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Flower power

Posted on April 2, 2009

Sam Coale’s expertise lies in literature and culture. That’s culture—not horticulture. But this weekend the Wheaton English professor will try his hand at flower arranging for the Celebrity Flower Design Challenge, part of the Attleboro Arts Museum’s annual flower show.

His challengers? A retired TV meteorologist (John Ghiorse), a traffic reporter (Scott Montminy) and Willy T, the oversized chicken mascot for Willow Tree Poultry Farm in Attleboro.

The four local luminaries will square off at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 4, in an event dubbed “Celebrity Flower Power Design Challenge: Laugh-in Meets Martha Stewart.”

Despite his lack of experience in the garden, Coale is approaching the challenge with confidence, as he told the Attleboro Sun Chronicle:

Coale, who teaches American literature and culture at Wheaton and is an author, lecturer and theater critic, seems to be out for the prize as well, although he says he entered the contest “for a lark.”

“Being married to a horticulturist is daunting when it comes to twigs and sprouts,” Coale said. “For me, a garden is to be walked through at day’s end, preferably in summer, with a martini in my hand. That’s as close as I’ve gotten to the soil.”

Coale wondered, however, how much competition he will have on Saturday. “What do TV folks and a chicken know about art?” he said.

“I mean where else but being a weatherman can you get it wrong every time and still keep your job?” he continued. “And as for a chicken - all cluck and no culture. He’ll lay an egg, I’m sure, while I, with my artistic flair, knowing absolutely nothing about blossoms and buds, will attend to the muse and be remembered long after the arrangement I can conjure up. Give me the petals and I’ll knock the cock and the TV talkers outta the garden!”

Source: Attleboro Sun Chronicle

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