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John Bishock has passed away


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#1 Ray Tampa

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 04:22 AM

Many of us lost a good friend on Wednesday night with the passing of John Bishock.  John would post on this site as John from Old Miakka.  He was diagnosed with liver cancer less than 6 months ago and had been doing fairly well despite the rigors of chemotherapy.  I had the pleasure of seeing him in December for a Christmas cookout where he was in remarkably good spirits and as enthusiastic about palms as ever.  He and Faith had attended all of the Biennials with the exception of the most recent trip to DR. I was fortunate enough to have John and Faith attend my recent wedding.  John will be sorely missed, not only as a fountain of palm knowledge, but as a dear friend.

Ray
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#2 Daryl

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 05:15 AM

My condolences to Faith and everyone near him. That is really sad news...he seemed like a really nice bloke...had a few beers with him in Cairns back in '00.


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#3 spockvr6

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 05:18 AM

Ray-

This is terrible news and I am sorry to hear it.  He is definitely a pillar in the palm community.

I had the pleasure of of meeting John last year and received the grand tour of his impressive grounds.  This tour takes several hours!  At this visit, he gave me a Syagrus supernova which I planted out soon after getting home.  I guess this palm (which is growing like a rocketship) will be a small memorial in my yard for John.
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#4 NatureGirl

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 05:28 AM

He will be missed at the CFPACS meetings, I think he and Faith attended almost all of them. Hope Faith is doing ok. I'll drink a beer for him tonight. Charlene
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#5 SunnyFl

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 05:29 AM

Ray,

I am so sorry to hear this.  What a loss for the palm community.  He was a real expert.

Unfortunately, I only met him at a couple of events a while back.  Had always wanted to see his place in "Old Miakka."


First RLR, now him.  The elders of the community are leaving us.
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#6 BobbyinNY

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 05:53 AM

Ray,  

that's horrible.. I've never met him, but my condolences go out to his family.... How old was he?
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Bobby

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#7 BS Man about Palms

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 06:42 AM

Bummer, I remember reading some of his posts.  It was obvious he had been in this sport awhile..........
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#8 Carlo Morici

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 06:48 AM

Sad news.
I will miss him in the next biennials.

Carlo
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#9 Kris

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 07:00 AM

My heart felt condolenses to his family members &
close friends.


Kris.
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love conquers all..

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#10 Zac in NC

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 08:09 AM

Oh no. I never got to meet him, but my thoughts are with Faith and the family.

Zac
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#11 Ray Tampa

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 08:26 AM

Bobby,

John was in his late 60's.

Ray
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#12 Kom Thai Palm

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 08:41 AM

I never met him, but this is so sad news.
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#13 Davidl

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 09:43 AM

Sorry to hear he passed. I met him and faith once and they both were very good people.I have several palms from their nursery and they are all nice looking palms. He will be missed.
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#14 bgl

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 09:46 AM

I was extremely saddened to receive the news this morning. My wife and I have always enjoyed meeting with John and Faith during the Biennials (and also during the IPS board meetings during the "in between" years).
One memory that will always stand out happens to be from the Biennial in New Caledonia. We had arrived on three buses at a very nice resort on the northern end of the island, about an hour away from Mt. Panie. I think the 120 strong IPS group more or less took over the hotel. Most of the rooms were in separate little bungalows that were spread out all over the place, and unfortunately they didn't have enough for everyone to have a private bungalow. Check-in was a mob scene. My wife and I were informed that we were to share a bungalow with the Bishocks. Off we went, and we found out that the bungalow had two separate bunk-beds, only inches apart (head from foot, not side by side!). I figured, well, it's just one night, what's the big deal, and I had the impression that Faith felt the same way. My wife, however, was NOT amused, and John felt the same way, so the two of them stormed off to the front desk, leaving Faith and me there to wait for the outcome. Of course they came back 15 minutes later, and we now had our own little bungalow...
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#15 Mike in Kurtistown

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 09:56 AM

John was an original and an outsize personality. His presense at meetings of CFPACS and biennials was palpable. I am bummed that I will not hear "budrot's" voice or shake his hand again. I saw his collection at Hidden River several times and it was well worth the trip. I remember his huge personally-designed greenhouse (I heard him call it his "playhouse") absolutely crammed with palms from all around the world. Faith was part of all this too, of course, I hope she is OK. This is sad news.
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#16 cfkingfish

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 10:20 AM

John was one of my closest friends, and he, along with Faith were my closest friends in the palm community. He was one of the toughest guys I have ever met. Here is some background info for those who did not know him in person.

