The Arizona Orchidist Newsletter 

published by

The Orchid Society Of Arizona, Inc.

Founding Editor Clarence S. Lindsten, 1966





Growers with Internet access are encouraged to use the Questions and Answers link on OSA’s web site. The URL for our web site is:


NEXT OSA BOARD MEETING: The next scheduled Board Meeting will be Sunday, November 29, 1 p.m. at the home of Jane and Pete Heckel, 1345 W. Nido Ave., Mesa. This is a combined meeting of retiring and newly-elected board members. All board members should plan to attend!

Jane and Pete have also graciously volunteered to hold an OPEN GREENHOUSE on the 29th. Pete, who can now add ace "greenhouse builder" to his list of many accomplishments, will conduct tours of their new greenhouse while the board meeting is in session. Hours for the Open Greenhouse are from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Members and interested persons are welcome. Maps to the Heckel residence were available at our November 5th meeting, but for those who need directions, call 839-6696. [see page 4 for detail directions to the Heckel’s home — ed]



The next regular society monthly meeting will be Thursday, December 3rd, 1998, held at the Valley Garden Center, 1809 N. 15th Ave., Phoenix, Arizona, (phone 252-2120). The meeting, open to all plant enthusiasts, will start at 7:00 p.m. Don’t forget to tune up your bidding techniques since this meeting is the annual auction.



Again, many thanks to Ron and Shirley Norman for transporting Bob and Kerry Dressler from Tucson to Phoenix for our meeting. Also Natalie Warford for hosting the Dresslers during their stay in Phoenix. Thanks also go to Richard Hendricks for donating orchids. As you may know, he had moved to California, we hope he moves back soon.

Norma Kafer




We would like to thank everyone involved in the planning, production and cleanup of the November show. To Bob (Pele) MacLeod for his incredible erupting volcano, to Candy Pelz and Cathy Nelson for their creativity and to Lou Remeikis for engineering the education presentation. Thanks to Norma Kafer and Jim Gordon, Joe Freasier, Joe Civello, Julie and Fred Rathbun, Ann Cherny, Jane and Peter Heckel, Nancy Burnett and Scott Emerson for their hard work in setting up the wonderful displays and taking them down on Sunday. Thanks to Ron Norman, Joe Freasier, Joe Civello, Ken Gettys and all who loaned blooming plants. Special thanks to C.W. Moody and all the businesses and members who contributed props. Also, thanks to Anne Connor for her Ikebana demonstration and Michelle Gomez for her graceful dance. Thanks to Sally and Steve Grass for their assistance with the raffle table. To Willie Stimmell thanks for your guidance, encouragement and plain hard work. Without the team effort of all our membership we could not be successful.

OSA would like to thank the Maricopa County Assessors Office employees for their generous donation of funds to be used in our school education programs. Peggy Stejskal and Keith Mead - Show co-chairs.








I cannot even begin to tell you how impressed I was with our “Tropical Explosion of Orchids” show. The show plans were well planned, well executed, and well received by everyone who strolled through the Valley Garden Center. Our members showed up enforce to help create the ambience that welcomed our visitors. There is not enough room in this newsletter to thank all our members who contributed not only items for our displays, but volunteered valuable time and energy to help. You know who you are, and so do many others, and I want to personally thank you and commend you all for a job well done!


I also wish to acknowledge and thank the businesses who so unselfishly assisted in our endeavor. Gary Petterson (a recent speaker to our Society), of Gardener’s World, loaned the beautiful trees that filled our display areas. Amy Little, of The Little Plant Company, who none of us have ever met, graciously donated the ferns and other non-orchid plants which gave such a beautiful backdrop for the display of blooming orchids brought by our members. The plants supplied by The Little Plant Company were groomed, polished, and perfect! I wish my house plants looked like that!


There were four other businesses who greeted us with open arms when it came time to ask for their help. C.W. Moody loaned us a number of accessory items to “dress up” our displays. Southwest Gardener generously provided the delightful tabletop water fountains found in special spots around the rooms. Lights, Etc. donated for our use, and for our December Auction, four florescent grow-lights. The florescent lights were utilized in one of our educational scenarios, showing how orchids can be grown under artificial lighting. This educational display looked very professional due to the Budget Restaurant Equipment & Supplies, Inc. loaning the Society a shelving unit in which to set up the plants and lighting. Please consider patronizing these businesses when you need something they can provide. Their support for our Society has been appreciated and it is OUR turn to support them.


