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  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • From: Irisborer <Irisborer@aol.com>
  • Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 16:22:58 -0600 (MDT)

And two shows....

This weekend, Peter Weixlmann and I judged two shows (or rather, he judged
two...I just did one) and the contrast between the two is very interesting.

First of all you should know that these were not local shows..... one was in
Albany, NY (about as far from Buffalo as you can get and still stay in the
state) and the other was in Trenton, NJ!!!  In all, we put just under 1,000
miles on my car in two days - and we figured that if we had been able to
travel in a straight line, we could've gone to Nashville!

Anyway, I digress.

The first show, as I said was in Albany.  This is a fairly young club and the
energy level is very high.  They are a great bunch and just seeing these folks
took the curse off the drive that commenced at 5 am (to make the 10 am start).
Our own Dorothy Fingerhood was one of the other judges who were on the panel
with Peter in addition to one other person.  

The show represented an area that was a teensy bit past peak - but still a
respectable showing.  This funny El Nino weather has dumped all manner of
median iris, TB's, siberians and even one Japanese into the same bloom period.
The show took place in a mall, under an atrium window which showed off the
irises.  They had tables covered with green linen and it set off the plants
very well.  They keep the public at bay by judging from the inside of a square
made by the tables.

This panel was a discriminating bunch.... ribbons won were truly earned
because these are seasoned judges who take their charge very seriously.  When
the dust settled, Queen of Show was a pseudacorus (!!), and a more perfect
specimen could not be found.

One thing that I liked very much at this show was an educational exhibit of
the award system.... each AIS (and local) award was explained and the physical
award placed next to the explanation.  For example... there were bronze and
silver medals, along with the certificates and an explanation of how one comes
to earn one.  A great idea that we plan on stealing.

Peter and I wanted to preserve some minescule portion of our Memorial Day
weekend, so we opted to head right for New Jersey so that we would be fresh
the next day for the long trip home.  We got to the Trenton area about 8 pm
and discovered that the fine folks in the NJ DOT have arranged Rt. 1 in such a
way that if you are traveling east... and see something on the west side of
the road.... you have to drive halfway across the continent .... exit the
road, reenter going the other way and hope to God you don't miss it.  So we
were scouting for affordable hotel space and finally settled on whatever was
on our side of the road.  This seemed to take almost as long as the getting

The next day we were at the mall bright and early.  This show is ALSO held in
a mall, under natural light - and they even got their show advertised on the
big marquee!.  Anyway, Peter and I had been invited to judge by Joe and
Margaret Griner and were told that the third person in our panel would be
Sterling Innerst (!!).  

Their show is set up in a series of parallel tables - also covered with linen
- and set off from the public by stantions and ropes.  I liked the parallel
tables because we could look at the irises from both sides without needing
them moved.

ANYWAY... this was a bigger show and predominently TB, although MTB's,
siberians, species and bulbous irises were represented too.  We had a great
time judging this show... the irises were immaculate and well grown.  We had
only one questionable misnaming which turned out to be a false alarm so the
judging went very smoothly.  NJ also has a great idea in that they have a
novice class and a UFO class.  The novice class is for first time show-ers and
the person who got a blue even ended up on the Queen's table - and was almost
weak with delight.  The UFO class is for unknown.... we judged just for
grooming... but really, they hope that someone can put a name with an iris
(not easy... far easier to decide what an iris is NOT than what it is....)

Anyway, Peter and Sterling and I were quite compatible as judges and I enjoyed
every minute of the judging (not always the case... right judges?????)

The winner of this show was a perfect stalk of DUSKY CHALLENGER... 3
immaculate flowers open - not a speck of dust, not a bruise, not a beard hair
out of place.... truly magnificent.  NJ has a policy were 10% of the total
number of irises go to the Queen's Table, and since there were 100 entries, we
had to rank 9 more blues.  The end result was impressive... there was a
siberian in second place (can't remember the name off hand, but it looked like
porcelin) and joining it on the Queen's table were a species type, a median
and all color of TB.  Very impressive lineup.

After lunch we headed home, taking only one detour - to Dana Borglum's place
to see what was in bloom and see how Dana's doing.  Now, this was not exactly
on the way - but when you travel that far, it seemed like it.  The bad news
was that we had to go through Watkins Glen on a holiday weekend in order to
get to Dana's and that was an experience in itself.

Dana did not have many siberians in bloom yet but he's got some neat things
happening  in the bearded irises.  We found a pale pink IB with a white beard
and several irises that were violet with a white band on the falls.  One that
was not yet open had an edge of white LACE!!   

Dana also shared the news that he will marry at the end of June!  We're
thrilled for him and his intended, Silvia, is a sweetie.

So.... many hours later we arrived back in western New York and split to go to
our homes.  The odometer read 980 miles.... and I feel every mile today.

Kathy Guest
East Aurora, NY where her clump of Orinco Flow would bring any man to his

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