One of the basic tenets of my trend tracking philosophy is “walk in other worlds.” I believe you should leave your comfort zone behind as often as possible, and try new things. You don’t have to travel far, spend a lot of money, or do something wild and crazy. It’s about staying curious and being open to new ideas.
So when a dear friend recently raved about a magazine called “Garden & Gun,” I was curious. I should first disclose that the only garden I have is in terra cotta pots, and my plants wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for my husband. Secondly, I don’t own a gun (but I am a dead-eye dick when shooting clay pigeons). My friend Sandy is a master gardener, but to my knowledge, she doesn’t hunt or own a gun, so I was a little surprised when she passionately recommended the magazine.
Despite (or maybe because of?) the seemingly opposing subjects of gardens and guns, I was curious enough to order a year’s subscription. My first issue came last week. The cover featured Great Southern Homes, and the Editor’s Letter was titled “Secrets Revealed: The Garden & Gun Book of Southern Wisdom,” promising “a boatload of practical tips, tricks, and knowledge” about everything from “the secret to superb biscuits to holding your own at a dove shoot, to whipping up a proper Sazerac.” OK. So those are three things I never thought I would need to know, but I was curious enough to read on. (Do YOU know what a Sazerac is?)
The entire issue turned out to be a tour de force of another world. I acquired a great recipe for “cider with a buzz,” learned where to find the best BBQ in San Francisco (Memphis Minnie’s), and read about three southern “bread shrines.” Shrine, not store…now there’s a great retail reframe. Even the ads were interesting. One featured elegant gas and electric outdoor lights, referred to as “jewelry for your home.” Another ad, for fishing sunglasses of all things, was a work of art. I learned about an Alabama Black Belt Adventure, called “Birds & Birdies.” It’s a hybrid tour of the Alabama Quail Trail and the Robert Trent Jones Golf trail, where you’re invited to take your best shots at yes, game birds and birdie golf shots.
My first issue arrived as floods were ravaging Colorado, “the likes of which we’ve never seen in this country” according to the media. Except, it turns out that’s not exactly true. The book section had a review of a book about the Great US flood of 1927, one of the worst natural disasters in American history. 27,000 square miles were flooded; when a levee broke near Greenville, Mississippi the water dropped at twice the volume of Niagara Falls. 330,000 people were rescued from rooftops, but hundreds died. I thought of Hurricane Katrina and was reminded of the adage “those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.”
The well-written articles offered a fresh perspective and a glimpse of another world. I gleaned a little wisdom, was inspired by interesting insights, discovered several delightful paradoxes, and reaffirmed my belief that you can have an adventure without ever leaving your sofa.
When was the last time you walked in another world, or at least read about one?
GARDEN & GUN
Costa sunglass ad