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AIS: Convention Report

Rusty Thornsburg sends:

Well, John Jones is *already* asking for a convention report from yours

The Convention was amazing, with few disappointments, weather included. 
I have already been drafted to write about it for our Regional
Newsletter, and the Iris Fan, not that I'm complaining.  The Welcome
Banquet was really fun,(I met Gerry Snyder!) I sat at a table with
Hooker and Bonnie Nichols, Farron Campbell (old friends), Rita Butler
(of our list), and John and Fran Weiler. (new friends)  As many of you
know, John is the hybridizer of SATIN SATAN, so we definitely had
something to talk about! 
Dave Miller didn't know who I was when he introduced the youth members,
so I got a funny look from him and several moments of silence as he
tried to figure out who I was... you'd think the shouts of "Rusty" from
several members of the crowd would have been a clue... Anyway, he knows
who I am *now.*

Thursday's and Saturday's Garden Tours were a blast, due mostly to the
fact that on Thursday, I sat in front of Bill Maryott, and next to Judy
Eckoff, and got to meet and eat lunch with Mike and Anne Lowe, as well
as Jeff Walters. (What cool people!) We spent 3/4 of the time eating
lunch and talking, and, had I not perused the Guest beds upon arrival to
the garden, I wouldn't have seen any irises at all!  Waaaaay too much
fun.  Saturday, I actually got to sit NEXT to Bill Maryott on the bus,
and that was probably the most fun I had at the convention.

Friday's only bus-tour highlight was getting to go through the guest
beds at Long's Gardens with Rick Tasco and Roger Duncan.  I would
venture to say that Ruffled Goddess and Sudden Impact were 2 of the 2 or
so irises that were really looking excellent there. The bus, however,
was a nightmare.  The transmission sounded more like a coffee grinder,
and the bus driver couldn't change gears smoothly to save his life.  I
think we all had (mild) whiplash by the end of the day.

Wednesday evening, before the Welcome Banquet, there was a youth
reception that was actually quite fun.  I had a great time getting to
meet Jim and Jean Morris, Luella Danielson, and, briefly, Rita Butler,
who I ended up sitting next to at the banquet.

Thursday night, in the closing moments of the Silent Auction, (there
really wasn't anything 'silent' about it) I successfully bid on 2
irises, Rick Tasco's GLACIER POINT and Jim Hedgecock's SIOUX UPRISING,
both SA's.  I had my eye on a collection of Lloyd Austin's catalogs, but
there came a point where I had to decide between being able to eat for
the rest of the week, or get 'some catalogs'.  I also got to meet
Virginia Messick, and Rosalie Figge. So that was alot of fun, too.

Friday Night, I was disappointed to find out that we weren't going to
have our "chat" like the schedule said we would (and that's exactly how
it was worded, too!) but a meeting, talking about the internet, and new
technology, and how it applies to irises, etc.  Mike Lowe *invited* me
to speak about the pros and cons of free email, so that was A LOT of fun
getting to speak knowledgeably in front of iris people.

Saturday was the Awards banquet and I sat at the "Youth Table." We had a
great view of all of the awards being presented, and I did get to sit
next to Ruth Simmons, who is obviously still a youth at heart.

Sunday, everyone but my roomate and I left, so we went to the Denver
Botanic Gardens, where there was a  *smashing* stained glass art show
going on.  BTW, we were the last to check out of the hotel, and I was
the last iris conventioneer to leave... that place really died after
everyone left.

Anyway, that was waaaay too long, and I left out too much stuff, and
someone's going to be angry that I left them out...

Rusty (just now catching his breath)

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