|The Arizona Orchidist Newsletter September 1999
NEXT OSA BOARD MEETING
The next Board meeting will be held on Sunday, August 29, at Julie
Rathbun's house. Her address is 425 W. Port au Prince, Phoenix.
Phone: 602-843-0223 Time 1 P.M.
As always, the meeting is open to all members.
NEXT OSA SOCIETY MEETING
The next regular society monthly meeting will be Thursday, September
2, 1999, at the Valley Garden Center, 1809 N. 15th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona,
(phone 252-2120). The meeting, open to all plant enthusiasts, will
start at 7:00 P.M.
Refreshments will be provided by: Gail Gesell (beverages) and
Julie Rathbun and August Lorenzini (edible items). Thank you Refreshment
mall and Beautiful -
A Discussion of Miniatures, Their Culture, and Growing Techniques
by Joe Civello
Joe, grows miniature orchids in a variety of ways and discusses his
experiences encountered with these small versions of our favorite flower.
If you do not have a greenhouse, or even if you do, learn about how you
can make a home for more orchids when you have limited space. There
are also some very interesting species that only come in "small," even
"tiny." You have seen Joe many times at our meetings as he is a member
of OSA; however, we have missed Joe at most of the last few month's meetings
due to his insistence of spending the hot months of summer in the northern
FROM THE PRESIDENT'S DESK
Lou Ann Remeikis
SAN DIEGO ORCHID FAIR
This is the month! The San Diego Orchid Fair! Is anyone
getting as excited as I am? Our annual field trip is ALWAYS
a crowd pleaser - even if you don't buy one little orchid (although I've
never seen that happen). For those of you going on the field trip with
the group, the following is VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Meet at the America
West Main Ticket Counter NO LATER THAN 6:15 A.M! Please do not be
late! As a group we will receive our tickets, boarding passes, and
seat assignments-as done in previous years. It is very important
we are all together when this is done. America West, and most other
airlines, require a photo identification to obtain boarding so do not forget
The America West flight number from Phoenix to San Diego is 2082 and
departs at 7:35 A.M. The America West flight number from San Diego to Phoenix
is 2091 and departs at 5:53 P.M..
A chartered bus will pick us up at the San Diego airport and take us
to the Del Mar Fairgrounds for our orchid pleasures and will return us
to the airport. We will coordinate the time to meet prior to getting
off the bus at the fairgrounds. Don't forget your watch!!! If any
members planning on obtaining their own transportation to San Diego, we
estimate we will be at the fairgrounds around 10:00 AM. Should any
of you need to catch the bus in San Diego to get a ride to the fairgrounds,
you should meet us at the arrival gate of flight 2082. According
to America West, we will arrive in San Diego at 8:52 A.M. (FYI, we
arrive back in
Phoenix at 7:08 P.M.) Keith Mead-our Treasurer-will no doubt be the
most popular person upon our arrival at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
At that time he will distribute $50.00 cash to all members to spend as
they wish. It's like having a little savings account ready and waiting
for you! I know we will all have a great time and leave San Diego
anticipating next year's trip!
JULY MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
It was sooooo cute to see Calli, Julie Yocum's daughter, "Show and
Tell" her phalaenopsis! I wish I had been that uninhibited when I
was her age-a long time ago! We look forward to her next "Show and
Tell." Thanks to all for bringing in your blooming plants for us
to drool at-they are all GORGEOUS !!!
What about that raffle table last month? And the silent auction?
We had a beautiful selection on both! Many thanks go to Willie Stimmell,
Jane Heckel, August Lorenzini, Deacon Bell, Bernice Ehrlich's family, and
the Orchid Society of Arizona for the donations to the raffle table.
It was quite a success, and "beginner's luck" rang true for Nikki Barker
and her mother, Lorraine. It was their first time at one of our meetings,
and after purchasing raffle tickets, they both went home with multiple
winnings! Silent Auction plants went like hotcakes! I guess we should
get a few more paphs from time to time. It seems many people were
interested in outbidding others for those. I hope all of your orchids
have opened their buds by now and you are enjoying their blooms!
