The Cincinnati Enquirer
When the Civic Garden Center's 2004 "Bare Roots" calendar was announced last month, we were teased with the promise of "surprise celebrities" for May.
Today, we learn the Messers for May are Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall, longtime Cincinnati Reds broadcasters, tomato gardeners and community icons. Actually, only Brennaman is in the buff in the photo of him in a wheelbarrow being pushed by Nuxhall.
Marty (in the buff) and Joe in the Civic Garden Center's 2004 "Bare Roots" calendar.
(Tony Walsh photo)
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The calendar will be unveiled 6-8 p.m. today at the center, 2715 Reading Road, Avondale. Admission is free.
Calendars are $14.95. Order online: www.civicgardencenter.org.
"We couldn't think of a better fit for the month of May," says Joeliene Magoto, Civic Garden Center executive director. "It's near the beginning of the baseball and planting seasons, and this duo is known for debating who can grow the biggest and best tomatoes."
The calendar picture was taken at Turpin Farms in Newtown where photographer Tony Walsh had a naked Brennaman climb into an oversized wheelbarrow.
"Once Marty was settled in, Joe, who was fully clothed - to play up on the differences in their personalities - began pushing him through a sod field," Walsh says.
"I'm an exhibitionist by nature," Brennaman says. "I think (the calendar) is a great concept, and if our participation helps them sell more calendars, that's fine."
What about Joe?
"He wouldn't do it," Brennaman says of his clothed partner.
Many of the calendar models will be at today's event and at a signing noon-2 p.m. Sunday at Joseph Beth booksellers at Rookwood Pavilion in Norwood.
The cover couple is Michael and Janet Howe-Smith, community gardeners and Civic Garden Center members. Others appearing are WLW radio personalities Bill Cunningham and Bill "Seg" Dennison; Cincinnati Councilman Jim Tarbell and his wife, Brenda; arts supporter Melody Sawyer Richardson; and community gardeners and center members Chris Health, Dave Gamstetter, Randy and Pam Fischer, Warren Klink, Cynthia Colebrook, Christie Smith, Melody Robinson and Anne Gehring.
Calendars will be in stores Friday. For a list of vendors, go to www.civicgardencenter.org or call 221-0981.
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