March 19, 2010
Courtesy of Hans Rueffert – via The Woodbridge Inn March Newsletter…It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we lost our family’s patriarch. Joe was many things to many people, but he embodied the spirit of the Woodbridge Inn and I’m proud to know that we’re continuing in his footsteps. Many of you have shared your own personal “Joe stories” and without fail, those stories always come with plenty of laughs and smiles. Thank you for keeping his memory alive.
My father was known not only for his suspenders and wry sense of humor, but also for his green thumb. When asked about his green thumb, he would quickly quip, “I don’t have a green thumb, I have a BUSY thumb!” and he was always working on his beloved plants. The entire Woodbridge property is somewhat of a living museum and nearly every planting has a story that goes along with it. Some of the plants were acquired in the usual way, but many of them were come by in less traditional ways. As the trees and shrubs begin to push forth their spring blooms and buds, I’m reminded of those stories.
A stout European buckeye tree thrives at the bottom left corner of the swimming pool enclosure. That tree was grown from a chestnut that my father pocketed while attending his father’s funeral in Herford Germany.
We’ve started a small culinary garden in memory of Joe just behind the restaurant. It still has a long way to go, but be sure to walk around the left side of the porch the next time you’re out to eat and see what’s what. There are a few cabbages sending up flowers right now and a dwarf peach is popping up a few blooms as well. As the weather warms we’ll start to populate the garden with tomatoes and peppers and all the herbs one could ever hope for. It’s a fitting tribute to a man with “busy thumbs” and a deep love for his plants.
From an article I did with Joe in 2008 – jasperpickenscountyga.com/the-woodbridge-inn-and-lodge