Re: Re: HYB:Product Identity/Mogensen
I appreciate Bill Burleson's laudatory comments and degree of confidence in
my opinions, memory and prejudices when it comes to irises.
On more than one occasion I have quoted the title of one of the South's
Episcopalian bishops autobiography, "Frequently Wrong, But Never in Doubt."
The humerous but cautionary title brought a laugh from me, as I knew the
experience full well, and I remind others. I err, but I listen and learn.
I do listen when someone expresses an opinion different from mine, or
remembers the history and the past or "historic" varieties with which I
grew, lived with, and loved many years ago. My knowlege grows through those
I've been involved with irises of many types off and on over a span of years
nearing sixty now, similar in range but not depth to Keppel, Ghio, Maryott,
Edinger, all of whom but Maryott I had gotten to know forty-five years ago
at a convention of the Society, and with whom I took part for a time in a
Robin of "Teens and Twenties."
I watched the first introductions--with the originators' considerable
enthusiasm--of Moldovan, Keppel and Ghio enter the market and begin a
movement to their stature as giants in the iris (and in Moldovan's case,
Hemerocallis) world. What an exciting time that was!
Keith Keppel and I kept in contact from time to time over the years, and it
is due to him and Julie Allen of middle Tennessee that I reentered the
society as the time of my retirement came closer. Keith graciously guided
my first purchases of the current "best of the best" on the market, as I was
hopelessly lost. Over the next couple of years I traced back the pedigrees
of countless irises to the ones I had known, learning much about the
breeding programs some major breeders had followed, particularly Schreiners,
Keppel and Ghio, and then subsequently, Blyth. I don't feel so lost now.
Once I knew about Bill's efforts on my behalf, I got off my duff and worked
out a process of reinstatemt with Dr. Epperson and my RVP, Ginny Spoon. The
*Handbook...* does have a provision for reinstatement that could be
interpreted to fit my situation, even though the author(s) by no means meant
it to apply to as long a lapse as I had had in membership.
As opportunities came and went for Judge's Training, which I do need as a
refresher or reducator and to broaden my knowledge of Siberians, LA's, JI's
and more, I found that I was unable to make the trips, however short, to
take part. I finally got realistic and knew my state of recovery physically
from my recent rather extreme "medical adventures" was not adequate to
follow through with that to which Epperson, the RVP and I had agreed. I
regretfully withdrew my request and let the matter drop.
Dorothy, I see the merit of your and your husband's contributions, and I
admire them greatly. You two have made enormous contributions to the
knowledge and experience of those who grow the smaller dwarfs. I honor
that! I can see fully justified the granting of Emeritus status to the two
As for my own, I would welcome Emeritus status, but I would miss the active
part of the life of a judge. I enjoyed it a lot when active before.
Being this limited physically, I realized I was foolish to seek active
reinstatement as I'm not able to do that work, make the travel--even down to
Greenville-Spartanburg or to near Charlotte where three or four significant
commercial gardens with up-to-date collections are present, none of which
exceed an hour to an hour and a half drive. To vote a worthy and thoughtful
ballot, I would need to make those trips perhaps two or three times in a
season to catch the range of seasons of bearded and Siberian irises.
The core activities of Region 4, in which I reside, are a drive of eight or
nine hours from here. I couldn't do that at all, even if someone else
Were I asked to judge a show, the same restrictions and incapacity arise.
I've dropped the matter for cause.
Bill, I do greatly appreciate your efforts on my behalf. But a public
status doesn't depend on a label applied by the Society. If my efforts are
worthwhile and helpful, I am grateful. They either will or will not stand
on their own.
The contributions of Currier McEwen, the Willots and others with Emeritus
status, however, stand as very tall in the profile of contributors to the
world of irises. I hardly see my own as comparable. I'm just me, doing
what I enjoy most, and hangin' in there the best I can. That garden out
there needs a lot of work, and my primary physician encourages the efforts,
but says, "Be careful. Don't fall! Don't try to lift--forty pounds is a
lot--don't go over that!" I hear and obey.
Neil Mogensen z7 Reg 4 western NC mountains
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