Spring Is Bust’in Out All Over” and the song is being sung loud and clear all over Oakwood. John Gray’s ‘spring is here’ chorus is one of the most beautiful. The front meadows of John’s ‘Farm’ along Ridgeway Road are solid yellow-daffodils-and-white-jonquils. Vehicular traffic, dog-walking traffic, bicycles, and skateboards have ‘piled-up’ while their ‘operators’ have slowed to gawk at the floral display.
John invited his many neighbors and friends to a ‘daffodil-do’ last Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, the Oakwood Weather-Man had coded-in the weather to match John’s last name! But it certainly didn’t keep anyone at home – and besides, said a local gardener…”this cold-snap will only make the daffodils last longer!”
Leo Mayauskas,‘The Farm’s’ Manager, was directing the off-street parking as guests arrived. “Have you finished your maple syrup project?” he was asked. “Yep, I’m planting the early-spring-gardens now.”
When Host Gray was spotted he was holding an ‘Ohio-State-Bird-House’ he’d just been given. The ‘house’ was all red, natch, with a large grey ‘O’ on the roof. “I made it just for you,” said Tom Stephens. (Tom’s wife, Carol has the ‘Wild Birds Unlimited’ shop on Far Hills.) If you know John Gray, you also know he was a ‘drummer’ in the Ohio State Marching Band. He’s remained very active in promoting OSU… his front door-bell plays a rousing rendition of the ‘Ohio State Fight Song’.
Maggie & Richard Mantia were there wearing their ‘rain-gear’. Richard’s fabulous ‘murals’ adorn several walls inside John’s ‘farm-house.’ Sonnie & Bill Kasch, Chris & David Hulme, Al & Louise Meckstroth, Penny & John Haddick, and Fern & Al Leland were enjoying their friends and the flowers.
The first time Barb & John Rion were seen they were clad for a spring-like afternoon tea. Fifteen minutes later, Barb’s ‘pumps’ were seen atop a garden wall, and she was wearing knee-high rubber barn boots and her Burberry and looking very comfortable. John had been sent home (next-door) for a quick-change for both of them. Becky & John Herbert kept telling John Gray how much they appreciated his planting all the thousands of daffodils for them to enjoy. “…we live across the street and we’ve got a better view of your flowers than you do from your house”
De De & Jack Longstreth were spotted inside the garden tent listening to the ‘live music’. It was ‘alive’ all right – it was Dave Greer and his swing’in, foot-stomp’in – Dixieland’ers. Whatta beat! Bob Pruett was tend’in-bar – and foot-stomp’in too.
Terry & Tom Holten and a darling visiting granddaughter were there. An across-the-street-neighbor, Phil Harris, said he’d just gotten home from Stanford, CT. after driving his former neighbor, Dr. Bill Cassel, to Bill’s new home. “I didn’t want the Cassel girls to drive that rent-a-truck East,.. so Bill and I took over…had a pleasant trip….talked all the way… we’ll surely miss Bill being across the street…have plans for all of us to visit him this summer in CT.
Two McGinnis girls were there – Pam and her mother-in-law Weezie. ‘It’s great to be back in my old neighborhood,” said Weezie. Pam was still receiving ‘raves’ for her performance in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolff”. Mary Kunish & Don Schweller and Do & Jack Wagner seemed to be visiting with everyone. And there were two Woodhulls – Mother and Son - and both real gardening experts – Jean & Jay. Jean’s gardens on Runnymede are legendary – and you all know Jay is Director of the Cox Arboretum.
When the opportunity arose someone asked Leo, ‘The Farm’s’ Manager if there were any flowers the deer didn’t like. “No, they seem to love the blossoms of every flower – except ‘bulbs’, of course. What I do is spray a ‘deer repellant’ on pots when I first put the flowers out. If the stuff’s any good – the odor is really nauseating – but once it’s dry it’ll smell OK….”