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Memories of the Show



The show is finished and we have some good photographs that hint at the vitality. For those of you who have never attended, you should know that there is nothing that can replicate the full version, lived in first person. Even if you are able to spend an afternoon with a fellow plantsperson with their collection, you still don't have the kaleidoscopic experience that you get at the IAS show, of running into person after person, small grouping after small grouping, each a tiny microcosm of expertise of one type or another. Each encounter is open to engagement and the people are friendly and patient with the clueless, like me. Here you are discussing a show entry with Julius Boos and are gently interrupted by Steve Lucas wheeling along with some plant he is anxious to learn about. Over here you see Tricia Frank organizing up a storm with three people you don't recognize except that their name tags are familiar from aroid-l. Over here is a line of people patiently waiting to pay for their purchases from the excellent vendors and maybe buying an Aroid Society T-shirt. Then you make your way to the conference room to watch Dr. Tom Croat do the Tom Croat thing, with profuse pictures from exotic locales that you'll never visit, ending up with you wondering seriously how it is that this guy is still alive. Later you get fed one of the best institutional meals you'll ever eat, dished out to you by other individuals whose name tags you recognize, followed by a talk by Marc Gibernau from France consisting of an outline of cutting-edge research by a part of our truly international community. Finally, as your energy seems just about used up, you have the famous auction of rare plants conducted by the naturally jocular tag team of Julius and Dr. Croat, coaxing bids out of the audience, such bids being entirely inadequate for the extreme rarity of the offerings. IAS auction fare does not consist of Home Depot plants. If you want an $8 plant that a thousand other people have, go to Home Depot. If you want a $200 plant that is one of only five in cultivation, come to the IAS Show auction.

These are the joys of a meeting of a specialty club, and the IAS show ranks among the best.

Ted Held
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