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Re: AIS: Genesis of the Sections: Passion, Friendship, and Self-R...


From: HIPSource@aol.com

In a message dated 12/10/99 5:26:05 PM Eastern Standard Time, RYFigge@aol.com 
writes:

<<  Anner, you are superb - what a wonderful review of the history of 
sections  - 
 thank you -- Rosalie nr Baltimore  z0ne 7  ryfigge@aol.com >>

Rosalie, thank you, but you are far too generous. I did not do anything but 
sit down here with the two Anniversary Bulletins and hunt and peck some bits 
into a string. All credit must be to those who wrote the original material. 

I think it is a good thing to know some of the history of the organization 
and I have been trying to get a better feel for it all myself this year.

AIS really has been through some times in the changing world of the twentieth 
century. It arose among wealthy enthusiasts, most of whom were very 
sophisticated about irises and grew quickly in the twenties. In this period, 
which was a period of enormous advances in iris development here and abroad, 
it was said that the iris was the favorite garden perennial in America. Think 
about that.

AIS survived the Depression, although it felt it very hard. It lost members 
and growers at a time when those charged with running the organization had 
just realized that they had signed up all the folks who already loved irises 
and would have to convert new people to the love of irises in order to get 
new members. Times got hard.

AIS also survived the Second World War, although business pretty well ground 
to a halt. Communication suffered, people suffered, and hybridizing in Europe 
took a bad hit as fields were converted to food production or bombed to 
kingdom come. But then came peace, and some time to regroup, and now we hear 
about the rebirth of an iris interest so strong that no one organization 
meeting annually and publishing a quarterly could meet all needs. It still 
can't.

I see no indication that the attitude toward the sections was, or is, to 
shunt all the cranks off into cubbyholes so the real business of TB idolatry 
could continue without interruption. Indeed, the people involved in the rise 
of the Sections would not seem to be people who over-identified with any one 
sort of iris, but people notable for their passionate interest in different 
kinds who went out and made stuff happen for themselves. 

Anner Whitehead
HIPSource@aol.com

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