|Bob Olson - I992|
Robert Carl Martin Olson - June 29 1940 - Hannepin County, Minneapolis - September 15 2022
At the American Hosta Society National Convention I had lunch with a lovely man who was very frail. Janet Mills, the designer (a fine one) of the Hosta Journal told me I was lucky as he did not lunch with anybody else.
I told him that as an Argentine I think a lot about the poems of Jorge Luís Borges who wrote many on the theme of wondering if he was closing a door for the first time or if his reflection on a mirror would be the last one he would ever see.
I elaborated on the idea that the Minneapolis convention would be my last one. I had met Bob in 1992 in the Columbus, Ohio Convention (my first one). It seemed that so many of the people we had known were all gone. His reply was, “I understand, Alex.”
Clearly I was out of line and when I returned to Vancouver I wrote to him that both of us (I am 80) would be alive for next year’s Iowa Convention and that we would laugh lots.
It was not to be.
While I have been an important magazine photographer in Vancouver and in Canada, Bob was one of the first mentors I ever had who suggested I might be a good writer and write for the Hosta Journal. This I did. I was proud as the Bob Olson/ Janet Mills had to be and has to be one the most beautiful plant magazines.
Thanks to Bob I was assigned to many magazine jobs as a writer.
|Alex Summers & Gene - 1992|
To me the roses and hostas in my garden all have the face of the people I knew. Many of these plants are the face of my Rosemary who died on December 9, 2020.
|Claire Richards 1992|
Perhaps the funniest story about a hosta is the one about Hosta ‘Invincible’. I asked Paul Aden why he called it that. His answer was succinct, “I named her after my mother-in-law.
|Paul Aden - 1992|
Alex Summers was full of garden knowledge. He told me that it took 3 years to plan and grow a garden. You needed three more years for it to mature. Then you enjoyed it on the 7th. But you had to begin all over again on the eighth. He further elaborated that in a garden you needed elevation, shade and water. You had to make sure you heard the water.
In the 2003 Falls Church Convention we were accompanied by
our 6 year-old granddaughter Rebecca. Nobody seemed to want to sit next to Alex
Summers in the garden tour buses as few could understand his very intelligent
mumbling. That is how Rebecca and Alex became friends. She was also befriended
by Mildred Seaver and they exchanged their reasoning for their like of the
colour blue. Mildred gave her a blue plush toy animal. Mildred told me at the time that her favourite hosta was Hosta tokudama "Aureo Nebulosa
|Mildred Seaver - 1992|
Somewhere in my photo vaults there is a photograph of Rebecca and C.H. Falstad observing koi at a convention garden.
It was George Schmid who taught me that there were not shade loving plants. He said they were shade tolerant.
All the above is to stress that the faces of my hostas are happy and warm people. I plan to go to the Ames Convention next year. I will miss Bob but I plan to make new friends so I can put more faces on my Vancouver hostas.
|Bob Solberg - 1992|
|Glen Draper - 1992|
|Mary Chastain - 1992|
|Warren Polock - 1992|
|Wolfram Geoge Smith - 1992|
|Tony Avent - 1992|