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Archives for June 29, 2017

Uses of salt in home care

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July gardening tips

July means the Dog Days of Summer (Monday through Aug. 11), celebration of our nation’s independence (Tuesday), 31 days to enjoy activities with our kids before school prep kicks in, and for gardeners, time to put on the sunscreen and start checking off items on the July gardening “to do list”:

• Don’t chill tropical houseplants by watering with cold tap water. Let the water stand until it reaches room temperature so delicate root hairs aren’t harmed.

• Our hot, dry weather brings out red spiders mites. Inspect roses, evergreens, and marigolds in particular for pale-green coloration. Hold a white sheet of paper underneath a leaf and briskly tap it. Tiny, crawling mites will drop onto the paper if they are on the leaf. For light infestations, use a forceful, direct spray of water from the hose. Remove and destroy severely infested plants and use pesticides to control mild infestations.

• Water your plants several hours before applying pesticides, during dry weather. Stressed plants have less water in their tissues and chemicals may burn the leaves.

• A piece of corrugated cardboard, such as the side from a box, forms an effective and portable barrier when spraying a non-selective herbicide next to desired plants. By changing the angle of the cardboard, it’s easy to spray weeds growing right up to the base of a plant while shielding the stems, branches and leaves. Since some herbicide will get on the shield, the same side should always face the sprayer when moved from one location to another.

• Many plants are easily increased by layering. Verbenas, euonymus, ivy, daphne and climbing roses will root if stems are fastened down on soft earth with a wire and covered with some soil.

• Check sprinklers and drip systems to make sure that all outlets are working.

• Dig and divide crowded spring-flowering bulbs and tubers when the foliage dies off.

• Divide and transplant bearded iris. Use the vigorous ends of the rhizomes and discard old center portion. Cut the leaves back to about eight inches.

• Continue to deadhead perennials and even some shrubs. Butterfly bush (Buddleia), summer spirea and even crape myrtles will continue to bloom if they have the spent flowers removed, preventing seed set. Basil needs to be clipped to keep foliage growing, and black eyed Susan’s (rudbeckia), purple coneflower (Echinacea) and gaillardia will all set seeds if you don’t deadhead.

• Tropical flowering plants are also good choices, and this is their season — they love it hot and humid. Fertilize weekly and make sure they have plenty of water, and they will bloom nonstop.

• For a late harvest of beans, beets, carrots, corn, cucumbers and summer squash, sow seeds or plant seedlings.

• If you still need color, plant annuals like sweet alyssum, cosmos, ageratum, celosia, petunias, marigolds, salvia, verbena, vinca and zinnias in sunny gardens and begonias, coleus and impatiens in the shade.

• And finally, don’t be shy about pruning your patio planters. Pruning — even severe pruning — makes them grow and flower better. And remember to water and fertilize.

Lance Kirkpatrick is the Sebastian County Cooperative Extension agent. Have questions about lawn, garden or other horticulture related issues? The Sebastian County Extension Service can help with offices in Barling and Greenwood. Call (479) 484-7737 for answers to horticulture questions.

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Gardening tips from the Bayport Flower Houses

The Bayport Flower Houses was founded 85 years ago by Maria and Paul Auwaerter. They used to grow flowers to sell at the floral markets in New York City.

The business has lots of events for community outreach. It has a Lady Bug Breakfast which is where it releases thousands of ladybugs to help plants and crops. At the Buffet of Berries, it plants red, yellow and orange hollies for winter birds. Many schools go there for field trips as well.

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Here are some summer gardening tips by Nicole from Bayport Flower Houses:

  • It’s all about the soil. Use good soil!
  • Go organic — plant with no chemicals.
  • Water thoroughly.
  • Try planning something new each year.

The Bayport Flower Houses has a mascot, Peaty, a dog named for peat moss. The most popular plants it sells are poinsettias, trees and shrubs. Check out the calendar of events on its website because it often has planting classes for kids. Oh, and it delivers. For more information, check out

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Think July is a dead time for gardening? Not necessarily, as this to-do list shows

When you talk about gardening in Texas, July doesn’t spring first to mind. This month is more about just surviving. We forget there are creative things we can do. Let’s take a look at the big picture — all the prime opportunities July presents to North Texas gardeners. Here are things you’ll want to check off your list.


