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The AHS -- should you join?


I really do need to keep these comments short, but then I don't have 
to get up too early this morning either.

>The problem with any organization that becomes stagnate is mostly 
>when people have lost, or cannot see, the vision clearly.

The problem with a stagnate society is probably the most difficult to 
deal with and even more so if the leadership is of the type that 
proves the Peter Principle works.  As I told Clyde, I'm a long time 
member of the lily and daylily societies and both of them have been 
kind of stagnate for a long time.  Both have suffered from publication 
crisis for a long time; on and off for the last 15 years with the lily 
society and about 8-9 years for the daylily society.  Neither society 
seems able to solve the problems because they want to keep control 
within a certain select group of in people.  Once you get very narrow 
minded people into positions of control it's very difficult to make 

>What I'm saying is that the vision of the AHS may not be clear on how 
>to attract and retain members,

The one thing I find frustrating about almost all plant societies is 
that they use their journals/newsletters to promote the society rather 
then promote the plant.  I know that you have to have some stuff in 
the journals that relates to the societies business, but if you also 
don't have anything in the journal that really relates to the plant, 
then what good does it do to join the society.  Instead of spending 
$25 for AHS membership I rather go out and buy some books on hostas - 
I certainly would learn a lot more then I could from reading all the 
garden visiting articles in the hosta Journal.  If the hosta society 
can learn to start promoting hosta, the plant, then it might gain a 
lot more members.

>The two biggest benefits of the national association are the 
>convention and the AHS Journal.

That may be true for some people.  As for myself, I am rarely 
interested in attending conventions and so far I haven't found much in 
the hosta Journal that makes me want to have it.  For what I want I 
find this robin to be far more valuable.  For others it might be 

>That said, it's time for you to part company with those dollars.

Now, here's the problem - $18 of one society, $20 for another, $8 for 
a local society, several magazine subscriptions, and on and on and 
before long we are talking about some serious money.  Twenty five 
dollars may not be a lot, but then I can "belong" to this group for 
nothing.  It's not that I have anything against the hosta society, 
it's just that I haven't seen the compelling reason for why I need to 

>...but if it is members only that can go on the tour bus, then you'll 
>really want to sign up for sure.

One thing I can tell you for sure and that is IF I do go to a 
convention, which I do when the lily society meeting is in Portland, I 
DON'T look forward to the bus tours!  As to seeing hostas, all I have 
to do is go 5 miles down the road and stop off and see Charlie 
Purtymun and I can see most of the newest hostas available.

>Other than skiing, touring AHS National Convention HOSTA gardens is 
>the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

OK, so what's the most fun with your clothes off!

>And Joe, you won't believe how much nicer we all are in person.

And you won't believe how much nicer I am in person, and how shy and 
quiet I really am!  Some people also say good looking, but that is 

>One last problem though, I talk just as much in person as I do via 
>email, if not more.

Now, that I will believe!

>I'll want to talk your head off about allotetraploids,
>autotetraploids, unreduced gametes, and whatever else you are willing 
>to share...

You can always call me and talk - I really am quite friendly.  
However, just make sure you can afford to pay for your phone bill!

Joe Halinar

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