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Re: OT:NEEDS Breathing New Life Into An Old Club

In a message dated 1/25/05 1:23:49 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
jbruce1@cinci.rr.com writes:

<<  I do wish there was a way AIS could better promote and educate from a 
national level.  >>

As I have said in this forum before, although not recently, I think this is 
the crux of the matter. 

Because the national organization does not adequately articulate and carry 
forth its own public mission--which is an admirable and workable one-- it cannot 
serve as an example to the grassroots, and because no one at the grassroots 
understands what being part of the larger organization means, or understands 
AIS' real purpose and importance, they can't draw on its strength, and AIS fails 
at the local level, and quite probably at the Regional one as well. I'd like 
to see a progressive, activist AIS emerge, something plugged into the broader 
contemporary horticultural scene. 

Most AIS' work must be done at the local level, and that is where AIS, for 
better or for worse, shows its human face, the face of its members. But for that 
work to get done, the members have to understand what it is, and why it is 
what it is, and they have to believe in it, and enjoy doing it, one step at a 
time, one show at a time, one gardener at a time.  

If there is no, what shall I call it-- philosophical foundation-- to what is 
going on, local members will just go through the motions, or not as the case 
may be, and soon the fun dries up and it gets boring, and the bickering and 
stirring starts, and members who, inconceivable as it may sound, would rather pay 
their twenty bucks a year for burgers or flowers than to listen to that 
stuff, just drift away. 

It is, however, well to remember that many folks aren't interested in much 
beyond their own frame of reference, which is not to say they are selfish or 
solipsistic or narrow or dumb. They have a limited idea of what an Iris Society 
is supposed to mean for them, and they are never going to be interested in any 
big picture, never going to think taking the message of Great Irises to the 
public is fun, never going to see much beyond the next free rhizome, never going 
to understand the meaning of Affiliation with AIS, and that is fine, so long 
as the whole AIS is not operating on that level. But it seems clear to me that 
because AIS is not doing what some folks think it should be doing when such 
is not what it was formed to do does not mean that it is failing. It may mean 
that it needs to reexamine its goals, and its progress in meeting them.

<<uninformed and sometimes baseless criticism.>>

I do think anyone stepping up to offer substantial criticism of an 
organization or individual really should scrupulously confirm the factual basis of their 

Now, I think I shall sign off on this subject, or as some might say, drift 

Anner Whitehead
Richmond VA USA

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