▪ Crape myrtles while they’re in full bloom in area nurseries. Buy in bloom so you can get the exact shades that you want. Check the plants’ labels carefully to be sure their mature sizes will fit the spaces you have available.

▪ Hot weather annual color, including lantanas, fanflowers, pentas, angelonias, moss rose, hybrid purslane, copper plants, Gold Star esperanza, purple fountaingrass and firebush.

▪ Tomatoes and pumpkins early in the month to give them ample time to grow and mature before frost. In both cases, stick with small to mid-sized varieties. Large tomatoes won’t set fruit well in fall’s cooler weather. Large pumpkins will take too long to mature.

▪ New lawns from sod or seed. No matter how you’re starting your new grass, rototill to a depth of 2 to 3 inches and rake to a smooth planting bed. Water for short intervals in morning and evening for the first couple of weeks to prevent new grass from drying out.


▪ Shrubs to restore natural growth form by removing long, erratic branches.

▪ Perennials to remove spent flower stalks and seed heads. Pinch growing tips out of mums, Mexican bush sage and fall asters one last time early in the month to keep the plants more compact.

▪ Continue mowing at the same height you have used all spring and early summer. Raising the mower blade does not improve drought tolerance. In fact, tall grass quickly becomes weak grass. Weeds will move in quite freely.


▪ Turf with all-nitrogen food with half or more of that nitrogen in slow-release form (either coated or encapsulated). Do not feed St. Augustine until fall if gray leaf spot has been a known problem.

▪ Annual color beds to keep plants growing actively. Keep granules off plants’ leaves, and water fertilizer into the soil immediately after application.

▪ Patio pots and hanging baskets every time that you water them. Use a water-soluble plant food. Mix it in a concentrated solution, then dilute it by putting a siphoning proportioner into a bucket of the mix. Every third or fourth time that you water, flush extra water through the mix so that excesses of mineral salts won’t accumulate.

▪ Iron chlorosis will appear as yellowed leaves with dark green veins most prominently at tips of branches. Apply an iron product in tandem with a sulfur soil acidifier to help keep the iron in a soluble form.

Be on the lookout for…

▪ Chinch bugs in St. Augustine. 2016 was a terrible year for them, so populations may be poised for another outbreak. They appear in the sunniest, hottest areas of your lawn. Grass appears dry but does not respond to irrigation. Watch for them anytime after mid-July, and check the surface of the soil for BB-sized black insects with irregular white diamonds on their backs. Treat with a labeled insecticide.

▪ Lace bugs. They turn the leaves of lantanas, pyracanthas, boxwoods, azaleas, sycamores, American elms, bur oaks, Boston ivy and other landscape plants speckled tan. You’ll seldom see the adult insects, but if you turn the leaves over you’ll see black waxy specks (excrement) on the backs. You can spray with a contact insecticide or use a systemic product, although pale leaves will not regain their dark green appearance.

▪ Leafrollers. They may tie the leaves of sweetgums, redbuds, vinca (trailing periwinkle) ground cover and cannas together, turning them brown in the process. Apply a systemic insecticide, preferably earlier in the season next year.

▪ Gray leaf spot. It appears in St. Augustine in irregular washes across the lawn, both in sun and shade. On close inspection you’ll see grayish-brown lesions on the blades of the grass and occasionally on the runners, again about the size of BBs. Apply a labeled turf fungicide, but do not apply nitrogen, as it accelerates the disease.

▪ Rose rosette virus has ruined most rose plantings in the Metroplex over the past five or six years. Affected plants have stunted, clubby stems with multitudes of vicious thorns. Flower buds fail to open properly, turning brown and crisp. There is no prevention or cure for this virus. Infected plants must be dug, put in black plastic trash bags and sent to the landfill. Wait until research finding resistance to the virus is announced, hopefully before too many years. This is a sad and serious disease that has singled out the DFW area for its worst epidemic.

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Basic tips to reclaim your lawn and garden


AgriNews photos/Erica Quinlan Broadleaf weeds grow in a home garden in Indiana.

WHITELAND, Ind. — A single dandelion plant can produce 15,000 seeds per year, said Sarah Hanson, Purdue Extension Johnson County director.

