Thursday, October 12, 2000

Thane Maynard back, but briefly

        Hey, look who's back in town: It's Thane Maynard, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden's former education director, star of the 90-Second Naturalist (and still the voice on the zoo's answering machines and PA).

        He's here to speak at the Association of Zoo and Aquarium Docents' convention, today through Sunday.

        The convention is 700 people from 32 states and 74 zoos — people who lead tours and answer questions at exhibits. Nationwide, there are 58,000 of them. Cincinnati has 1,100.

        Maynard, director of the Puget Sound Environmental Learning Center in Washington State, was selected because of his “continuing efforts to preserve and ensure a diversity of wildlife for generations to come,” the conference brochure says.

        But don't look for him around town. He breezed in Wednesday, delivers the keynote address today at the Omni, mixes and mingles a bit with participants (he's a superstar in their world), then heads home. If he gets out, look for him at Myra's Dionysus Restaurant near UC, his longtime favorite.

        Joan Embry, Conservation Ambassador for the San Diego Zoo, is also here. She speaks Saturday.

        And while you probably won't find Maynard and Embry around town, you will find the participants: Conference chairs David and Betty Choate have arranged between-sessions lunches, dinners, boat rides and tours, including one of the zoo's Manatee Springs. That's important because it just won two big time awards, namely the Munson Aquatic Conservation Exhibitry Award for Excellence and the Significant Achievement Award from the AZA.

        Artsy do: Here's something you don't see at many art openings: A wedding.

        That was last weekend at Hyde Park's Miller Gallery: “The artist we were opening, Keith Klein, asked if he could do it at his opening,” says owner Barbara Miller. “He said he wanted to be surrounded by all the love he put in his paintings when he married fiancee Margaret Singe.

        “He also wanted it to be a surprise. A few of us knew about it, but the parents didn't. They were shocked, but also delighted.”

        Sooooo, after your basic opening — people sipping wine and trying to see the prices without being obvious — Miller cleared an aisle and drafted Klein's brother (he didn't know either) to play a clarinet fanfare.

        The guests weren't the only ones surprised. Klein, expecting Singe to walk down the aisle in street clothes, was surprised to see her in a traditional gown with full train.

        “Now people want to know what gives for our next opening,” Miller says. “Know anybody who's pregnant and due Nov. 11?”

        Contact Jim Knippenberg at 768-8513; fax: 768-8330. Read previous columns at Cincinnati.Com.


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- KNIPPENBERG: Thane Maynard back, but briefly
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