Flowers? Gardens? Not for me!
By AllEars Team Member Jack Marshall
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.
To me, that usually means hibernation until the fun festival - Epcot's Food and Wine Festival - opens. There's a good reason for that. I am not an outdoorsy kind of guy. Give me an indoor project like tearing out a wall or updating a kitchen and I'm all over it. Can't get started fast enough. But give me a yard project like planting flowers or landscaping and I'll put it off until it snows... and I live in Florida in the winter.
A little knowledge is a powerful thing. I did some research and found that this year's Flower and Garden Festival would once again present a different HGTV personality each weekend to talk about their field of expertise. I read the list of names and one jumped out at me: Taniya Nayak.
For those of you who don't know her, she is one amazing designer not to mention a fellow Bostonian. She cut her teeth on various TV remodeling shows (Knock First, Freestyle, Designed to Sell, etc.) where she had to redo a room or rooms with a limited budget. And I'm talking very limited as in $2000 to do three rooms on Designed to Sell. Not only did she rise to these challenges, she excelled in them. My wife and I used to watch every show and I don't think we ever saw a room that Taniya did that we didn't like.
So it was a no brainer when I saw her name. I knew I had to go see her. I set my alarm to be up early Friday morning so I could get to Epcot and see her first presentation.
She came out from the back of the room and held court on the floor in front of the stage. She didn't like being up there because she couldn't walk around like she could on the floor. I'm not one to be in awe in the presence of famous people but she had me hooked. She spent about 15 minutes dishing about Restaurant Impossible and Chef Robert Irvine, all of which I found very fascinating.
But on to the design talk. She gave several tips for things like choosing room colors (find one paint sample strip you like and work with the darkest and lightest chips on it) and re-purposing old furniture (turning an old desk or table into a kitchen island).
Her presentation lasted about 45 minutes. She followed that with a meet and greet for the fans that wanted to meet her and get a picture taken or an autograph. It would have been downright rude for me to pass that up. So I had my picture taken with her. She is just so nice and easy to talk to. What a doll.
So the first half of my day was done. A few hours later, the second part of my day started. Paul Revere & the Raiders were playing in the Flower Power concert at American Gardens Theater. So I got in line for the first show and sat in row 5, right near center stage. Great seats.
The show started and my heart sank a little. Paul Revere, now 76 and using a cane, was assisted onto the stage to take his place behind the mock up of an old Ford Mustang front end. Once he was there, I never thought of his mobility problem until the set was over. He's billed as "The Last Madman of Rock 'n Roll" and that's a pretty fitting description. He never missed a beat on stage.
The members of the group had changed over the years but he still had two guitarists who have been with him for over 40 years. His son now plays guitar in the group, too. His current lead singer, Darren Dowler, is very good. He even does vocal impressions of Bill Clinton and Tom Jones that were very good.
They played all their hits in the 35 minute set. And while they do a great show and most of their fans don't know the difference, it wasn't the same as listening to those old 45's and hearing Mark Lindsay belt out the lead vocals. I was still glad I went though. I would highly recommend seeing them if you can.
So the day turned out to be one of the better ones I've had in a long time. Flower and Garden? No thanks. I'll take the "Home Improvement and '60's Band Concerts Festival " any day.