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Jimmy Mintken

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#1 garrin


    Rank: SEEDLING

  • 207 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:near hilo, hawaii

Posted 06 May 2008 - 08:37 PM

I know a lot of us old-timers and especially palm afficionados in Northern California will remember our colorful and good natured friend Jim Mintken who moved away to Costa Rica nearly twenty years ago. Word came to me recently that Jim passed away in Costa Rica in December, and most of his old friends did not know until recently. He had contacted me last fall about getting together during the C.R. Biennial, and then I could no longer reach him. I have spread the word of his passing by phone to a few of the old gang in CA. I am sure there a lot of us who can share some fun and zany memories of Jim and his parties in his beautiful garden in the Russian River area of northern CA. For those of you just learning of his passing in reading this, I shall always share your sadness and good memories.
Garrin Fullington
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garrin in hawaii

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#2 PalmGuyWC



  • 4,350 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Walnut Creek, CA, 94598, 30 NE of San Francisco. Hot and cold Med. climate

Posted 12 May 2008 - 02:43 AM

I'm truely sorry to hear our old friend, Jimmy, has passed away. I spent many enjoyable times with Jim, not only in California, but in Costa Rica too. Jim was a colorfull character full of energy and he was my corrosponding secetary while I was President of the IPS. We didn't always see eye to eye, but we would hash things out until finally an issue was resolved. We used to be on the phone practically every day.

I really missed Jim when he moved to Costa Rica, but I was fortunate enough to visit him several times in Costa Rica, and later on stay at his "Secret Garden" as he had turned his house in San Jose into a couple of units for bed and breakfast. Jim had a patio behind his house which was dominated by a hugh mango tree, and the fruit would come crashing down on the roof of the house in the wee hours and wake everyone up. His patio was surrounded by exotic palms and orchids and it was a very peacefull place to have fresh fruit and a made to order omilett in the mornings.

On my visits Jim would always arrange tours around Costa Rica, and he owned a farm, or finca, about 3 hours north of San Jose. It was in a very remote area at the foot of an extinct volcano and there was no electricity, but constant spring water running down from the mountain. Once we left San Jose before daylight and arrived at the finca early in the morning. Jim had arranged to have a guide and some horses already saddled up for the treck up the mountain which was capped with jungle. The visit before we had hiked up the mountain and it was quite a climb, so this vist was eaiser with the horses, which we left at the edge of the jungle, and then we hiked in. I was accompanied by Paul Drummond and Rick Leitner (TikiRiky) and riding the horses up the mountain, and then the treek through the jungle was one of the most memorable days of my life. Rick and I both had new TV cameras, and it was a challange trying to guide the horses with one hand and the TV camera in the other. We laughed all the way up and then down the mountain, and tried not to fall off the horses.

I shall always remember the good times with Jim Mintken and his wonderful hospitality on my visits to Costa Rica, and the good times we had in California too. I will miss my old friend.

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Richard Douglas

#3 TikiRick



  • 1,618 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Fort Lauderdale, FL

Posted 16 May 2008 - 04:59 AM

Jim was a great, upbeat palm person. I had the pleasure of visiting Jim on numerous occasions to Costa Rica. His "Secret Garden" was host to many ecotourists, especially those associated with palms via California, Florida, and the IPS. He would gladly pick us up from the airport, and deliver us right to his home, of which he rented three large, nice, comfortable bedrooms in downtown San Jose. What a wonderful breakfast he made as well complete with fresh fruit, eggs, pancakes, juice, and cold milk...all beneath the mango tree on the back patio courtyard. He was a gracious host to say the least, and quite knowledgeable regarding palms, especially those commonly seen throughout the country of Costa Rica.

Jim quickly adopted CR as his new country and apprecaited the fact that the local folks, "Ticos" took him in and accepted him as one of their own. He prided the fact that CR was not a 'third world country' as most of the rest of Central America was viewed. In a pouring rainstorm he attempted to deliver me to the first operational ATM in San Jose at his bank. We could barely see the hood of the car in perhaps the most torrential tropical rainstorm (and at night no less!) he got us to the ATM...only to find out that it was never stocked with money! He was so excited that San Jose now had a mall and that was our first stop...the mall. Pale in comparison to US malls, he was proud nonetheless.

Jim was a great guy, someone who you instantly felt like you have known for years. Warm, generous, and genuine are three adjectives that I would use to describe him.
One of the most memorable trips was with Richard Dougles (PalmGuyWC) and the late Paul Drummond as described above. What a wonderful day and week we had.....and much of it was owed to Jim or "Himmie" as the locals called him.

I will miss him.

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Rick Leitner
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Zone 10B
Average Annual Low 67 F
Average Annual High 84 F
Average Annual Rainfall 62"

Riverfront exposure, 1 mile from Atlantic Ocean
Part time in the western mountains of North Carolina
Gratefully, the best of both worlds!

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