Cloverdale Comments - December 2011
Everything’s Coming Up Rosen!
Cloverdale is becoming recognized around the country for the special attraction we hold for creative people in diverse walks of life, especially the arts.
So it is no wonder that our Public Works Department’s Parks and Landscape Maintenance Lead Worker Murray Rosen is typical of so many folks you’ll meet in this sweet, lively town where “Individuality”, as our website proudly proclaims, “is not just tolerated. It’s celebrated!”
Originally pre-med at Ohio State, Murray transferred to the pioneering New York Studio of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture in Greenwich Village where, with typical understatement, he mentioned casually to me that one of his teachers was the abstract expressionist genius Willem de Kooning!
Studies in Paris. Career as a sculptor. Studio in SoHo, circa 1970-85, the era of its emergence as an art epicenter. Shows on the West Coast. Even more. Murray was doing fine.
Then the Art Market Collapsed!
But Murray didn’t. In fact, now married to a San Franciscan and living near 19th Avenue, he discovered horticultural beauty in places like the Japanese Tea Garden. A beauty that, he explains, “Struck a note in me.”
When he started, literally, at the bottom (potting plants for $6/hour in a Berkeley museum) his friends thought him “crazy.” However, in a year he was made manager and, over the following years, his love of roses developed to the extent that he became a top-notch “Rosarian”.
In a new position as grower/manager at a well-known cut-flower farm/nursery, his pioneering work developing the popular vine, Clematis, into a cut flower made him an internationally recognized authority on it, with Clematis flowers ultimately enjoyed at the White House and by a whole host of international celebrities. Murray’s hard work, persistence and talent had transformed him from artist to renowned floriculturist and horticulturist.
Then the Economy Collapsed!
But Murray didn’t. He successfully transitioned into working for Cloverdale.
With 7 parks and 7 Lighting/Landscaping Districts plus our long Boulevard, the Plaza area, etc., etc., Murray and his equally hardworking Assistant, Hector Galvan, have their hands full, especially in this very tight economy, bringing everything up-to-par and then maintaining it all.
Now also a Certified Playground Safety Inspector, this thoughtful man recently outlined all the work done over the last few years to ensure our playgrounds and sports fields meet state safety and ADA standards.
Murray clearly respects his Public Works colleagues’ skills and teamwork and appreciates their help and advice. A Certified Arborist, he spoke about how “skillfully and expertly” they help accomplish the “difficult, dangerous” task of pruning the old-growth oak trees that form part of our distinctive cityscape.
As Chair of Cloverdale’s Public Services Sub-committee, which includes Public Works, I know there’s a lot more to the story of Murray, and Hector, and all the others who care for the vital, often visual, infrastructure we residents tend to take for granted.
Rain. Heat. Cold. Emergencies. They’re out there working for our safety, comfort and quality of life. So, as Murray suggests, if we spot anything – a leaking sprinkler, fresh graffiti, a broken sidewalk – let’s contact Public Works right away because, although they’re always checking, they can’t be everywhere every minute! www.cloverdale.net or Public Works at 894-1718; M-F; 7am to 4pm.
Cloverdale Loves Scrooge!
Enjoying “A Christmas Carol” at our Cloverdale Performing Arts Center (CPAC) is becoming a Holiday tradition. This year, performances of Jerry Patch’s spirited, critically acclaimed adaptation of Dicken’s timeless tale of apparition-assisted redemption are: Fri., Sat.: 12/9, 10, 16 & 17 at 7p.m.; Sun.: 12/11 & 12/18 at 2 p.m. Tickets: Adults $15; Children,12 and under, $8.
CPAC’s a 501-3c non-profit devoted to bringing professional quality theatre experiences and education to as wide a range of audiences as possible.
Add in the region’s very best actors, stage crews and staff plus legendary Artistic Director, Jim dePriest, and it’s no wonder performances sell out fast. Luckily, everything you need, from buying ticket(s) to information about the hit Broadway shows is at:
www.cloverdaleperformingarts.com or 894-2214.