here are frankly as off the charts excellent as would be the case almost anywhere. A recitation of special accomplishments by the members of our Calls of 1966 could occupy our time for literal days and weeks.

Make no mistake – successful families are duly noted here. Indeed, nothing is more important.

The shame in my recollections is in the sparse reward I can offer such an immensely successful, still smiling and popular group. Nor are these successes surprising. We expected no less and so did those who taught us. Now we are somewhere else, altogether, aren’t we?

Things got real. And then it got really, really real. The 50th Class Reunion. I mean, how real is that?

We now find ourselves collectively approaching our 70th birthdays. This 50th Reunion surprises us – well, at least me, anyway. We seem to have arrived here on some amazing Express train – maybe on of those Japanese or Euro models that travel up to 300 MPH. As we collect ourselves and dust off the accumulated dust from our most recent 50 year experience, we pause as we consult the world as we now know it. Amidst the love and caring we receive upon this reunion – as we bestow the gratitude of decades to one another and to those others so intimately and objectively responsible for our journey’s fate, our wisdom comes to the fore as the gift given to those who age with the curiosity planted by teachers whose greatest accomplishments are a restless mind.

Carl Jung has an interesting take on this era we now share together. His quote:

“The afternoon of life is just as full of meaning as the morning; only, its meaning and purpose are different.  A human being would certainly not grow to be 70 or 80 years old if this longevity had no meaning for the species to which he belongs. The afternoon of human life must also have a significance of its own and cannot be merely a pitiful appendage to life’s morning. I believe the approximate time between ages 56 and 83 offer each of us the opportunity to make the process of aging a positive and life-enhancing experience. Regardless of whether we find ourselves only approaching that “afternoon” of life, or deep within it, we need to learn and stay conscious about what we can do to live an ongoing life of quality and purpose.

Jung implores the aging personality to discover himself “while sweating the small stuff less”.  I believe we all understand the glimmers of wisdom in these remarks, even as we live in an age which too often is prone to devalue the elderly. I believe the combined wisdom derived from the experiences of one widely-informed, OHS-educated person such as every single man jack one of us offers a window into eternity all on its own. So many connections are made when we find ourselves dropping the pretensions of competing with younger people. For most of us, that sort of work is already done.

Our actualization is beginning, not finishing. We are far more able to tie together strains which avoided our intellects owing to a lack of interest or because of competing impulses and needs based on the stages of life which delivered us here. I feel this reunion takes place at a juncture for many of us which faces us with choices we never appreciated until now. We can now remember our private nightly dreams, for example. We are better able to verbalize our thoughts, worked out in precious solitude which is a right of our maturity. Our imaginations should be getting a boost and our recognition that so little changes in spite of the strident claims of media outlets so dependent on fear to sell themselves as somehow necessary.

Our paths are not finished, is what I believe. In fact, we face a richness of experience which only concentrated truth, memory and love can give. I am extremely proud to be able to offer my own experiences as an equal member of our OHS Class of 1966 tribe in relishing our experience together from not only the past, but also into a very colorful, disciplined and delightful future.