|Rhododendron 'Golfer' 30 April 2022|
When I was 15 my mother moved from Mexico City to the mining town of Nueva Rosita in the state of Coahuila. I had the opportunity to learn to play golf but I was simply not interested.
In the early 80s while doing work for Vancouver Magazine I was given an assignment to photograph the city golf courses. I soon learned that this was a plum job as I could walk on lovely days in these golf courses and I had no problem with sand traps. There was no stress.
At about the same time, with my contract work for Canadian Pacific Limited, I was dispatched to Hazelmere Golf Club in Langley and told to pick one spot (it was I believe the 11th hole) and set up my light and big camera. I was to photograph the foursomes that were all headed by one CP man and had three clients.
|Rhodendron 'Golfer' and Rosa 'Complicata' 24 June 2021|
I remember that I got a notification from Montreal to keep my camera in the same place as they were having problems making prints as they were all different. I moved my camera to avoid shooting into the sun. My answer to the CP authorities was, “If CP can keep the sun in the same place I will stay put.”
While driving my Maserati Biturbo sometime around 1989 on Cambie I passed the Langara Golf Course on my right as I was headed home north. An errant golf ball crashed into my windshield and cracked it.
|The indumentum - 17 July 2017|
What all this means is that golf has not been ever in my blood even when in the 80s. I was shooting stills at the CBC and it was verboten to make clicking sounds. My competition was David Cooper who had what was called a blimp. It was made of plastic, it encased the camera, and it muffled those clicks. The best blimps were made in California for golf tournaments. If a golfer heard your click you were immediately ejected. My blimp was a double covering of a thick Argentine wool blanket. I had a hole for the lens and one for the viewfinder.
And so all the above leads me to tell the story of visiting my friend, the New Zealand-born plantsman Alleyne Cook (now no longer with us) and spotting a lovely rhododendron with unusual tomentum (the coating on the top side of the leaves, as the indumentum is on the other side). It was silver. I asked him what rhodo it was and he answered, “Golfer.” I asked a couple of times and eventually Cookie (as we called him) shouted, “This rhododendron is called Golfer and it was a creation of a Seattle friend of mine.”
As rhododendrons go this one does not grow to be large and I keep my specimen in check, just in case.
Today’s scan of Golfer does not show yet the silver tomentum but the second one does. This means I must wait a while for it.