The same plant can live up to six years. With those odds, it’s no wonder that weed control is a difficult undertaking.

Hanson talked about weeds during a free Extension event.

“A weed is a plant out of place,” she said. “If you like dandelions, they are not considered weeds.

“Weeds compete with the rest of our lawns and gardens. They are trying to get the same nutrients — the water, sunlight, space. They can reduce the yields of your good plants. It may even increase your mowing costs, like fuel and time.”


Weeds can be hard to eradicate in home lawns, gardens and driveways. Learning how ID them and taking preventative measures can help make the battle easier to fight. 

The three steps to weed management are:

1. Weed identification.

2. Weed prevention.

3. Weed management.

Weed ID

According to Hanson, there are three main types of weeds: grass, with a single blade; broadleaf, with multiple blades; and sedge, with triangle-shaped stems.

It’s important to know the lifespan of your trouble weeds. Annual weeds live for one year, biennial live for two years and perennial live more than two years.

There are plenty of free resources online that can help you identify your weeds and learn their characteristics. But, when in doubt, you always can ask the folks at your county Extension office.

Preventing Weeds

A variety of methods can prevent weeds from becoming a problem. Examples include mulching, hand pulling weeds early in the season and cultivating.

“Mow at a 3-inch minimum, frequently,” Hanson said. “Maintain a dense lawn with proper fertilizer and water. Select the best turf grass for the site.”

It’s also a good idea to assess your situation each year. Did your method work? Take notes.

Management Methods

Herbicides are commonly used to kill weeds. It’s crucial to follow labels carefully.

The information on the label contains safety protocol, regulations, product warranty and possible harvest restrictions.

“Don’t waste time and money,” Hanson said. “Buy the correct product and only in the amount you need. Know the correct rate and use it.”

Types of herbicide actions include:

Contact herbicide — affects parts of the plant it contacts. A good option for easy-to-kill weeds or annual weeds.

Translocated herbicide — the herbicide is taken into the plant via leaves or roots. This method can kill deep rooted plants, perennial weeds or difficult-to-control weeds.

Non-selective herbicides — kills all weeds in non-plant areas such as driveways. Use a directed spray around desired plant if no selective treatment is available.

Selective herbicides — controls a particular plant without harming related organisms. For example, it might kill broadleaf weeds present in turf grass.

Pre-emergence and post-emergence herbicide options are available in organic and synthetic options.

“Weeds can be hard to eradicate,” she said. “You have to take advantages of the differences between your weeds and desirable plants.”

A combination of short and long-term solutions are recommended to fight weeds.

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How to care for your tomatoes during the hot summer days

Central San Joaquin Valley gardeners are justifiably proud of their bountiful tomato crops. Our tomato season goes into full swing at the end of June and the first weeks of July when both early- and late-ripening varieties are ready to eat – and when problems become obvious.


Here are a few common summertime tomato problems you may find in your garden.

Cracking and cat-facing – As temperatures rise above 90 degrees in summer, tomato flesh expands faster than the skins, causing the skin to crack; the cracks immediately heal, leaving narrow scars. The cracking is normal and does not usually affect the fruit quality, just its appearance. Keep the soil consistently moist – tomatoes need at least 2 gallons of water a week.

Cat-facing is caused by low temperatures, below 50 degrees, during flowering and fruit set. We did have cooler than normal spells this spring so you may see tomatoes in your garden that have large cavities and cracks at the bottom or blossom end of the fruit. (To some the deformations resemble a cat face – hence the term). The cavities and cracks can make the bottom portion of the fruit inedible.

Sunscald and solar yellowing – Tomatoes that receive too much sun exposure can turn yellow and leathery on the sun side. The unaffected portions of the fruit are still edible. Maintain sufficient leaf cover by increasing levels of nitrogen (slightly) in fertilizers and by not removing smaller branches that grow in the axils or branch junctions.

Summer’s high-intensity light is the cause of solar yellowing. The red pigment fails to develop when tomatoes are grown in open areas where they can receive up to 14 hours a day of sunlight.

Provide shade for scalding or yellowing tomatoes, especially during midday and hot afternoons, with shade cloth structures or moveable market umbrellas. Monitor sun and shade patterns since tomatoes need at least six hours of full sun.