Again, thank you all for your assistance in making our annual show a success!




With the addition of so many new members since last December’s meeting, I’ll fill everyone in on what this holiday meeting is all about. First, let me start by asking that everyone bring an edible contribution to the refreshment table. Our December meeting has an expanded buffet-type refreshment table. We already have received enough volunteers for bringing the beverages.


The December meeting (12/03/98) is our “Live Auction” night. We ask for donations from the membership of items relating to orchids, or orchid plants, which are auctioned to the highest bidder. The bidding is very friendly and all you have to do is raise your hand to bid the next higher amount for the item(s) you want. The Orchid Society of Arizona will accept checks, so do not let the amount of cash in your pocket limit your bidding. There are always some fun and unusual items on the auction table. Note: There will be no raffle at the December meeting due to the auction.


The purpose of this “Live Auction” meeting is not only a fundraiser for the Society, but also a wonderful way to socialize with each other in a very relaxed atmosphere. Once you have attended one “Live Auction” December meeting, you will never want to miss another one! As always, guests are welcome to attend and participate in the bidding!


I look forward to seeing everyone on December 3rd. I hope you all can bring some goodies to eat, and some goodies to donate to the auction - and I hope everyone goes home with something they bid on. This is a nice way to celebrate the holidays and the end of the year.




Lou Ann Remeikis 1st Vice President






Wilella Stimmell



Directions to Jane & Pete Heckel, 1345 W. Nido Ave, Mesa. From US60 (Superstition Freeway) exit at Alma School Rd (Fiesta Mall exit) and turn South. The first major street is Baseline Rd. Cross Baseline Rd. The next light is at Medina, go past Medina and make a right turn on at the first street on the right. This is Meseto, there is a church on Alma School Rd. on the right just before Meseto. Continue on Meseto to the stop sign (a short distance). Turn left on Patterson. From Patterson make the first left turn. This is West Nido and we are the first house on the right as you make the left turn. It is a red slump block front with two palm trees on the corner. Also we have a large Night Blooming Cirrus cactus that needs to be cut back. It has beautiful large white flowers that bloom only for one night. It's easy to grow and needs little care. If you would like to have a piece, please call us at 839-6696. We hate to throw anything green away.



A large audience of members and guests in attendance at our November 5th meeting, was privileged to hear Dr. Robert Dressler's presentation on the orchids of Costa Rica. Several members brought copies of books Dr. Dressler had written, and he autographed those volumes. For those of us who have admired Dr. Dressler's immense contributions to the large body of work that exists on the classification of the orchid family and his field work in Costa Rica and Panama, his appearance as a featured speaker at an OSA meeting, was gratifying.


Special thanks is due Natalie Warford for serving as hostess for Robert and Kerry Dressler and to Ron and Shirley Norman for transporting the speaker and his wife to our meeting. A large selection of orchids and orchid-related items was featured on our November raffle table. Donations were received from the family of the late Bernice Ehrlich, from OSA, and from members Phillip Liu, Carrie O'Brien, Bonnie Scott, and me. Thanks to all donors and ticket purchasers for continuing to generously support our fund-raising raffle.


Your 1999 Board of Directors was elected during our November meeting. The slate as presented by the Nominating Committee, was accepted by acclamation. There were no nominations from the floor. As of January 1, 1999: Catherine Nelson, President; Lou Remeikis, 1st Vice President; Norma Kafer, 2nd Vice President; Jane Heckel, Secretary; Keith Mead, Treasurer; Shirley Engberg, Trustee with term expiring 12/00; Maura Roberts, Trustee with term expiring 12/00; Kathleen Luther and Peggy Stejskal are returning Trustees whose terms expire 12/99. The Editor is appointed by the President. Cathy has reported to me that Ken Gettys will continue to serve as Editor through April, and Nancy Burnett will serve as Editor beginning with the May issue. I will serve on the 1999 OSA Board as Immediate Past President.


On October 17, 10 OSA members and one non-member spouse (Gary Remeikis) assembled at Suz Cramer's house, and the dismantling of OSA's greenhouse commenced. Bob MacLeod and Scott Emerson brought the most "serious" tools for the job. Thanks to Leith Plunkett for the loan of his monster truck! The sides and roof of the greenhouse were loaded onto the back of Leith's truck, and the worker-caravan proceeded south on 7th Ave. to Norma Kafer's house. (Norma is our new greenhouse custodian.) We had traffic backed up on 7th Ave. for about a mile, but motorists NOT a part of our procession, were very patient with us. Nothing fell off the truck! Thanks to all workers for a job WELL DONE!


