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Greetings gentle iris folks - now that the dust has settled, I thought I'd
give a short summary of the first EVER Region 2 Japanese Iris Show!

First of all, the show idea was born last year when we staged a particularly
successful Japanese Iris exhibit.  Our area is growing and our people are
fearless - so we thought, WHY NOT!

This is where cyberspace comes in.....

With the idea of an iris show festering all winter, and the beautiful
opportunities available to us all in the fabulous medium - I invited Clarence
Mahan to attend and judge our first show.  This was idea born of coffee and
chutzpah - and Clarance accepted!

The folks in WNY are always thinking about how to gild the lily - in this
case, expand our show for maximum appeal.  We therefore invited the Buffalo
Bonsai Society, Ikebana International, and the Niagara Frontier Koi and Pond
Club (the fish folk) to join us.  Each group was asked to give a short
program during the day on a topic of general interest.

To shorten this somewhat I have to say that the best thing about our show
(after the flowers, of course) was the great people we got together.... the
down side was that we didn't get the publicity we needed so that the crowd
was not quite what we expected.

We DID get a live interview with Clarence on one of our large local TV
stations (he was brilliant!), and we DID get a great story on our local
sweetheart, Anna Rettig, in two of the local papers - but we did NOT get a
show notice on the garden page, even after two faxes and a personal phonecall
(we're a one newspaper town... if they're inclined, they print, if not -

So - the show.... we were at PEAK bloom in most gardens so we ended up with
61 named irises and 21 seedlings.  Surprizingly enough - there were few

QUEEN - Royal One (shown by Dorothy Fingerhood)
1st RUNNER UP - Cascade Crest (Fingerhood)
2nd RUNNER UP - Bellender Blue (you guessed it!)

Dorothy has a flair and attention to detail that is a show winner every time.
 Dorothy worries about winning all our shows (she does), but she only wins
because she DESERVES to!  

Best seedling was  won by KATHY GUEST!!!!!  for a 3-fall with blue sanded
falls and violet standards.  

We were surprised and thrilled to have Chris Hollingshead from Canada, Glenn
Properjohn from Australia, Betty and Don Nutter from Pennsylvania and Tony
and Dorothy Willott from Ohio join us!  

Following the show, we retired to the Guest garden for a scintillating Judges
Training by Clarence on Japanese Iris.  Clarence is one of those talents who
can speak to a group without notes - and yet be organized, informative and
thorough.  I have great pictures of everyone crowded around Clarence 3 deep.

After the work, we had a fun cookout - with everyone else doing the work and
Kathyguest just wandering around ineffectively!

We had a a grand exploratory talk with Chris who is charming, bright and
forward thinking.  The possibility of an International convention seems
closer after talking with him.  

All in all - a splendid time was had by all.....

and the stupid newspaper sent out a photographer who took a GREAT color
picture of Clarence that appeared prominently on the front page of the local
section THE DAY AFTER THE SHOW so that everyone could see what they missed

On Sunday everyone wandered back to their various homes - with the exception
of Glenn Properjohn who joined me in a fun trip to Niagara Falls including a
ride on the Maid of the Mist boat which will take you to the very BASE of the
horseshoe falls where you get soaking wet even through your cute blue
raincoat - and you are absolutely and totally impressed by the absolute power
and magnificence of this wonder!

So - wake up everyone.... my 'summary' is over!  We had fun... and I'm
forever grateful to Clarence Mahan for making our first ever show the event
that it was!

Kathy Guest - getting ready for another adventure today when Marilyn Harlow
arrives - Lilydale tomorrow (community of mediums), then off to Maine with 24
happy iris folks!

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