ON A PERSONAL NOTE
Speedy recovery wishes to Ramona Szramek who had knee replacement surgery
on August 16th. We will miss Ramona and John for probably the next
couple of months until she has recovered and rehabilitated enough to return
to our activities. Keith Mead is now doing better after his surgery,
and I can't tell you how my own surgery went as it hasn't happened at the
time of this
writing. I'll say goodbye to my gallbladder on Wednesday (August
18th). I'm sure I will be healed up enough by the time we have our next
CARAVAN TO PRESCOTT
OSA Board members, general members, and a few guests had a great time
at the Veteran's Administration Medical Center when the Board meeting was
held at that location on Saturday, August 7th. Three vehicles made
the caravan packed completely full of donations. Where there was
room, we managed to put a few people in the vehicles. I must say
the trip home was more comfortable than the trip to Prescott was.
The greenhouse at the VAMC, which was donated to them by OSA many years
ago, is FABULOUS !!! We are
trying to find out the particulars on how OSA donated the greenhouse
to them. If any of our members happen to remember the circumstances
of this greenhouse donation, please get with me or Willie and fill us in
on it. For a more in-depth writing of our visit to the VAMC, see
the article in this newsletter written by Jane Heckel. I just want
to know when we can go again!
LOS ANGELES BOUND???
If you are planning a DRIVING trip to the Los Angeles area in the near
future and would have room-and are willing-to bring back a few boxes of
orchid literature/publications to our library, please contact
me. The Society is the lucky recipient of some special books, which
have graciously been donated to us by Del Pace, one of our very own members.
Del, as many of you know, lives in the Los Angeles area, Panorama City
to be exact. The weight of the books prohibits a reasonable shipping
fee and we are seeking
a way to get them here with as little inconvenience to someone traveling
to that area. Please and thank you!
BEHIND THE SCENES
I wish to thank some "behind the scenes" helpers to OSA. Although
there are many members who contribute on a regular basis, and for that
I am grateful, at this time I want to thank, on behalf of OSA, Jim Gordon,
Keith Mead, and Nancy Burnett. Several members write the text that
goes into the newsletter, but it is Jim Gordon who saves us a BUNDLE by
donating the use of his copy machine for the newsletter. Keith does
SO much for OSA, but his newsletter function is getting the copies made,
and readying them for mailing (folding/taping/labeling/stamping/sending).
Without the exceptional abilities of Nancy Burnett, our Editor, the newsletter
would not be put together. She takes the articles submitted to her,
and adds her little touches, graphics, arrangements, etc., and makes it
look GREAT! It is Nancy who handles the printing of the color pages
of our newsletter. I thought it would be nice for our membership
to know who is responsible for the newsletter we are always anxious to
receive each month. I am very proud
and pleased with The Arizona Orchidist and all the work that goes into
it by these three people. Thanks!
See you at the September meeting.
OSA COMMUNITY SERVICE REPORT
by Wilella Stimmell, CSP Coordinator
Continuing our series of programs for the Children's Departments in
Phoenix libraries, Shirley Engberg, Kathleen Luther, Bob MacLeod, and I
presented our hands-on program on July 20 at the Saguaro Branch Library,
2808 N. 46th Street. A few of the children's parents observed the
activity during the program, and one of the parents reported after the
potting "mess" had ended that she had learned more during our program than
she had ever known about orchids! She said that for years she had
been bringing orchids back from Hawaii and killing them, and she thought
she learned from us where she had gone wrong in caring for her orchids.
Parents and children thanked us for doing our program, and the children
said that they had also had fun! Adrian and Maureen, two youthful Library
Assistants at Saguaro, assisted us in the repotting portion of the program,
and with their able assistance, we were able to quickly clean up the mess
we made during the program. Bob MacLeod delighted our helpers by
giving them two keikis from a blooming dendrobium he had brought for the
display table. This was the first program we have presented where a boy
did NOT want to get his hands dirty! Shirley Engberg offered to pot the
boy's seedling for him. He happily accepted her help!
