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[Fwd: [THML] Re: California fires.]/supplier

I'm forwarding this message from my supplier.  He posted this on the 
Hibiscus list.  It's a fairly riveting tale so I thought you would like 
to see it rather than just reading the answer from me.  I hope this 
isn't just spam for you.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	FW: Spam Alert: [THML] Re: California fires.
Date: 	Thu, 30 Oct 2003 08:28:13 -0500
From: 	Micki <mickimouse@mindspring.com>
To: 	David Franzman <dfranzma@pacbell.net>

-----Original Message-----
From: Charles Black [mailto:cb@hiddenvalleyhibiscus.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2003 1:57 AM
To: thml@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Spam Alert: [THML] Re: California fires.

Hi Dale and Friends,

This is the first time I could get online since Saturday night,
due to electricity outages and being more than a little busy. As
circumstances would have it Yvonne, the HVH web master, is here
in CA on her annual visit to see the new cvs and enjoy life in a
hibiscus nursery for a few weeks. We had been fine tuning a new
propagation area and were in the middle of grafting next year's
plants when we lost power on Sunday morning.

Since then I have been fighting for the survival of my nursery as
fire scorched the surrounding area, and Yvonne has been there
every step of the way. Together we and other HVH staff battled a
blaze on an adjoining property that threatened to ignite a line
of Eucalyptus trees that would surely have resulted in fire
engulfing my entire place. We won that skirmish but would once
again have lost everything if it were not for the fire fighters
stopping an advancing wall of flame around midnight on Sunday.
They shoveled a break some 10 yards from our east property line
and it held despite pessimistic asessment by some of the fire
crew. On Monday night the winds had shifted and the entire
mountainside on our west border was ablaze, separated from us
only by the 2 lane road that leads to our driveway. We watched in
awe as the fire crews returned and set a back fire that prevented
the bigger fire from jumping the road and racing acoss the Hidden
Valley Hibiscus property. When we approached the road to have a
better look a familiar black man popped out of the shadows with a
microphone saying "Hi, I'm Al Roker (sp?), covering the fire for
NBC's Today Show."  He asked us some questions and then went back
to the firemen.

In the last 24 hours the fire has been driven east by onshore
winds and away from our area. As the smoke cleared today (Yvonne
never expected to wear a pesticide respirator for most of 2
days!) we were shocked to see the utter devastation of all the
neighboring property in every direction. We and a horse rancher
adjoining our property to the north had the only properties that
were not burned to charcoal for as far as the eye can see. The
rest of the area looks like a black and white moonscape, with our
little green oasis in the midst of it.

Though we had not a single blade of grass burned, we soon
realized that without electricity we could not pump water from
the wells and without water we could lose all the hibiscus. We
raced to Home Depot and bought one of the last 2 generators they
had but it was not able to power our well pump. Back to Graingers
the next day and they came thru with a generator that can do the

The whole experience has been surreal, and I aplogize for not
making contact with more people outside the area. Yvonne could
not even go online to put a message on our website due to the
phone lines being down as well as the electricity.

Tomorrow all of the HVH workers we could find will return and we
will continue with normal operations, except that we cannot
process orders placed on our website quite yet nor retrieve mail
in a timely way (orders can be placed, we just cannot download
them now). Wholesale sales continue as scheduled and propagation
for next year will resume full scale tomorrow.

Dale, sorry about the cell phone. There is no service in the
valley where we are located even in normal times so I can only
receive calls during the times we are back down in Escondido. I
will write you directly or call as soon as I can.

Another fire fighter died today, defending the lovely old
mountain town of Julian in the mountains east of here. In our
area 111 homes were lost, but many more than that were saved. 2
people died, but many more almost did.  Our firefighters were
sent north during the 2 days before the San Diego fires started,
but once they returned in force they did a tremendous job of
saving lives and structures. They had to let a lot of land burn
but in some ways that will be better for the future. Our
sincerest best wishes and prayers go out to the fire fighters who
time and again stepped in at the last minute with decisive force
and prevented a great tragedy from becoming even worse.

We will probably create some new web pages to document the fire
and how we dealt with it at HVH, these to be announced in an
upcoming News Letter.

To all who have written to Yvonne and I in the last days, thank
you.  I have only just begun to review the hundreds of messages
that are waiting, and will not be able to answer many of them
until we are permanently back online (Yvonne managed this current
session on her laptop in a motel with a connection to a dial up
in Sweden!), but thanks to all of you for your thoughts and

Dreaming of hibiscus yet to come,

Charles Black

 > From: tamibon@aol.com
 > Date: 2003/10/29 Wed PM 10:30:45 EST
 > To: THML@yahoogroups.com
 > Subject: Re: [THML] Re: California fires.
 > I have called Charles Black's personal cell phone many times
in the last few
 > days.
 > No one answers and the phone keeps ringing without an
 > reply.
 > Not sure what to make of it. I'll keep the group posted if I
get any response.
 > Hope everyone survives this great catastrophe.
 > Dale Dubin

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