BARBARA’S BOOK

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"Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith" book cover with photo of author Barbara Falconer Newhall

"Any seeker of any faith will be blessed to read the words of this fine author and observer."

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A Cemetery Comes to LIfe — With Tulips

White tulips suspended upside down with blue ribboms part of a design for Mountain View Cemetery Exhibition by Merritt College Floral Design Department. Titled "Puddle Jumping." Photo by Barbara Newhall

Tulips as raindrops were part of the Merritt College Floral Design Department’s “Puddle Jumping” design. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Every year at Easter time an Oakland, California, cemetery comes to life — with tulips.

At the 2015 Mountain View Cemetery Tulip Exhibition, Oakland, CA, "Steel Tulip" by Nona Tai, Floral Design Studio, Fremont,. Photo by Barbara Newhall

The 2015 Tulip Exhibition with “Steel Tulip” by Nona Tai of Floral Design Studio, Fremont. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Most of the tulips are growing out of the ground, the handiwork of the cemetery’s groundskeepers. But a week or so ago dozens of them showed up in one-of-a-kind bouquets, the handiwork of local florists, garden clubs, and design students.

The occasion was the Friends of Mountain View Cemetery’s Annual Tulip Exhibition.

If you miss the outdoor tulips this season, not a problem. Mountain View is a destination unto itself at any time of year. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (of New York’s Central Park fame) 150 years ago, the place is jumping with dead celebs, including Ina Coolbrith, Julia Morgan, Frank Norris, Bernard Maybeck, Bill Knowland, and Trader Vic Bergeron.

Armed with a visitor’s map, you too can know where the bodies are buried.

By now my faithful readers know that I’ve got a thing about tulips. So, of course I dropped everything last weekend, including getting ready for upcoming author events for Wrestling with God, to take in those tulips over at Mountain View.

BTW, Ginny Prior, one of the lovely sweaty ladies at my gym wrote some kind words for Wrestling with God in my old newspaper, the Contra Costa Times.

"Steel Tulip," a floral design by Nona Tai, of Floral Design Studio, Fremont, for the Mountain View Cemetery Annual Tulip Exhibition. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Nona Tai’s “Steel Tulip” up close. Photo by Barbara Newhall

"Happy Hour." a floral design for the Mountain View Cemetery 2015 Tulip Exhibition, Oakland,  California. Design by Agnes Kang of the Piedmont Garden Club. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Orange tulip with green and yellow streaks, detail of "Fusion," a floral design for the 2015 Tulip Exhibition at the Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA. Design is by Kay Wolff of Kay Wolff Design, Berkeley. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Variegated blossoms were popular at the Tulip Exhibition this year. Above: Kay Wolff of Kay Wolff Design, Berkeley, worked tulip bulbs into her plan for “Fusion.” The bulbs are just  visible underneath the very orange blossoms she chose. Left: A tipsy “Happy Hour” by Anges Kang of the Piedmont Garden Club. Photos by Barbara Newhall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tulips of many colors hang upside down over the entrance to the Tower Chapel at Mountain View Cemetery,  Oakland, Calif., during its annual Tulip Exhibition. The design, titled "Puddle Jumping," is by the Merritt College Floral Design Department. Photo by Barbara Newhall

My favorite design at this year’s Tulip Exhibition was “Puddle Jumping” by the Merritt College Floral Design Department. This part of the rain-evoking — invoking? — design was suspended over the Tower Chapel’s entrance. Photo by Barbara Newhall

A single white tulip bud hangs upside down, suggesting a raindrop in the floral design, "Puddle Jumping," by the Merritt College Floral Design Department for the Annual Tulip Exhibition at the Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA. Photo by Barbara Newhall

A “Puddle Jumping” raindrop dripped along the chapel’s outside wall. Photo by Barbara Newhall

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