COOS BAY, OREGON - Peggy Johnson is only 43, but she is the head of one of the newest and fastest growing women's organizations in the U.S. since Sue Ellen Cooper started The Red Hat Society was started in 1998.
Johnson's organization is called "The Evergreen Gals", in reference to evergreen trees that have leaves in all four seasons.
"Members of 'The Evergreen Gals' are dedicated to being fresh and alive in all four seasons of our lives: childhood, adolescence, middle-age, and older age," explains Johnson. "Not only do we want to have fun and enjoy our lives, we want to promote 'Green Movement' values as well."
The Evergreen gals do things like conserve, buy hybrid cars, ride bicycles, and use mass transit. They recycle, compost, go organic, grow gardens, and make choices that protect natural resources, like forests, oceans, and wildlife.
"It is fitting that the headquarters for the organization is in Oregon," says Johnson, "as Oregon has the most trees in the country, with 87,682 millions of cubic feet of timber. My husband, Hal, is a logger. Logging companies replant the areas they log, so the trees are always being renewed. Hal's the one that really gave me the idea for The Evergreen Gals."
When asked if her organization has a poem similar to the famous one used by the Red Hat Society called, "When I Am Old I Shall Wear Purple", Mrs. Johnson replied, "Certainly! We feature a very famous poem, 'Trees' by Joyce Kilmer."
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.