He was the son of a marine engineer(?) who was originally born in upstate New York, but moved to Miami in 1953. In 1979 he moved again to the island of Maui in Hawai'i, and this is where his love for palms came to fruition. In 1985 he and Faith moved back to Miami and stayed there until 1993 when the move was made to Old Miakka. Old Miakka is an Indian town with no stores and only a church and cemetary.

I first met John when I was 22 back in 2004. I was looking for Copernicia baileyana seeds on Gardenweb, and he posted that he had some plants, and lived nearby. I had recently left college and decided to take on the palm hobby. After visiting his place, I realized there was so much more to palms than what you saw in people's yards and the stores. John and Faith took me under their wing and let me help them out potting and planting throughout early 2005. This is where I learned the ropes on how to work with palms. After the spring, I decided to go it on my own, but visited their farm at least once a week. John was a person who could only be experienced, and not explained in words. I think anyone who had the opportunity to meet him would say the same. I saw him Monday after coming back from the Sarasota airport and was happy I had the chance to say what I wanted. He was my palm mentor and I won't ever forget that.

He was 67 years old.
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#17 Charles Wychgel

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 11:03 AM

Sad news indeed, my condolences to Faith and the family.

I have met Faith and John several times on several IPS biennuals and they were always good fun people to be with.

He had just moved into the Miakka home for a few years when I visited him with a group of palmfreaks from the USA and Europe a great host he was.

Christian mentioned he was 67 years  which is exactly my age...

I'll drink a glass of wine on you John.
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Charles Wychgel
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#18 Jerry@TreeZoo

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 11:31 AM

I am sorry to see John go.  I will miss seeing him at the sales and Palm Fests.  My thoughts and prayers for Faith.

Jerry
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#19 Walt

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 12:47 PM

I'm saddened to hear of John Bishock's passing. I liked John from the first time I met him back in 2000, when I purchased a van load of palms (John and Faith delivered the palm to me in their van on their way down to Miami).

John was a laid back kind of guy, a socializer. Every spring since 2000 I would make a trip over to his place and buy some palms. John always threw in some free stuff (palms, tropical plants, bamboo, etc.). Also, if I had a palm I bought from him and it died for some reason, John would replace it for me at no cost.

I was wondering why I hadn't seen any posts by John as of late. Now I understand why. He will be missed. My condolences to John's wife, Faith.

The silver bismarkia palm below is one of probably 75-100 palms I bought from John over the years:



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#20 Walter John

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 12:52 PM


(Walt @ Jan. 20 2007,05:47)
QUOTE
I'm saddened to hear of John Bishock's passing. I liked John from the first time I met him back in 2000, when I purchased a van load of palms (John and Faith delivered the palm to me in their van on their way down to Miami).

John was a laid back kind of guy, a socializer. Every spring since 2000 I would make a trip over to his place and buy some palms. John always threw in some free stuff (palms, tropical plants, bamboo, etc.). Also, if I had a palm I bought from him and it died for some reason, John would replace it for me at no cost.

I was wondering why I hadn't seen any posts by John as of late. Now I understand why. He will be missed. My condolences to John's wife, Faith.

The silver bismarkia palm below is one of probably 75-100 palms I bought from John over the years:



Posted Image[/quote]
and that's a fine specimen of a bizzie indeed. Good to see a legacy of a palm person once again, condolences to his family and friends. I only hope with each passing enthusiast, more take their place in this wonderful community.
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Happy Gardening
Cheers,
Wal
Queensland, Australia.

#21 Eric in Orlando

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 01:35 PM

Wow, what a loss. John was a great guy and palm expert. This is sad news, my prayers to Faith.
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#22 Gileno Machado

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 01:39 PM

Barbara, Jr and I were very fortunate to have had John and Faith Bishock to be our devoted Palm guides while touring both Montgomery (with Don AmazonDK) and Fairchild parks (with Christy Jones), a year ago.