Thanks to Joe Freasier and Wayne Baker for hosting an Open Greenhouse on November 1 and for permitting us to hold OSA's board meeting at their home. We appreciated the smorgasbord Joe and Wayne laid out for us, but it is not necessary for the host(s) of an Open Greenhouse to go to elaborate lengths (and expense) to feed the greenhouse viewers.


OSA's WEB SITE! Our member/web master, Jim Johnson, reports that our web site has had visitors from 50 countries! Our web site also averages 14 visitors a day, and 2000 surfers have accessed our web site since we ventured into cyberspace. Jim is constantly "tweaking" the pictures in our Photo Gallery, and they look fabulous! (That little cyber-elf knows which version of browser a surfer uses to access our site, the resolution of the surfer's monitor, and which operating system AND version a visitor is using! I've always wondered whether there was a "Big Brother" watching me. It's Jim!)




A TROPICAL EXPLOSION OF ORCHIDS was an OUTSTANDING show! If you missed it at the Valley Garden Center on November 14 and 15, you missed something VERY special! Bob MacLeod built an ACTIVE volcano! Bob can build anything! We also had live entertainment on BOTH days of the show, which was VERY popular with men (women and children enjoyed the HULA DANCER, as well, but...our eyes did NOT bug out!). On Sunday, OSA member, Anne Connor, Professor in the Shogetsudo-Koryu School (Japanese School of Floral Arts), conducted an Ikebana demonstration utilizing orchids in the floral arrangements. (The arrangements were subsequently auctioned to members of the audience.) Anne's demonstration was also very popular, but for the men in her audience, for an ENTIRELY different reason than they enjoyed our hula dancer!


Keith Mead and Peggy Stejskal served as able co-chairs for our show, but their job was surely made more palatable and not as burdensome as it would otherwise have been by the participation of so many OSA members who understand that a "Hollywood production" requires the assistance of MANY workers. It was gratifying to see so many of our newer members present themselves at 8 a.m. on FRIDAY THE 13TH!, and they came prepared to work the ENTIRE day setting up our vignettes. Employed members requested time-off from their day jobs to participate in the activity on Friday. Also, this year, three members who had no previous experience with sale plants for our show, demonstrated that they are highly capable plant-tenders. (Peggy's kitchen was "operation central" for the first load of plants we unwrapped. We made a giant bark mess from one end of her kitchen to the other! Jane Heckel is truly impressed that her "small" greenhouse can accommodate a LOT of plants! And Norma Kafer was rather sad to see all the lovely plants in bloom, leave her custody!)


Special thanks is due a non-member for his invaluable assistance. I'm unsure whether Julie gave her husband a CHOICE about helping us, but Fred Rathbun made several hauling trips to the VGC, and kept us laughing (and working) with a seemingly endless storehouse of jokes. Thanks, Fred!


We have several themes in mind for next year's November show. Decisions! Decisions! All of the themes have wonderful potential. POPULAR REQUEST, members want CANDY PELZ, who was the master-mind of our vignettes this year, to be 1999 show chairperson! One of our members described Candy's creativity as "awesome", and other members agree (as well as visitors to our show)!


AND FINALLY: It has been a distinct privilege and pleasure to have served OSA as your President for the past four years. From the outset, I viewed my position as that of a catalyst for the valuable community service course OSA had set for itself. A great many members freely assisted me, and I could not have done the job without you! In the near future, I will continue to serve you as Immediate Past President. I will NOT be less actively involved in OSA. My devotion to OSA is lifelong! However, I hope I will now have time for a personal life and can attend to matters I have deferred handling for FOUR YEARS. My husband, Fred, has been EXCEEDINGLY patient with me these past years (there were many times when he had no clean clothes, no food on the table, and an absentee spouse for much of the time), and I thank him for indulging me. However, you should know that the REASON he was so tolerant was two-fold: he knew how much I enjoyed orchid activities AND he personally believed that a service-oriented group such as ours, is unique among orchid societies. He was and is pleased that I am an integral part of OSA.


I know that you will give your full cooperation to our new President, Cathy Nelson. You generously assisted me, and Cathy expects us to continue our "tradition" of widespread support. If she calls on you to chair a committee, and it's at all possible for you to do so, say "yes"!



We've ordered in plants for our major fund-raising auction because...sales were so brisk at our November show that we sold out of several genera!