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ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIIIIIIIGH


Your reporter at the scene of the crime here in Denver, Colorado.  I'm already
having trouble remembering what day it is (they say it's Tuesday) so I thought
I'd better file a short report before hitting this enormous bed.

I got into Denver airport yesterday and had no trouble finding the shuttle to
the hotel.  I was totally unprepared for the fact that Denver is NOT in the
mountains, however.... Denver is quite flat... and the mountains are over
there.

They are beautiful.... like a fantastic mural in the distance.... but we are
on solid ground and not even close to them, really.

ANYWAY....I met up with Marilyn Harlow and Bill Maryott last night and we had
an outstanding dinner together here in the hotel.  Bill and Marilyn recently
moved their extraordinary iris collection from and urban area (San Jose) to a
rural area (somewhere near Monterey or something).  Their business also
changed from an almost exclusive walk-up, cash and carry trade to a completely
mail order business.  I wonder how many folks have seen his catalog????  It's
really unlike any other - but still, it's going to be a tough transition to
make and they're aware of that.

Anyway.... the thing I thought was interesting is that Bill is now actively
interested in club orders and any clubs that are looking to order in irises
for their sale might consider getting in touch with him.  Our club has been
ordering in irises for several years now... ever since we realized the demand
outstrips what we can dig from members' gardens.  The money we spend is made
back that day, so we don't agonize over the expense.... but it IS hard to find
a supplier who will offer newer irises at an attractive enough price where the
club can make a profit.  

Anyway... I pass that along for what it's worth.

Lots of folks are  here already.... of the 60 geek tags I made, there are only
6 still lying on the table.  Some of the folks (that I hadn't met before) that
I've met include Vicki Craig, Sara Marley, Dorothy Gordon, Joe and Donna
Spears, and the ever-popular RUSTY.  I just had a nice long talk with him.....
he's very excited to be here and I enjoyed our chat.

This morning I was able to get myself invited to the Denver Botanic gardens
with Bill Smoot, Carol Warner, Shirley Pope and some friends of theirs.  The
only room was in the trunk of Smoot's Bronco - but I'm not proud.  The Gardens
are fabulous... the weather was sparkling and warm and we even got a personal
tour from one of the Gardens' curators who showed us all the species irises
that they have in their collection - and we all tried to behave as though we
knew exactly what they all are.  We had a grand time..... the gardens are
packed with interesting plants and... since we're all gardeners first.... wish
lists grew.

This afternoon was devoted to MEETINGS.  The biggest and the grand daddy of
all the meetings is the Board meeting.  We met from 1 till 5 and actually put
quite a dent in the agenda.  Probably the biggest news is that Dr. Roy
Epperson has had the revised judges handbook completed and PUBLISHED.  There
are copies for sale here... $15 each - and I think folks will be impressed.
One "why didn't anyone think of it before" change that he made was to put the
standards for garden judging and show judging each type of iris next to each
other to save flipping of pages.  There are now standards for historics and
space age iris.... the new criteria for the Wister Medal is included and some
modifications have been made as to minimum requirements for an accredited
show.

But first and foremost... IT'S HERE - and I hope that those of you who are in
the judges training program take a moment to send Dr. Epperson a huge "atta
boy", for an enormous job well done.

Another very interesting 'tweak' that has been made is to the membership
year.... as some of you may know, the membership year was changed to a
calendar year a couple of years ago.. which did not sit well with everyone.
The reason that some folks are unhappy is because most new members join during
iris season....and actually, their year is already 1/2 over when they join!
Some clubs have been holding memberships until the following January, but then
the new member is not stimulated when they need it most.  A wonderful
compromise has been reached whereby the membership year will remain the
same... however, new members will receive two Bulletins free until their
actual membership begins in January.  So, the entrance to the membership year
is seamless... the cost is affordable and everyone seems to be happy.

Of course, lots of other things happened too, but those are two items that I
thought might be of general interest.

>From the Board meeting, some of us went to the SJI Board meeting... then to
the RVP meeting and then to the Judges Training Chairmen's meeting.  My dinner
was a bag of pretzels and some lemonade.

Tomorrow will be more meetings..... tons 'o meetings - Board from 8 till 5,
then the welcome banquet and then we'll all hit the iris trail.

Good night
Kathyguest...... on the job in Denver





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