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Setting the Record Straight

  • Subject: Setting the Record Straight
  • From: Giboshiman@aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2001 02:09:32 EDT

The reason for this e-mail is to set the record straight regarding some
information on The Hosta Adventure.  At least one local newsletter, on three
separate occasions, has listed for sale "The Hosta Adventure, edited by CH
Falstad. . .." This has now been repeated in a second local newsletter.  
Although, this is technically true, it is as different as if it said CH
Falstad "the" editor, versus CH Falstad, "an" editor.  I must admit my ego,
fed by significant "side-bar" discussions from my wife, based upon time she
has lost with me, has resulted in this e-mail.  If this bothers you I
apologize but I feel I still must continue with the message.

(I am also adding some early history of The Hosta Adventure for posterity.)  
In 1999 during the annual March meeting of the Carolina Hosta Society, held
that year in Greensborough, CH approached me and said wouldn't it be great if
we put together a "beginner's handbook" for the society.  That night we
stayed up until 2:00 am putting together the outline of chapters, with
suggested authors.  

CH then took this idea to Jim Wilkins who thought it was great and it was
made an agenda item at the National Board meeting held at the National
Convention in Jackson, MI.  The initial budget was set and the publications
committee was charged with moving forward with the idea.  Due to a number of
reasons by the next convention in Minnesota, all that had prepared was the
"mockup" of a cover, photo selection, and layout by Janet Mills, with CH and
I only making two suggested photo changes (interestingly enough the final
version changed back to Janet's original selection and then 1 photo change).

Things progressed solely due to other commitments but during Thanksgiving
weekend (November 2000) I sat down and in 72 hours produced our first working
draft taking original, and prior published material of my own and combined
that with material by Bob Solberg, Sandie Markland, and Jim Wilkins.  I then
e-mailed that first 32 page draft to CH, who added three subchapters -- it
was now up to 36 pages single spaced.  It next went to Jim Wilkins who added
two more subchapters, but more importantly rewrote the entire text to make it
sound like one person had written it.  

Jim then sent it back to CH and I for further editing.  We edited it and then
it went out to Ed Elslager, Sarah DaPra, Mark Hanner, Jan Everson, Bob
Solberg, and Warren Pollock, all of who made several substantive, as well as,
grammatical suggestions.  CH and I discussed all of the substantive
suggestions and he, or I made the necessary rewrites, and I incorporated the
grammatical suggestions as they still fit into the material that had been
modified.  It was again sent out to Jim Wilkins who made some additional
suggestions to make it sound like one voice.  Then it went to Sally Murphy
and Warren Pollock for a final, "third-party" review and polish.  CH and I
then took their comments and worked them into the final version.

At this point, and at my wife's expense, I spent another weekend selecting
the photos and their location in the text for the next phase of layout.  CH
reviewed my selections made some suggested changes and we turned this over to
Nancy Kavanaugh (Janet Mills' sister, for layout).  We wanted this out a
month before the convention so we put The Hosta Journal on a two week hold
and focused our efforts on The Hosta Adventure. Janet MIlls even went to San
Diego (where Nancy lives; Janet lives in Minneapolis) for a week at her own
personal travel expense to assist Nancy in the final layout phase.  Her
husband and kids went too.  Her husband and kids went to Disneyland and Se
World and the San Diego Zoo while Janet stayed with Nancy and worked on The
Hosta Adventure.  CH then made all the printing arrangements consulting with
Janet Mills and me as to terms of art, etc., that the printer was using and
with which CH was unfamiliar.

Due to a desire to make the publication as timeless as possible, it was
decided that no one individual's name, nor "select" group of names would be
attached to the publication.  However, the attribution to one person has
occurred now in at least two local newsletters.  So for all those that have
worked on the Hosta Adventure, and if I have forgotten someone I will get
back to the group with that name, this was a significant GROUP or TEAM effort
and all those mentioned above deserve a thank you the next time you see them.

PS.  I would be remiss if I didn't add that CH and I narrowed down a list of
thirty possible titles to three and, at first as a joke, I read them off to
my wife while CH waited on the phone.  My wife said, without hesitation, that
there was only one choice, The Hosta Adventure.  So even my non-gardening
wife got her two cents in on the project!

Kevin P. Walek

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