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RE: [Fwd: [THML] Re: California fires.]/supplier

Riveting, indeed.  Thanks for posting this, David.  I'm thrilled that
your suppliers' property was saved.  One can only wonder at the heroism
of those firefighters who just won't give up despite overwhelming odds,
horrible conditions and what must be near complete exhaustion by now.

Zone 7 - West TN

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net] On
Behalf Of David Franzman
Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2003 11:23 AM
To: Garden
Subject: [CHAT] [Fwd: [THML] Re: California fires.]/supplier

I'm forwarding this message from my supplier.  He posted this on the 
Hibiscus list.  It's a fairly riveting tale so I thought you would like 
to see it rather than just reading the answer from me.  I hope this 
isn't just spam for you.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	FW: Spam Alert: [THML] Re: California fires.
Date: 	Thu, 30 Oct 2003 08:28:13 -0500
From: 	Micki <mickimouse@mindspring.com>
To: 	David Franzman <dfranzma@pacbell.net>

-----Original Message-----
From: Charles Black [mailto:cb@hiddenvalleyhibiscus.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2003 1:57 AM
To: thml@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Spam Alert: [THML] Re: California fires.

Hi Dale and Friends,

This is the first time I could get online since Saturday night, due to
electricity outages and being more than a little busy. As circumstances
would have it Yvonne, the HVH web master, is here in CA on her annual
visit to see the new cvs and enjoy life in a hibiscus nursery for a few
weeks. We had been fine tuning a new propagation area and were in the
middle of grafting next year's plants when we lost power on Sunday

Since then I have been fighting for the survival of my nursery as fire
scorched the surrounding area, and Yvonne has been there every step of
the way. Together we and other HVH staff battled a blaze on an adjoining
property that threatened to ignite a line of Eucalyptus trees that would
surely have resulted in fire engulfing my entire place. We won that
skirmish but would once again have lost everything if it were not for
the fire fighters stopping an advancing wall of flame around midnight on
Sunday. They shoveled a break some 10 yards from our east property line
and it held despite pessimistic asessment by some of the fire crew. On
Monday night the winds had shifted and the entire mountainside on our
west border was ablaze, separated from us only by the 2 lane road that
leads to our driveway. We watched in awe as the fire crews returned and
set a back fire that prevented the bigger fire from jumping the road and
racing acoss the Hidden Valley Hibiscus property. When we approached the
road to have a better look a familiar black man popped out of the
shadows with a microphone saying "Hi, I'm Al Roker (sp?), covering the
fire for NBC's Today Show."  He asked us some questions and then went
back to the firemen.

In the last 24 hours the fire has been driven east by onshore winds and
away from our area. As the smoke cleared today (Yvonne never expected to
wear a pesticide respirator for most of 2
days!) we were shocked to see the utter devastation of all the
neighboring property in every direction. We and a horse rancher
adjoining our property to the north had the only properties that were
not burned to charcoal for as far as the eye can see. The rest of the
area looks like a black and white moonscape, with our little green oasis
in the midst of it.

Though we had not a single blade of grass burned, we soon realized that
without electricity we could not pump water from the wells and without
water we could lose all the hibiscus. We raced to Home Depot and bought
one of the last 2 generators they had but it was not able to power our
well pump. Back to Graingers the next day and they came thru with a
generator that can do the job.

The whole experience has been surreal, and I aplogize for not making
contact with more people outside the area. Yvonne could not even go
online to put a message on our website due to the phone lines being down
as well as the electricity.

Tomorrow all of the HVH workers we could find will return and we will
continue with normal operations, except that we cannot process orders
placed on our website quite yet nor retrieve mail in a timely way
(orders can be placed, we just cannot download them now). Wholesale
sales continue as scheduled and propagation for next year will resume
full scale tomorrow.

Dale, sorry about the cell phone. There is no service in the valley
where we are located even in normal times so I can only receive calls
during the times we are back down in Escondido. I will write you
directly or call as soon as I can.

Another fire fighter died today, defending the lovely old mountain town
of Julian in the mountains east of here. In our area 111 homes were
lost, but many more than that were saved. 2 people died, but many more
almost did.  Our firefighters were sent north during the 2 days before
the San Diego fires started, but once they returned in force they did a
tremendous job of saving lives and structures. They had to let a lot of
land burn but in some ways that will be better for the future. Our
sincerest best wishes and prayers go out to the fire fighters who time
and again stepped in at the last minute with decisive force and
prevented a great tragedy from becoming even worse.

We will probably create some new web pages to document the fire and how
we dealt with it at HVH, these to be announced in an upcoming News

To all who have written to Yvonne and I in the last days, thank you.  I
have only just begun to review the hundreds of messages that are
waiting, and will not be able to answer many of them until we are
permanently back online (Yvonne managed this current session on her
laptop in a motel with a connection to a dial up in Sweden!), but thanks
to all of you for your thoughts and messages.

Dreaming of hibiscus yet to come,

Charles Black

 > From: tamibon@aol.com
 > Date: 2003/10/29 Wed PM 10:30:45 EST
 > To: THML@yahoogroups.com
 > Subject: Re: [THML] Re: California fires.
 > I have called Charles Black's personal cell phone many times in the
last few  > days.  >  > No one answers and the phone keeps ringing
without an answerphone/voicemail  > reply.  >  > Not sure what to make
of it. I'll keep the group posted if I get any response.  >  > Hope
everyone survives this great catastrophe.  >  > Dale Dubin

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