When they heard I was coming to Florida he sent me an e-mail (budrot@) and drove all the way from Sarasota to prestige our visit with their admirable and joyful company. He always had an interesting story about his many trips through palmy places and we had a truly memorable day together.

I wish he could have had time to visit us in Brazil...I'll plant a nice Coccothrinax next sunday in his honour and we all here send Faith a warm condolence hug.

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#23 amazondk

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 02:58 PM

I was fortunate to be able to spend part of the day with John and Faith on the tour of Montgomery.  He sent me an invitation as he knew Gileno would be there.   My short experience left me with the feeling that I had met a unique human being.  And, I am sure he was and that he enriched many peoples lives.

dk
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#24 Carlo Morici

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 04:24 PM

It does not help much to relief the sadness I get while I see the picture, and it is not o start a competition among us to plant more plants in memory of John, but:

In January 2001 Faith and John sent us a handful of seeds of Livistona nasmophila (formerly L. mariae subsp. occidentalis) collected from their garden. Now they are four stout potted palms belonging to the Palmetum, that will be planted in the gardens as a group. Rather than a memory it will be a permanent sign of what John and Faith did to spread palms and palm culture internationally.

Carlo
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#25 Caribbean Palms

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 05:34 PM

I'm so sorry to hear this sad news. My condolences to Faith and the family.

I've had the pleasure to have know John & Faith for several years & have done many sales at Fairchild Gardens as 'competing' vendors. I always enjoyed sharing a Barbancourt & Coke with John after a 'hard' day selling(or not) palms. It didn't matter to John if he sold anything, he truly loved just being there surrounded by palms and palm people.
He was an original and will be missed by all that were fortunate enough to have known him.
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#26 Jeff Searle

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 05:36 PM

Today, while at a tradeshow here in Ft. Lauderdale, our IPS president Paul Craft let Ryan(Palmarum) know who then told me. While I knew he was ill, this was still unexpected very sad news.
   I have known Faith and John for about 18 years. I first met them when I started to sell my first palms at Fairchild Tropical Gardens. What a great couple! One of the things that was so nice was, John seem to always have a palm species to sell that no one else had. All the collectors went to his table early on to look for that special palm.
   John will sorely be missed in South Florida for many, many years. Our heart and prayers go out to Faith, family and all the many friends that John had around the world.
Andrea and Jeff :(
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#27 palmsrgreat

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 07:03 PM

Although I never knew John, I can clearly see the impact that he had on others in the palm community. My condolonses to his wife, family and friends.

-Michael
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#28 Palmarum

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 09:25 PM

When Paul gave me the news, a heavy feeling fell over me as a rush of memories from the past many years came to mind. I have known John and Faith for a long time, and there was never a dull moment. I still remember looking over their palm selection at sales when I was 11 and 12 years old. I had to step on my toes to see the small palms on the table, and John would take them off the table and hand them to me. From one of these early sales, John sold me my first Livistona rotundifolia, which I still have to this day. When the sales would slow down on Sundays, I would often spend time talking with John and Faith. He had endless stories, and years of experience to call upon. I need to find some of my older photos of him to post, they would easily bring back the memories. He will be missed...

Ryan
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#29 Kathryn

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 09:27 PM

John was a great friend. I’ll never forget the first time I met him at a palm society meeting. During a tour, he was hanging toward the back of the group and I thought he was some spouse that had been dragged to many such events. We began to talk and I realized how much knowledge he had about palms.

Here’s a picture of him at his place from a few years ago.

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Here’s another from the December get together Ray mentioned. He was doing so well that I thought we would have many more of these good times.

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I will miss you John.

Your friend,

Kate
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#30 cfkingfish

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 05:06 AM

Kathryn-

I remember that picture - what a great one. I never thought I got in a good picture with John but now I remember this one. For reference, John is obviously driving, I am in shotgun, and in the back, there is Michael Perry, Faith Bishock, and Christopher Mink. Michael is a long time cycad collector, a very knowledgable and modest person. Mink is a musical prodigy who is also a palm freak and teaches with Kathryn's brother at a gifted school. Here is another picture from that day.

