The Cactus Patch
September 2019

Return to Normal(?)
A Letter From Bruce
by Bruce Hargreaves

I have been seeing a lot of doctors and getting a lot of tests, but I am back on my feet and almost normal.  I am still quite underweight and lack the energy I had, but hopefully this will improve with time.

On the 1st of August I made my first foray from home to attend a memorial service for a friend who died from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).  It is heart breaking to see someone die so young.  I realize how upset Polly must feel about my collapse (and I am beginning to realize it for myself), but at least I have had a long and fruitful life.

We even made it to the August meeting of the Fresno Cactus and Succulent Society, but it was on the 8th instead of the 1st because of a scheduling conflict.  Unfortunately, that coincided with a fall by the president Sue Haffner who missed the meeting because she was in the hospital with a broken leg.

Steve Frieze did manage to give us a talk on Oaxaca, Mexico, but he repeated too many pictures (often with the statement, “And here is another example of…”).  At any rate, I survived the trip and we got to see our new nephew Jedediah.

On the 11th of August the family had lunch at the BBQ Factory Steakhouse which has replaced the Cactus Valley.  It was noisy and the food was disappointing.  (Although I must add that my sense of taste is gone awry from the infection.)

On the 13th, of course, we were at Frugatti’s and enjoyed socializing with the BCSS , on the 18th we had lunch at John’s Incredible Pizza (not my favorite place)in honor of a friend’s baby and on the 19th we returned to exercise with our Silver Sneakers group.  I guess I’m getting better.

Gordon Rowley, 1921 – 2019

Gordon Rowley, for a long time a leading figure in succulent studies, died 12 Aug. at the age of 98.  He is known for many publications such as Caudiciform and Pachycaul Succulents (1987).  He even coined the names for these “fat plants”.  I met him in 1990 when I was visiting friends in Reading, England.  Knowing my interest in succulents, they suggested I meet Gordon as he lived at “Cactusville” in Reading. And to think I almost missed this opportunity!  I had a great day visiting and seeing his forthcoming book on a History of Succulent Plants. It was eventually published in 1997, but without the elaborate 3-D pop-up pages which it was originally designed to have.  I was privileged to see the extraordinary original, but it would have been too much to produce.  I took this picture of Gordon at Cactusville in 1990.

Steve Frieze

Gordon Rowley

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