All vine, no fruit – Tomatoes, especially vine or indeterminate varieties, are sensitive to nitrogen in fertilizers and will rapidly produce more vine than flowers if nitrogen levels are too high. Switch to lower nitrogen (less than 5 percent) or apply higher phosphorus (the second number on the label) foods or compost until green growth slows and flower production resumes. Vine-type tomatoes continue to produce over the long summer season; bush or determinate tomatoes have a shorter productive season but are less sensitive to excess nitrogen.

Lower leaves dying – Verticillium wilt is a soil-borne fungus that infects tomatoes as well as many other plants. The fungus blocks water and nutrient uptake. Lower leaves turn brown and die; then the entire plant dies from the bottom up. Symptoms become more severe when plants are water- and heat-stressed.

Buy tomatoes that are labeled as being resistant to verticillium wilt. Look for the letter V on the label. Rotate summer vegetable crops every year to prevent the buildup of the fungus in the soil and pull out dying plants as soon as the disease is obvious.

Soil solarization, using the heat of the summer sun, can significantly reduce the numbers of fungal spores in the soil. Check the UC Integrated Pest Management website ( under soil solarization for complete, easy instructions.

Send Elinor Teague plant questions at

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Did You Know?

Did You Know?

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A team of UCR landscapers worked on a renovation project that transformed an arid space into a decorative, serene, xeriscape garden, located in front of the CHASS Interdisciplinary building (across from the Arts building).

The work began with about 30 volunteers on Highlander Day of Service this past April. Volunteers helped turn the soil and ripped away dry vegetation. A few weeks later — before UCR’s commencement ceremonies — UCR landscapers worked quickly to revitalize the area and welcome the thousands of visitors who come across campus for graduation ceremonies.

This renovation was one of three beautification projects on campus, said Toshio “Tos” Ishida, assistant director of Landscape and Refuse Service with Facilities Services.

Raymond Bolles, landscape supervisor, said it was important to complete the project before graduations in order to give visitors “a warm welcome with an esthetically pleasing garden.”

The newly designed xeriscape garden is located between the north and south  CHASS Interdisciplinary building. bSANDRA BALTAZAR MARTINE/b

The newly designed xeriscape garden is located between the north and south  CHASS Interdisciplinary building. bSANDRA BALTAZAR MARTINE/b

The newly designed xeriscape garden is located between the north and south  CHASS Interdisciplinary building. bSANDRA BALTAZAR MARTINE/b

Raymond Bolles, landscape supervisor, works with the Facilities Services team on the new garden.bSANDRA BALTAZAR MARTINE/b

The Facilities Services team works on the new garden.bSANDRA BALTAZAR MARTINE/b

The Facilities Services team works on the new garden.bSANDRA BALTAZAR MARTINE/b

IMG_7122 (1)


UCR Citrus Products for Sale on Campus

Some of the new UCR citrus products are now available on campus. Currently at the Scotty Store in the HUB are items within the Citrus Collection, including citrus olive oil, citrus vinegar, honey vinegar, and Parliament Citron Chocolate bars.

Several items are also available in the Market at Glenmor and the Barnes Noble bookstore on campus.

For more information regarding the Citrus Collection, visit

Several of UCR’s citrus products are for sale on campus stores. iqbal pittalwala

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Digital Garden Upgrades New 12G-SDI Machine Room System With …

Tokyo, Japan – June 28, 2017 — Blackmagic Design today announced that Tokyo based post production house Digital Garden updated to a new 12G-SDI machine room using Blackmagic Design’s Teranex AVs and Teranex Minis.

To support a number of new 4K editing and grading suites, the new machine room will be built around a 12G-SDI workflow, and will also include a number of Blackmagic Design 12G products, including Smart Videohub 12G 40×40, Videohub Master Controls, Videohub SmartControls, HyperDeck Studio12Gs, MultiView 4 and Mini Converters.

The newly updated facility replaced the original 1.5G-SDI HD/SD workflow that was built 11 years ago. Due to the need for editing and grading rooms being able to support 4K increasing at Digital Garden, they decided to make the system totally 4K compatible. The machine room now connects to two audio suites, four online editing suites and a grading suite, totaling seven suites which are controlled by Blackmagic’s Smart Videohub router as the core of the system.

