The Cactus Patch
Volume 15       October 2012      Number 10

Summer Travels
A Letter From Bruce
by Bruce Hargreaves

There has been a lot of tripping this past summer. On 14 July Polly, Lora & Lora’s daughter Angela went to Maui in Hawaii. There they met with Dori Brum from Kwajalein. When they went on a horseback trip Dori was asked if she had ever ridden a horse. “I’ve never seen one”, she replied.

While they were away, James and his family arrived from Greenville on the 18th. His mother-in-law and her son arrived from Tucson, and another son with wife and kids who live here as well as friends from Taft showed up and we had an evening at Rosemary’s, swam in Anne’s pool, ate dinner @ Milt’s etc. On the 23rd James and family went to Taft to visit friends there and then they went on to camp at Pismo Beach. Polly and I joined them there and had Fish and Chips lunch and helped build a sand castle. We all went our various ways from there. I can’t believe how big baby Matthew has grown. Our other grandson, Michael, is starting first grade already!

Back in Bakersfield we watched the Olympics opening on the 27th. I loved the transition from the farms to industrial England, but they left out any reference to our ancestor, James Hargreaves, who started it all with his spinning jenny. By then the intrepid group was back from Maui and we watched the parade to see Botswana and Kwajalein march (Angela had a friend on the swim team) We watched a lot of the games and were pleased to find that Nigel Amos of Botswana earned a silver in the 800 meter run.

On the 2nd of Aug., Elton Roberts spoke on Micropuntias at the Fresno meeting. He is a real splitter and showed a lot of variations which he considers separate species. I prefer lumping as done by Innes and Glass in their Cacti Encyclopedia. They recognize one species of “Micropuntia” and lump it in with Opuntia. (Of course Charles Glass was a friend of mine, so I may be prejudiced.)

On the 6th the family and friends went to eat at The Woolgrowers. Dori was like most and did not eat the pickled tongue. As usual I ate most of it. Dori was taken to Hearst Castle, Yosemite, and Disneyland. I guess she’s now seen more new things than just horses. Unfortunately, she had to leave and return to Kwajalein before seeing all that California has to offer (which takes a lifetime –I’m still working on it.)

Of course we were at the Taj Mahal with the BCSS on the 14, but it wasn’t as good as I remembered it. Maybe we can go back to Cactus Valley next year. Next day Polly’s sister Ginny with husband Bob stopped by on a trip north from Joshua Tree and we all splurged on lunch at Taco Bell. (Hey, they have $1 tacos and free senior drinks!) Anne went off for a month to visit her son Daniel in South Dakota.

On the 1st of September Polly and I went to the Succulent Symposium at the Huntington Gardens. They had various talks: Buseras of the Caribbean, Crassulas of South Africa, plant protection in Baja (did you know Charles Lindbergh piloted a sea plane around the islands of Baja to help arouse interest in protecting them?) etc. Of course there was the usual silent auction as well as a plant sale from the nursery.

On the 6th there was a members’ sale at the club in Fresno. Plant offerings seemed to be down (possibly because they now have a nominal fee per table), but there was a tremendous silent auction of books. I bought a few, including an autographed copy of Barbara Jeppe’s Aloes of South Africa (beautiful paintings of each species). Unfortunately I already had about half the books offered and a lot went unsold as they were rather pricey (although actually bargains!).

The BCSS meeting on the 11th was a discussion of setting up for the fair and no set speaker, so I was told I could drag out the brag table discussion a bit – which I did.

We are all back at our homes (except Lora and Dave who are off cruising in Alaska) so I guess summer is over.

Sand Castle @ Pismo

Fred (seated) @ Brag Table

Dinner @ Wool Growers

Talk on Crassulas

Silent Book Auction

PREVIOUS LETTER               Bruce's Letters               NEXT LETTER