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Re: HYB: Irene "Rambler" Johnson

From: JForte21@aol.com

Hi All,

Some nice soul referred my question about hybridizer Irene Johnson in 
Atascadero to Keith Keppel.  He found me at the Region 14/15 Trek this 
weekend and gave me some background.  Seems he knew her in the late 50s and 
used to drive the fifteen minutes north from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (where 
he was going to school, and where I now teach) so he could "talk irises" with 

He said everyone called her "Rambler" and that she was disabled, so she would 
tend to her nursery in a little cart.  Apparently she collected irises with 
musical names.  He couldn't remember what irises she had hybridized, but I'll 
keep perusing that '59 checklist.  Or maybe Howard Hughes will get the master 
list done before long.  

Keith also mentioned that Essig had an affiliation with Cal Poly and there 
used to be a whole hillside of Sierra Blue by the Dean's House.  The other 
day I saw a blue historic all by itself in the parking lot:  I bet that was 
it.  I will have to go investigate the Dean's House.

Anyway I got a kick out of the idea that little tiny Atascadero has an iris 

Mary Forte, Atascadero, CA Zone 9 (this week) where the ABs are blooming and 
MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION is so close to opening I feel like a kid waiting for 
the cookies to be done

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