Digital Garden decided to build this new system from scratch, hardly using any of the original equipment. Shinichi Futagami, a lead technical manager of Digital Garden, explained the reason for the big system update: ”The original equipment had become old and was sent for repair, but repair expenses were high. In addition, there were various restrictions with the old equipment, such as SD signals that could not be passed to HD compatible equipment.

“What we care most about when we build post production suites is how smooth we can carry out the preview session with our clients. We try to keep the editor’s suite simple and easy to operate and make preview control work for both 4K and HD. To achieve that, 12G-SDI technology is the only solution, which meant Blackmagic is the only option for this update.”

Digital Garden built the entire new workflow around 12G-SDI and Blackmagic products are used in more than 90% of the system. “Since Blackmagic’s products are mostly compatible with 12G-SDI, we could simply build up the system without increasing the number of cables. And although construction costs are not included, we could update a machine room of this scale with amazing cost performance.”

“By updating to the Videohub, we can now use its Macro function, which is so convenient. Also with the update, all audio is sent as embedded audio, so we convert AES audio from an audio suite to SDI via Teranex Mini. We found that the amount of latency has drastically decreased after switching to this converter. And being able to see the image and confirm it on the front panel of the Teranex Mini during operation was simple.”

For many conversions, Digital Garden mainly uses Teranex Minis. Teranex Mini Audio to SDI and SDI to Audio are also used for volume control in edit suites.

Futagami said: “In the suites, we use an attenuator type of volume control. Via Teranex Mini’s setting menu, the editor can control audio gain from his computer. They don’t need access to the physical volume controller and just turn the nob. Also, we use some Quad SDI equipment still, and use Teranex Mini Quad to SDI/SDI to Quad to connect them to Blackmagic products, while DeckLink Extreme 12G for Resolve is connected via a single 12G-SDI to the SmartVideohub. For some 4K equipment, audio is embedded to all Quad SDI channels, so we use Teranex AV for multiplexing and Teranex Express for Black Burst signal generation. We also use UltraScopes for all suites as waveform monitors, MultiView 4K for managing colors when working 4K projects and HyperDeck Studio 12Gs for recording. The big advantage of these products is that we don’t have to worry about what kind of signals we are handling when using them.

“Video technology is constantly evolving and there is not a final form, so as a post-production facility, we will have to continue investing in new technology. Blackmagic products allow us to build a system with the latest technology and with the fastest speed at that time, with affordable prices,“ Futagami concluded.

Press Photography

Product photos of Blackmagic Smart Videohub 12G 20×20, Smart Videohub 12G 40×40, Videohub Master Control, Videohub SmartControl, Teranex AV, Teranex Mini, HyperDeck Studio 12G, MultiView 4, Mini Converter and all other Blackmagic Design products are available at

About Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to

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An 18th-Century “Sapphist”’s Sexy Garden

What could be more prim and proper than an English garden? Filled with intoxicating flowers and aesthetically pleasing delights, they might seem more sensuous than sexual today. But according to Lisa L. Moore, the eighteenth-century gardens of Mary Granville Pendarves Delany, an aristocratic woman with a gaggle of high-profile friends, were piquant places that expressed same-sex desires.

Delany was married to a man, but flirted with and had physical relationships with women. She was part of the famous bluestocking circle, a group of well-educated English women who came together for intellectual “conversations” and mutual society. She was also a noteworthy gardener, and she exerted influence on two landscapes at Delville, an estate near Dublin where she lived with her husband, and Bulstrode, the estate of her friend Margaret Bentinck, Duchess of Portland.

At Delville, Delany converted formal gardens into sprawling ones, abandoning hedges in favor of picturesque nooks and private corners. Her use of ha-ha walls—recessed walls that are visible up close but invisible from a distance—created “effects of both open prospects and erotic concealment.” Other garden elements were distinctively vaginal, in keeping with the concept of a garden as a place for secret meetings and sexual encounters. Delany used a “grotto” she created at Bulstrode for her own assignations with women—and covered it with suggestive shells and “womb-like” elements.