For the programs at the libraries, we have given each child a phalaenopsis
culture sheet to take home. (When we present programs in classrooms, and
the children leave their plants in the rooms, we give their teachers each
a copy of Bob Gordon's phalaenopsis culture book. However, with 120 children
signed up for the library programs, we thought that since they would each
be taking their plants and mini-greenhouses home, a culture sheet was more
appropriate.) We have the address for our web site listed on our
culture sheets. When asked for a show of hands of how many of the
30 children had internet access, half of them raised their hands!
On July 27 at 2 P.M., Shirley Engberg, Keith Mead, and I presented
the last program of the library series at Yucca Branch Library, 5648 N.
15th Avenue. Thirty eager children with milk jugs in hand filed into the
room and, with a minimum of confusion, took their seats. These children
were optimistic. They did not ask what they should do with their plants
IF they outgrew the mini-greenhouses; they asked what they should do with
their plants WHEN their seedlings grew too large to fit into the milk jugs!
The "prize" for making the least mess surely goes to the children who attended
this program. When they were finished potting their seedlings, only
a few pieces of bark were present on the newspapers that covered the tables.
In a letter received by OSA after the last of the library programs, Deborah
Pillow, the Library Assistant who had contacted us and set the schedule
for the July programs, stated: "It was a true pleasure to work with OSA
this summer. On behalf of our library system and the many youngsters
who attended, I want to thank OSA for the excellent programs you presented.
What a thrill for each child to take home a mini-terrarium, complete with
an orchid seedling! You gave such an interesting AND informative
presentation-geared just right for our audiences. I know how much
time and effort you and other OSA members
devoted during hot summer days on our behalf, and we are most grateful!"
LOW DESERT CONFERENCE
OSA participated in the Southwestern Low Desert Conference, which is
sponsored by University of Arizona, Maricopa County Cooperative Extension.
On July 30, Keith Mead and I presented "Orchids as Houseplants in the Low
Desert - with an Emphasis on Presentations for Elementary School Children"
to an audience of approximately 40 educators. Our program was divided
into three parts: a brief overview of orchids with references to
the blooming plants on display and how we structure our programs for school
presentation of transparencies of pictures taken during our various
school programs; and a question and answer period. Keith was
in charge of showing the transparencies with an overhead projector.
After the conclusion of our program, many of the educators crowded around
our display table and asked us one-on-one questions. We believe the
program was well received, and we have
already had inquiries for scheduling programs at schools.
A copy of the summary of the program we presented at the Low Desert
Conference is available to any OSA member who requests one. The summary
was published in the bound "Proceedings" from the conference.
FALL PROGRAMS SCHEDULE
On September 17, we will present two programs at Madison Rose Lane
Elementary School, 1155 E. Rose Lane, Phoenix. The first program
will be presented at 9:30 A.M. for a 1st grade class of approximately 25
students; and the second program, with an equal number of students, will
be presented at 10:30 A.M. for a 2nd grade class. We need at least
4 OSA members to assist the children in repotting the orchid seedlings
we donate to them! (Madison Rose Lane had requested that we present programs
before the end of the school session in June. Unfortunately we were fully
booked.) On September 20, we will present a program for the Scottsdale
Welcome Wagon Garden Group. The presentation is scheduled for 10:15
A.M. This meeting of the garden group will be hosted by Louise Hartung,
11219 E. Palomino Road, Scottsdale. The audience will be composed
of adults interested in plants and will not feature a hands-on potting
session. We will, however, hold a
door prize drawing for a blooming plant. Any OSA member who wishes
to donate a blooming plant is encouraged to do so! Bring the plant
to our September meeting. On October 1, we will present two programs at
Scales Development School, 1115 W. 5th Street, Tempe. Suzanne
Hobby-Gregory, the teacher who requested a program for her 4th grade
class at the school, was a member of
the audience at our presentation on July 30 at the Low Desert
Conference. The second program on October 1 will be presented for a multi-age
class at Scales School. Suzanne stated in an e-mail message that
there would be a total of approximately 60 children and "All of the children
know about plants and growing things, have started a compost pile, and
will be thrilled to have an orchid plant of their own, as most of the children
are VERY poor." Suzanne further stated that she started saving milk
jugs the day
after our presentation at the Low Desert Conference! The time
of day the two programs will be presented will be announced in our October
newsletter. We need at least 4 OSA members to assist the children in repotting
the orchid seedlings we donate to them!
