Tom. I was moved by both your and Ted's posts.
Julius quite literally insisted we all remember him with joy and not
with sorrow. I am certain Tricia would want the same so let's all plan
to make the IAS meeting in September one of the most joyful we can
possibly make this year's event.
Because I spent so much time trading phone calls, email and info with
Julius I know for certain one of his major goals was to have members of
Aroid l join the IAS. One of the first notes I ever responded to on
Aroid l was just such a request he had just made for everyone to join.
Once again, let me ask all of you that are not members to go to the IAS
website and look to the left of the page to join in honor of Tricia and
Julius. Right now!
After that, make your reservation for September 18 and 19 to be with us
at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami for this year's
show. I can guarantee it will be a special event. I will forever miss
that jovial and boisterous Trinidadian voice.
with me at Fairchild, 2009 Julius on the phone with
Leland Miyano 2009
with Tom Croat at Fairchild, 2009
photos by Ted Knight
we will all miss you this year and next year and all the years after
that but we know you are with us!
On 7/12/2010 07:47, Tom Croat
Dear Aroiders far and
I was out of touch from email over
the weekend because my wife is out of town and has my little cell phone
receiver that allows me to read my email at home so I did not learn
death of Julius until I came to work this morning. Like
the rest of you who know him well, we realize that his
departure will leave a big void in our lives and especially the
Aroid Society. He played such a large role in our little group that the
this September will be immediately obvious, the booming Trinidadian
stories and joviality will be missed as well as his astute and forceful
presence at the IAS Board meetings.
Though he was opinionated he always had good suggestions. He
be missed in his important role as auctioneer and co-promoter with me
plants at the auction table to boost the prices and spur on the auction
I recall the first time I met
Julius. I was standing near the front
door of the Display Hall at Fairchild talking with someone and heard
booming voice of what appeared to be a black man, probably a native of
Thomas where I had lived and taught school during the 1962–1963 school
year. I was shocked when I turned
around to find Julius. I though surely
the man I had been listening to had slipped away! Thus began a long and
fruitful association with a wonderful and intelligent man. I recall
that when I
was short of time and being unable to keep up with the messages on some
on Aroid-L I would begin deleting them without so much as reading them.
never could just delete a message written by Julius because they were
invariably filled with useful information.
Julius was very helpful to students
and beginners in the aroid field. He
was very helpful to many of my Latin American students who stayed with
me at my
house during the 1999 International Aroid Conference at the Missouri
Garden. With some students, he
continued to communicate for years. There were 26 people staying in my
and Julius offered to sleep on a rather uncomfortable roll out couch
slept well. He was especially close to my late student, Guanghua Zhu,
regularly corresponded while Guanghua was working on the revision of Dracontium. Julius knew a lot
and provided us with living plants and a lot of detail about the
knew, especially information about the fruits and seeds, plant parts
to be known as the most important parts of the Dracontium
from a taxonomic standpoint.
Interventions by Jules to get plants
were often very productive. He had close friends all over the world,
in the New World. Conrad Fleming in St. Croix and Joep Moonen in French
were close associates, but perhaps most interesting was his contact
herpetologists, ornithologists and entomologists. Perhaps a lot of this
owing to his brother Hans, Director of the Port of Spain Botanical
Probably no one with less formal education published paper on so many
disciplines. I am proud to have counted Julius as a co-author on a
Julius was particularly familiar
with Urospatha and even had a couple
of species in cultivation. His strong
powers of observation, learned as a child in his native Trinidad where
a lot of time in the field, followed by his experiences in the jungles
Ecuador, allowed him to have hypotheses on nearly every biological
phenomenon. In Ecuador when he had time
free from the toil on the oil rigs, he poked around in the surroundings. I have been to many such sites and in
Ecuador these rigs are plopped down right in virgin jungle so only a
from the bunk house allowed him to be neck deep in wildlife. It allowed
become intimate with the local flora and fauna and he dearly loved this
as most of you know from his many stories.
Julius could, of course, tell a story like no one else as all of
know. Perhaps this is what I will miss most, to realize that the
over. As I told him only shortly before he died in a letter, Heaven
will be a
must livelier and interesting place this Monday.
PS. Carla Kostelac and I would like to devote
the next IAS Newsletter to the lives of Julius Boos and Tricia Frank,
Members of Legend that have passed from this earth so near together in
time. It would be nice of anyone who
wants to write articles about either or both of them would submit these
Carla soon for the August issue. There are many good comments that were
Aroid-L and we will use these with your permission but if any of you
update or modify your comments, please do so.
The piece by Ted Knight was especially moving. Ted,
of course, was blessed to be able to help Jules and spent
precious moments with him during his ordeal so he was in a position to
this with the rest of us. God bless you,
Ted, for this wonderful gift.
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