Saturday, October 23, 2010
dedication day - may, 1995

Here are the few pictures that I have of the Dedication Day of The Hospice Garden. (In the white suit--in profile---is Michael Weinstein, who started AHF and is still the driving force behind it, and that is my dear friend Hanna in the long black coat with her back to us...) Someone took these pictures, but I'm afraid I don't remember who, and whoever it was gave them to me and these are the only pictures I have of that day. AIDS Healthcare Foundation may have some somewhere, but I have not called to ask them....(I really should do that). And these are the only pictures I have of the "finished" garden back in 1995....... I can tell who some of the people are from their backs---That's Charley Berliner in the light colored suit in the foreground.....And way up near that sign that is posted over to the right in the white top and dark pants is Abbie Wood, "Woody's" Widow who donated all the plants for this special garden.....I am standing in the background holding a microphone and saying something about the creation of this garden..... Behind me is a double picture of Woody that we had blown up just for the occasion---without his passion there would be no Cactus Garden..... In the picture above, standing with me holding some kind of special framed acknowledgement to me for the Garden, is Steve Balfour, one of the greatest gifts of friendship from my long-time involvement with The S.T.A.G.E. Benefit. Steve was working at AIDS Project Los Angeles when they were the recipients of the STAGE Benefit Fund raiser---A lovely wonderful smart human being filled with integrity and with incredible humanity in his heart and his soul. At this point in time, he was working at AHF and that is how STAGE got involved with this very special organization...... Here we are--I am introducing the very sweet Abbie Wood so she can say a few words to the crowd and so she can be thanked properly by 'the powers that be'. Another shot below......You can see that we have put in all the little rocks I spoke of in the last post, plus the Hand Railing...... Abbie and Woody were people I might never have met if it weren't for my love and addiction to Cactus....Such sweet good people----It makes you believe what Anne Frank said in her diary---"In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart...". These two people certainly exemplified the goodness of a loving caring heart. This person above must have been the official AHF Photographer--I really must call them.....I had suggested that it would be a very nice thing to have some kind of permanent plaque thanking Woody for these lovingly raised plants....You can see it there on the left, at the edge of the garden. It turned out, that without my knowledge, they had made a commemorative plaque for me,too....You can see it, way over on the right edge there.....(I got some pictures of both of these plaques--in close-up---when I went back to the garden last month---for the first time in many many years......) This grouping above is of many of the people involved in the STAGE Benefit, plus some people from AHF. The four ladies in front are Carole Cooke who has performed in almost every show since it began in 1987; Joyce Van Patten, who was a Co-Chair, along with Betty G. and me for about three years; my dear Betty Garrett, who is still the "chair" of this event and still performs in it each year...and me, Co-Chair for twenty years......I remember it was a rather cold May day....... A different shot of this group---From left to right----All members of the Executive Committee of Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event--STAGE: John Beaird, Exec. Comm.; Jonathan Kanes, Producer; Carole Cook, Performer; Joyce Van Patten, Co-Chair; and behind Betty, David Galligan, Founder. Director & Producer; Betty Garrett, Performer and Co-Chair; Me, Producer, Co-Chair & Exec. Comm; Steve Balfour, Event Coordinator; and Behind Steve, Tim Bourke, Exec. Committee; Michael Weinstein, Head of AHF;and hidden behind the one young man I do not know is Tony Dans, Exec. Comm; and last but not least, the 'late' great Richard Loring. Producer and Exec. Comm., a teacher, a composer, and one very special man. Pictures of the Garden as it looks today will be coming along next time.........

(Do click on these pictures to make them bigger......)

More To Come.....

Note: I hope I am not boring everyone with this series...It was a huge part of my creative life along with many other things, back-in-the-day, and that is why I wanted to document it, as best as I could, here on my blog..........

had this to say:

It's not boring at all. I love seeing the wonderful work you were all involved in!

I have to catch a plane, so I have to make this short and sweet, but I'll soon be that much closer to you! In AZ.

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 1:41:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Hey Naomi, no it is not a boring series in fact I think it is a good initiative back in those times and yes in fact I'm glad you shared this with us :D

I've always been involved in voluntary & social work and this by far is the most significant with cactus :D

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 2:51:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

Not boring at all, how wonderful to hear about the great event and what it represented.

