This Week’s Column (in case ya missed it) Dual Identities….


With all the rainfall in the last week, the ground at Groundhog Hill is pretty darn muddy so there’s not much to do except stand and stare at the blank rows and yell in a lifeguard-type voice, “Is anything germinating under there?”

So like all super master gardeners with time on their hands, I have assumed a dual identity. I like to think of him as Estate Manager, but my father has another name for him: Yard Boy.

Yard Boy mows the grass, weeds the flower beds, and tends to the compost pile. He’s part landscape architect, part day laborer. The position is an unpaid one.

He also is charged with a chore I usually think of as Ben-work (as in my much older and less attractive brother Ben): Cleaning the decomposing leaf-pods from the clogged gutters on Dad’s 101-year-old house. (This house was built by Owen T. Daugherty, a contractor and former Sherriff who is my maternal great-grandfather).

Cleaning these gutters involves ascending and descending a rickety ladder of unknown age and hoping the only thing you find in the gutters are leaves and not some type of corpse (bird, snake, mouse, kitten).

Yard Boy also takes care of the recycling and gets stuff fixed like broken lawnmowers, weedeaters, dryers, etc.

Even though YB has been mowing the same lawn off and on for the last 38 years (or so), he cannot yet be fully trusted to do so without parental supervision.

So, he is watched like a hawk by his 93.5 years-young father who sits comfortably in a cushioned chair on the shaded back porch while YB sweats in the hot sun.

As you can see, dual identities are tough. Is it any wonder that Clark Kent bolted from Smallville for the parent-less Metropolis? Clearly, he just wanted to get out of doing those daily farm chores and to escape those never-ending suggestions for how he could do things better.

Let’s hope the sun starts to shine over the long weekend, and Yard Boy can hang up his clippers and return to Groundhog Hill where he is Master of Johnson grass, Cape Milkweed, and Wild Garlic.

More later from Groundhog Hill.

Contact Steve at or check out his blog at to see weekly updates and more photos of the garden.

About Surfing Hollywood

Steve La Rue is an internationally recognized leader in Film & Television with 20+ years experience as a Development Executive championing such series as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Battlestar Galactica, and Farscape. He writes, blogs, and consults on All Things TransMedia from his home at the beach in Santa Monica, CA, where he balances his life by surfing every damn day.
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1 Response to This Week’s Column (in case ya missed it) Dual Identities….

  1. Jana says:

    Realizing that I am really late in commenting…your revised design looks like the family quilt! Hope all is well in LaRue County!!!! Once you are finished being YB at 308, shuffle on over to Buffalo where I know a momma that would love your services!!

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