Mary Delany flowers Mary Delany flowers Mary Delany flowers Mary Delany flowers Mary Delany flowers Mary Delany flowers

Sex made its way into Delany’s famous botanic illustrations, too. From collages that highlighted the genital-like shapes of flowers long before Georgia O’Keefe to elements that brought attention to plants’ reproductive systems, Delany wasn’t afraid to celebrate women while she documented plants. She “drew on a long tradition that viewed flowers as strongly suggestive of human eroticism,” writes Moore. And she did so using distinctly female forms of craftwork that were becoming more and more popular for women of her day.

For Moore, garden design and botanical drawings all fit in with Delany’s sexual intimacies. Though “sapphism,” as it was called then, was not exactly how a modern person might construe lesbianism, it was definitely a thing during the eighteenth century. Delany’s “lush, vivid, and sexy” conception of plant life recast the garden as a place for pleasure and intimacy. Because so little is known about same-sex relationships at the time, argues Moore, Delany’s “distinctive images…can show us how an eighteenth-century woman might see the sexual body.” Judging by Delany’s work, that body was one filled with hidden places and lavished with secret lushness.

JSTOR Citations

Queer Gardens: Mary Delany’s Flowers and Friendships

By: Lisa L. Moore

Eighteenth-Century Studies , Vol. 39, No. 1 (Fall, 2005), pp. 49-70

The Johns Hopkins University Press. Sponsor: American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS).

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Palm Springs Life

A bronze sculpture by an Australian artist commands curiosity in the living room. A collection of personal photos greets guests in the foyer.

“I was invited to go on that boat to Catalina with [Wagner and Wood]. A beautiful boat I’d been on many times with John and Natalie’s best friend, Delphine Mann. Delphine and I were both invited on that trip. About two days before we were to go, Delphine called. ‘Are you gonna go? I hear Chris Walken might be on the boat, too.’ I said, ‘Then I’m not going.’ She said, ‘If you’re not, then I’m not.’ To this day, Delphine has said, ‘If one of us had been on that boat, Natalie would still be alive.’ But I don’t want to feel that way. You can’t feel that way.”

The final portraits of Wood are some of Childers’ most beautiful. Many more stars (and authors and playwrights and painters and architects and dancers) would still pose for him, but by the late ’90s, Childers had had enough of full-time celebrity photography. “Once the publicists became all powerful, it wasn’t fun anymore and I was bored.” In 1992 he decamped to Sante Fe to renew himself. Just before leaving, Childers produced his first mega-benefit with Marianne Williamson for Project Angel Food. Employing his now-famous Rolodex, he snagged his friend Bette Midler, whom he’d photographed twice, to appear alongside Elizabeth Taylor as emcee. “Bingo. Start at the top!” laughs Childers.

Once settled in Sante Fe, “I got the itch to do another show,” he says. “And we created Live at the Lensic [to benefit a Sante Fe AIDS organization]. I got Carol Burnett and Lauren Bacall to emcee one of the three shows I did there.”

In 1998, Childers and Schlesinger set up house in Palm Springs. After having a quadruple bypass that year and a stroke in 2000, Childer’s partner of 37 years died in July 2003 at Desert Regional Medical Center. “When John died,” says Childers, “I said, ‘I’m not gonna be a victim, I’m not gonna be a manic depressive, I’m not gonna fall apart. I want to re-create myself and go back to being Michael Childers. I was already established [before the Schlesinger relationship] … but I had problems with confidence and self-esteem. Because John was so famous. An Oscar winner whose ass everyone in the world was always kissing. But I did get my confidence back and I became Michael Childers again. I rediscovered me.”

He’d begun that Coachella Valley self-rediscovery process in 2002 by producing his first One Night Only benefit for Desert AIDS Project hosted by buddy Lily Tomlin (who later presented Childers with his Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars, which is now ensconced in front of the Palm Springs Art Museum next to, crows Childers, “two presidents of the United States! That’s prime real estate!”). One more Desert AIDS Project ONO benefit followed in 2003 with executive producer Ken Katz, who remains in that capacity to this day. Then, in 2007, Childers and Katz enlisted Barbara Keller to propose to her friends at Jewish Family Service of the Desert that the event become the organization’s annual ultra-high-profile fundraiser. It’s been a smash ever since.

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