On October 9, we are taking our Youth Education Programs "on the road"...to
Landers, California! As Keith noted in his article in the August
issue of The Arizona Orchidist, Gubler Orchids is holding its annual Orchid
Fair the weekend of October 9. OSA will participate in the Fair by
presenting two programs on Saturday, October 9. Chris Gubler will
handle reservations for the children who will participate in our hands-on
program AND will provide most of the supplies that OSA furnishes for programs
in Arizona schools. Using Gubler's seedlings, fir bark, lava rocks, and
pots, OSA members will assist children in repotting their seedlings at
10 A.M. and at 2 P.M. We will haul over to the Fair as many empty
milk or water jugs as we can accumulate between now and October 8.
OSA members who cannot otherwise assist in this adventure are encouraged
to bring empty plastic gallon water jugs or DEODORIZED milk jugs to our
September 2 and/or October 7 meetings. We are in need of 60 jugs to fashion
into mini-greenhouses. We are still working out details for three other
programs--two have been requested from Arizona schools (one in Ahwatukee
and one in Mesa) and one program would be presented for a new camp for
children who have experienced the death of a parent and/or sibling.
We hope to be able to accommodate these schools and the camp in 1999.
SAN DIEGO ORCHID FAIR
To San Diego - America West Flight 2082 departing Sky Harbor at 7:35
A.M. To Phoenix - America West Flight 2091 arriving Sky Harbor at 7:03
P.M. Please meet in Terminal 4 lower level lobby (ticketing) at the West
end NO LATER THAN 6:15 A.M.
OSA TRIP TO THE VAMC IN PRESCOTT
by Jane Heckel
Somehow I find myself writing this article for our newsletter.
I think Willie suggested it and Lou Ann, sensing a split second's hesitation
on my part, jumped in and "delegated" the task to me. I think she's
picking up on some of our most recent past president's tricks-so beware!
They wanted the perspective of someone who had never visited the VAMC greenhouse
I fit the bill-so here goes. The OSA members who drove to the VAMC
on Saturday, August 7th, were Lou Ann Remeikis, Wilella Stimmell, Janet
Jurn, Julie Rathbun, Shirley Engberg, Kathleen Luther, Karen Berger, Nelda
Caldwell and her husband, Bob. Non-members attending included Cathy Cromell,
who recently wrote an article in the July PHOENIX HOME &GARDEN on growing
orchids-Willie style, and JoEllen Rispoli, who is a plant consultant in
the Garden Shop at HomeBase in Scottsdale. Pete and I had driven
up on Friday to visit with some old friends and joined the group as they
arrived. We also had our spoiled baby along-Wuzzy. Since he
took part in an official OSA activity, he has been appointed our official
mascot. We even made a name badge for him which we pinned to his
bandanna. He was the perfect therapy pooch, going to all the vets
who wanted to pet him. At one point he scooted into the greenhouse
by himself when someone went in, wandered up and down the aisles investigating
and appreciating the marvelous array of the many-varied plants, and then
sauntered to the door, patiently waiting to slip back out again when the
next person opened it. I know he had every bit as much fun as the
rest of us. It was a perfect Prescott day with clear skies, balmy breezes
and temps in the mid 80s - and NO RAIN! We all marveled at the size
of the VAMC
greenhouse which was surrounded on one side by a huge rose garden in
full bloom and on the other side by an enormous vegetable garden with corn,
tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and berry bushes - to name a few. In
the front of the greenhouse was a long park-like area with pathways between
the grass and flowerbeds and a group of fruit trees at the far end.
Not the usual citrus of the valley, but Bartlett pears, peaches and apples.
This secluded haven was actually only a small part of the VAMC grounds
several large buildings housing at least 250 vets. According
to Betty Stephens, Lead Recreational Therapist and the main gal coordinating
our visit with Willie, their needs are varied. While some require
hospitalization, others with long term acute needs reside in the care center.
