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Re: [aroid-l] Dr. Bogner's Fest

  • Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Dr. Bogner's Fest
  • From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo@msn.com>
  • Date: Mon, 8 Mar 2004 19:54:46 -0500
  • Seal-send-time: Mon, 8 Mar 2004 19:54:49 -0500

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Al Wootten 
  To: aroid-l@lists.ncsu.edu 
  Sent: Monday, March 08, 2004 12:18 PM
  Subject: [aroid-l] Dr. Bogner's Fest

  Dear Al,

  Thank you so very much for sharing this experience with all of us, very kind of you!
  I bet most if not all of us would have just LOVED to be there to share in Josef`s triumph!



  >>The exploits of many of you in this group make a group devoted to aroid
  taxonomy and culture much more interesting than it might 
  sound to many.  I've secretly always wanted to traipse through the jungle 
  myself, to witness exotic plants in their natural habitat.  Several 
  members were in Munich last Friday, where that very afternoon one of the more
  famous of these taxonomist adventurers, Josef Bogner, was to
  be given an honorary doctorate at the wonderful Munich Botanical 
  Garden.  I had been at a 'retreat' for the ALMA telescope at Schloss Elmau,
  further south in the Bavarian Alps.  The meeting dragged; my presentation
  was among the last and I was three hours late, of course, 
  when I arrived.  I wasn't sure in which building the ceremony was to be 
  held so I went to the Greenhouse,  which holds a marvelous aroid
  collection, but it closed just as I approached.  No one there knew 
  English, and to my regret I have never learned German, but one older 
  gentleman present perked up at the name Bogner.  Certainly, 
  he would take me to the ceremony, he signed.  We
   tried one back entrance, but couldn't get in.  He knew of a secret 
  entrance though and soon we entered the lecture hall.  We 
  could hear applause in an adjacent room; clearly I had missed the 
  lectures and was late. Arrayed on the table at the front were an 
  assortment of plants which Bogner had discovered or which were named 
  for him, books on aroids, herbarium specimens.  Among them were Ulearum
  sagittatum Engler, Stylochaeton bogneri Mayo, Gonatopus rizomatosus
  Bogner et Oberm., a blooming Kalanchoë bogneri and A. konjac (I think...)
  along with an enormous A. konjac tuber the size of my forearm.  There was
  also a blank book.  This was the guest book, my guide told me, 
  and I should certainly sign it as I had clearly come a long way to 
  see Bogner at his fest.  I did.
  He left and I went around to the front, where assembled on a great 
  ornate stairway was a crowd drinking champagne.  On the landing 
  was a hearty elderly gentleman I took to be Bogner.  One by one, 
  members of the crowd were mounting the landing to tell stories.  Speaking 
  no German, I can only imaging what their content was, but 
  clearly they had a number of great punch lines.  A few gifts 
  were proffered, among them a candle in a small flowerpot with a 
  backguard in the spathe of an aroid 'flower', the candle representing the 
  spadix.  I knew that Tom Croat of the Missouri 
  Botanical Garden was to be here, Simon Mayo, who had been at Kew, 
  and Petra Schmidt of Plant Delights nursery in Raleigh were to be there.  
  However, not having seen the talks and not having met the people, I didn't
  recognize them  I circulated 
  for a while wearing my conference nametag.  I couldn't discern anyone 
  speaking English so I returned to the lecture hall to admire the plants 
  again.  Just as I was examining the herbarium speciments, Bogner 
  himself entered, to the delight of the three or four others in the 
  room.  He generously greeted me by tagged name and I congratulated 
  him on his degree.  After a few moments more, I took the N17 tram outside 
  the gates which, I discovered, went right back to the railway station.
       That evening I strolled back down to the central Marienplatz 
  square in Munich, a delightful area.  I had thought of eating in the 
  basement of the Rathaus (City Hall), a fantastic structure dominating 
  the square with a facade of ornate medieval appearance.  But I 
  was unable to locate a place to sit.  I've always enjoyed the 
  atmosphere, beer and food (that order) at the Hofbraeuhaus a few blocks 
  away, so I headed there.  By now it was very cold but the camaraderie 
  inside dispelled the cold instantly.  I sat amidst a group which must 
  have been a soccer team, had a great dunkle (dark) beer, a salad, 
  porkchop marinated in beer and baked potatoes with sour cream.  It 
  was delightful.  My Bavarian experience was complete, I felt, and 
  it was time to return home.  After all, there was yet another three
   day ALMA meeting awaiting me in Charlottesville the next week.

  Clear skies,
  |Al Wootten, Slacktide, Sturgeon Creek at the Rappahannock|
  |Astronomer (http://www.cv.nrao.edu/~awootten/)           |
  |genealogy homepage  http://members.tripod.com/~astral    |
  |Deltaville, Virginia              (804)776-6369          |

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