Re: [Aroid-l] My First IAS Show
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Sent : Wednesday, September 26, 2007 4:34 PM
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Subject : [Aroid-l] My First IAS Show
BRAVO! Wonderfully written, I so enjoyed it! In MY opinion, this note
should be published in the Aroid-L newsletter! (Carla!?!?!?), as
it gives a GREAT overview and report on this yearly show that all of us
members and friends of the IAS feel so passionately about!
I really enjoyed meeting BOTH you Ted`s, and only wish there was enough time
to just chat a LOT longer with youall, and MANY of the other interesting
people who come to the yearly show, so many stories, so little time!
Yes, all of you "out there" in cyber-space, come to the next show, do what
Ted recomends, and above all, please JOIN THE IAS!!
I`ll even cook some 'chubas' for anyone who cares to sample this WONDERFUL
I wanted to weigh in on my impressions of my first ever IAS Show and Sale.
As it happened I was to be in south Florida for other purposes and decided
to come to the show. My goals were to see the show, hear Leland, have Julius
teach me how to say "chubas", and to generally get the feel of this
organization I only know from Aroid-L and the newsletters. All of these
goals were met. As an added feature, I brought along with me a
friend-since-childhood from semi-nearby Delray Beach (curiously also named
Ted - we were the two Teds) who was not even a plant person, much less an
aroid fancier. And such was the event that even the non-plant person had a
We arrived too late to experience the show part of the meeting and too early
for the banquet. We wandered around looking for some IAS authority and found
a darkened room filled with an assortment of display plants. We could see
through the gloom that some were obviously rare and attractive. Others were
not so obviously rare, but were also attractive. The quality of the plants
was very high.
We continued our perigrinations for a bit until we saw two individuals
outside the display. "Would either of you happen to be aroid people?", I
asked. We were immediately warmly received by who we found out were Ron
Weeks and Derek Burch. Ron and Derek then took us back into the darkened
display area, switched on the lights, and gave us an enthusiastic tour, with
Pretty soon it was time to begin assembling for the banquet. We bought a
second ticket for my guest and made our way to the designated room
accompanied by Ron and Derek. After a little chitchat with other folks Ron
came in again and ushered us into The Presence. There he was, the famous
Julius Boos, looking faintly like an off-duty Santa.
I was bold. "OK, Julius, say it for me: chubas." "Chubas, mon!," he said,
with a hearty laugh. We then related the heartwarming chubas story to my
friend, who turned out to live less than a mile from where Julius works. The
world is filled with coincidences.
Then Julius spirited me back into the display area to show me a special
Philodendron and a few other aroids of interest to him, some with chubas,
some without. Julius, in case you know him only from the list, is an
ebullient person and has a ready manner with newcomers to the art of plants.
Come to think of it, Julius is that way in his writing as well.
Next it was a treat for me to meet and speak with Steve Lucas. I have been a
fan of his postings and in person he is just as intense and articulate as he
is on-line. I suppose it's a compliment to reveal that he is older in person
than I expected. He has a muscular writing style that made me think he was
maybe in his 30s. As it is he is a seasoned person with the clarity of wit
of a younger man.
Then came Leland Miyano, the featured speaker and traveller from afar.
Leland was embarrassed, I think, to hear that his speaking was one of the
main motivations for my coming to the show. But he did not disappoint me.
His slides and narration were a thing to experience and worth the trip all
by themselves. The range of topics drifted from aroids many times. I wanted
to be back on the internet where they have those little highlighted words
that you can click on to receive more information. Fossil moa birds from
Hawaii. Click. Rare palm trees rediscovered. Click. The completely
unexpected section along the Atlantic coast of Brazil, where the sun bakes
down on what we would call badlands. Click. Unknown aroids that survive this
climate that would mummify a person in two hours. Click. Frogs that ooze
foam and make one delirious. Click. Roberto Burle Marx. Click.
My plant-innocent friend found Leland's presentation tremendously
It was unfortunate that I didn't budget more time to visit. But I had to be
off first thing the next morning to the Florida gulf coast. While there I
was inspired by Leland to find a few new aroid species on my own. What's the
big deal?, I wondered. Leland made it look easy. So off I went into some of
Florida's many overgrown areas, fully expecting to make a name for myself
with at least one species new to science. But lo, it's harder than it looks.
After a couple of hours I did manage to come across some Pistia. But I am
doubtful that they would be of interest to Dr. Croat. They appeared to be
the same Pistia found everywhere in Florida by the ton. Let me know if I'm
wrong; I still know how to find them again. I also found a small cluster of
palms I was sure was a new species. But I mentally channelled Julius and he
informed me by telepathy that they were plain palmetto palms. Like I said,
it's not as easy as it seems.
At least I avoided the wonderful stingless bees that seem to have been a
favorite of Leland when in Brazil. Or maybe it's more accurate to say the
Leland was a favorite of the bees.
I have some resolutions I can recommend to others. Maybe you have thought
about attending but wonder how someone not at the A-list level of aroid
horticulture might be received. First, you will be welcome regardless of
your experience. Second, plan to spend some time in the exhibit area as well
as the banquet and auction. If you are curious and have questions, this is
where to get answers. Also, the breadth of plant knowledge extends to beyond
aroids. People at the show seem to know about lots of kinds of plants.
Third, bring a plant. If you have several, bring them for the show and to
donate for the auction. Especially if the plant is weird or unusual you
won't find any better audience than this. Fourth, bring some money and bid
on some rare plants or buy them from the helpful vendors.
And for those of you that are not members, join the IAS.
Ted. The one from Detroit.<<
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