Another large group, consisting of 100 or more, have mainly out-patient
needs but no place to stay. The domiciliary was created for them
and is unique to the Prescott VAMC. I thought it would be of interest to
OSA members to give a little history on our involvement with the Prescott
VAMC. Although Willie has been very active over the years in supporting
the center with programs and supplies, she was not sure exactly how or
when it all started, but thought it might have been in the mid-80s.
I called some of our long-time members (thank you Joe Freasier, Pearl Bays,
and Ken Gettys) and jiggled the memory cells in their brains. Evidently,
one of the OSA members lived in Prescott and several others would spend
the summer months up there. There was an old WWII vet at the center
who got an idea to grow orchids and somehow got together with one of these
members. There already was a greenhouse on the grounds and when a
small group of our members went to check it out, they found a bit of a
mess. They decided to help clean it up, donate some plants and get
them started in this addictive hobby we all share, and we've been helping
ever since. I understand that the current structure is not that same
greenhouse, but have not been able to find out how they got it and our
involvement, if any, in its erection. Betty said she would look through
the old scrapbooks in the VAMC and Pearl offered to pull out her old OSA
newsletters and see if she could find any info for us. We will share
that info with everyone at a later date. Both Pearl and Willie have
story of the vet who never spoke. He became fascinated with the
orchids and began asking questions and eventually was cured of his muteness.
Although they grow many different plants now, the greenhouse continues
to provide a place for therapy and healing.
Quite a few of the residents, as well as caregivers Donna and Carol,
joined us throughout the day. Milton made a special effort to come
out for our visit. He had been the "main man" in the green- house
until he needed to transfer to the acute-care area a couple of months ago
and has been unable to get out there since then. Bill, who is now
in charge, was happy to show off what was growing and blooming and to gather
ideas for improvements. Several residents came by wheelchair and some were
driven over in the transport vans. Some wanted to talk about their
greenhouse and ask questions about orchids, while others were just happy
to be out of doors on such a day and were content to watch the activities.
One such activity was when Julie Rathbun took a saw to the VERY LARGE specimen
of a C. Portia Cannizaro. It had actually cracked the pot it was
in. Then Janet, Kathleen, Shirley and I helped pot up the 3 divisions
- which were still pretty impressive in size when we finished. One emotion
was evident throughout the day and that was gratitude for our visit
and the greenhouse supplies and personal items we brought. Many of
our members sent donations even though they could not join us and I
could not even begin to list all the items and who sent what so please
forgive me if I miss something. I know OSA sent bark, cotton batting,
as well as all the remaining AOS calendars. Deacon Bell sent a kilo
of NZ sphagnum moss and Nelda donated over 200 corsage tubes and also purchased
bark mix from Baker's nursery. She even got Baker's into the mood
and they made a
donation as well! Julie Rathbun brought up lava rock. Some
members, such as Shirley Engberg, even purchased orchids at our silent
auction to bring; others, such as Anne Connor, donated plants won on our
raffle table, and there was a large cymbidium and colmanara that had been
donated to OSA as well. There were plenty of personal items:
Lou Ann had clothing and Willie, as usual, donated everything from plants
to toothbrushes. Many of
the vets present expressed heartfelt thanks for our generosity.
It truly does feel better to give than to receive. After a delicious luncheon
(take-out from Subway) with beverages supplied by Willie and the Heckel's,
along with my cake for desert (I really did remember how to bake), we had
our Board meeting while sitting under the trees. It was truly a delightful
3rd - Lou Ann Remeikis
5th - Steve Ahmann and Dennis Olivas
6th - Ralph Tanner
8th - Julie ann Yocum
11th - Mary Lee Sturgeon
12th - Dawn Kelm
20th - Ken Gettys
28th - Mary Shaffer
HAPPY BIRTHDAY EVERYONE!
September 17 - Madison Rose Lane Elementary School
September 20 - Scottsdale Welcome Wagon Garden Group
September 25 - San Diego Orchid Fair
October 1 - Scales Development School
October 9 - Youth Program at Gubler Orchids
November 13-14 - OSA Orchid
Show and Sale
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