Dorothy from grammology

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 3:27:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi,what a beautiful garden you put together. It was you who had the idea, design, and put the people together. You deserved the plaque and recognition. Proud of you lady. What a caring thing to do.
It must have meant the world to Woody's wife but also to all those through the years who came there for solace. Giant kudos.

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 3:58:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

You and your photos are never boring, Naomi. I can see how this project would have brought a great sense of accomplishment to everyone involved.

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 4:26:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

You could never be boring - You have such an interesting life and your pics are always beautiful! Your blog is a joy to read

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 7:03:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Certainly not boring me. It's nice to document the people behind this thoughtful gift to a group of people who would otherwise have been not had such beauty to help them in their fight.

Cheers, dear.

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 10:05:00 AM PDT 

Blogger Jen
had this to say:

I love cactus and succulent gardens. I can't wait to see what it looks like today.

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 3:00:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a beautiful gift to the world!!!

Your involvement in a project like this must have been very enriching for you!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 4:46:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

This is amazing.. More people should donate to this cause.. i have a friend who is HIV survivor.. he has had HIV for like 12 years now.

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 6:05:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

BORING? Please, good deeds, good people, THAT should never be boring. It is inspiring!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 6:55:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I was so excited when I saw real cacti in the desert in Utah and Nevada back when we took some Canadian teenagers to LA on a Greyhound Coach for spring break! It was a long journey but amazing! I wish I had captured the sight of the cacti with my camera but didn't. It was incredible and like nothing I had seen before! ALso, what a beautiful idea for a hospice garden!

Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 7:32:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Are you kidding? This is great stuff. There are so many sides to you. I love this one. The pictures are great and I am so looking forward to the 15 years later pics.

Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 12:57:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Such a heartwarming project, the results of which go on and on!

Is the garden open to the public? Can people stroll through?

Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 7:27:00 AM PDT 

Blogger Pat
had this to say:

I'm so glad there are photographs recording such a special day and I hope we may see some of the garden in the noughties.
Great job done by all Naomi.

Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 8:22:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

My hope is that the building will be taken over by something else meaningful and the gardens become a destination for the public! If I'm ever in LA I want to see it!

Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 9:15:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

You really could write a book of all the places you've been, people you've known, things you've done. I'm glad you're doing this blog and commemorating your life's loves. You will have a lasting impact in this world.

Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 2:45:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

This is a fascinating, emotionally moving series of blog posts as I recall those years. You've prompted my memory of one young forty year old HIV positive patient whose future was unknown, but certainly not promising, for whom I provided therapy services.

This garden would have been truly a very significant undertaking then for individuals in great need of a caring, comforting environment where they could be nourished by nature's environment with a little help from you and all these marvelous people.

Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 7:37:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Gardens at Hospices are so important--they are another affirmation of life, and the work that goes into their creation is so important. Thank you so much for sharing this, Naomi.

Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 7:50:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

You could never be boring Naomi! you've led such an interesting life (and you still are interesting!)and I love hearing your memories and seeing any photos you have of them!!

Monday, October 25, 2010 at 3:48:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

It's really nice to be involved in activities that matters and it's a beautiful garden you made. Awesome work!

I don't have internet at home since Friday because something is wrong with the line and it really frustrates the hell out of me because my project is due soon. I miss you too and hope you have a lovely week! :)

Monday, October 25, 2010 at 3:56:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Not boring at all, I'm so looking forward to seeing the garden today. What a wonderful thing to have done, kudos!

Monday, October 25, 2010 at 3:10:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I think you're so wonderful
and I love any time you post any photos of you, it's always a treat

gardens are healing places

love the photo of your beloved gardener in the earlier post, he has an amazing smile

Monday, October 25, 2010 at 6:16:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

As everyone else has said, this is not boring. It's inspiring. What a wonderful idea and way to give to others. I enjoyed all the photos

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 3:14:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, you tell the best stories. I was thinking about you this week and popped over to see how you are doing. Ferris and Cam are great. Something happened to their blog and I haven't been able to post, but they are celebs on Facebook.

I've been blogging a bit at my old site.

I will try to come by more is in session! :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 3:54:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

God BLESS you for what you and others have done here!

Sunday, October 31, 2010 at 6:48:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Hi Naomi! No, nothing boring about your interesting posts! I have just been catching up from where I was the last time. It is fun seeing the beginning and the growing and the dedicatiion of this lovely garden!! An amazing good deed you and others did! I'm moving on now to read the next part!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 7:21:00 PM PDT 

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