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#31 Rob Pittman

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 04:22 PM

This is very sad news.

John inspired me in many ways and was a real joy to visit with.  He always took time out and shared his knowledge and experiences.

John will be missed.
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#32 Kamipalms

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 01:05 AM

I never had the pleasure to meet him face to face but I did manage to have a phone conversation with John and Faith early last year.
John and I did a seed trade last year I sent him some very difficult to find fresh Livistona alfredii  seeds and John replied with a mixed bag of this and that including one and one only Chamaedorea benziei seed. This 1 C.benziei seed was the only seed to germinate out of all John had sent. This happen to be the very first C.benziei I could call my own.
Faith and Family,
Our thoughts are with you and John will live on in the memories of many.
Jason.
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Kamipalms,
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#33 Licuala

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 09:26 AM

Viewing:
Wednesday, January 24, 6-8 PM
Hawkins Funeral Home
135 N. Lime Ave. (corner of Lime Ave. and Fruitville Rd.)
Sarasota, Florida 34237
(941) 365-1767

Burial:
Thursday, January 25
2nd viewing 12-1 PM
Burial Service 1PM
Old Myakka United Methodist Church
1620 Myakka Road
Sarasota, Florida 34240

Donations, in lieu of flowers, to:
GI Oncology Research 33412
In Memory of John Bishock
Moffitt Cancer Center Foundation
12902 Magnolia Drive
Tampa, Florida 33612
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Paul Craft
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#34 Kathy

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 10:13 AM

Lovely to hear more of this man I never met, tho' I do remember his postings.  What a beautiful community this is, IPS and the forum.  Keep the stories coming.
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#35 DoomsDave

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 01:33 PM

I never had the pleasure of meeting him.

He sounded like quite a guy.

Sad to hear of the news.
d
ave
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Let's keep our forum fun and friendly.


#36 Jeff in Costa Rica

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 02:48 PM

I'm so sorry to hear that John passed away.  I met John a few times and purchased quite a few palms from him when I lived in Tampa.  He was always so helpful and enthusiastic.  He was a wealth of knowledge and will be sorely missed.
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#37 Kev Spence

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 11:24 AM

We had the great pleasure of meeting John and Faith at last years palm sale at FTG and it was great for us, as a couple, to be recognised  so far away by a booming voice "here are our friends from England" and with immediate effect were offered food and drinks.

John had also brought some seedlings for us Trithrinax schitzophylla and T.biflabellata, which are growing away well back here in the Uk, this shows the thought of the man to go to the trouble to bring these palms for someone he hardly knew.
John also took time out to show us some of the more rare palms in Fairchild and his enthusiasm just rubbed off on myself.
It was only a fleeting glimpse of John and Faith but one that we shall treasure for ever.

I am very sad at this news of his passing and hope Faith is bearing up well and our deepest condolences go out to all their  family.

A couple of pics from last years palm sale at Fairchild

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Kev and Jackie
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#38 Redland

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 08:53 AM

I only know 2 or 3 people as knowledgeable as John when it came to the collections of palms at Fairchild Gardens. He knew the garden like the back of his hand. Mention a palm and John could give you the location in the garden. Many of us will never forget the excursions he would take us on pointing out palms that survived the ‘77 or ‘89 freeze or ones that used to be in this or that location before hurricanes.
Faith and John rarely missed a palm event and always had enough intoxicants, rum being the one of choice, to get the party started. Many palms in my garden have come from the Bishock collections all done with good spirits and horse trading. John truly lived like he would farm forever and die tomorrow. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.
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#39 Redland

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 09:32 AM

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JCD
South Florida

#40 Lisa

Lisa

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  • Location:virginia beach/beaufort SC

Posted 27 January 2007 - 05:00 PM

I met Faith and John only once but that visit left an indelible print in my memory. John was so vivacious and enthusiastic when talking about palms that it was hard  not to get wrapped up ! I had come to buy a Livistona nitida (which he finally decided he wanted to keep for himself because it was his last one) and left with a load of "try this" and "try that". He was quite surprised and amused that I was going to grow them in Virginia. My bank account suffered that day but I had a ball in listening to him.... a fountain of knowledge. I am sorry I will never be able to let him know the outcome of what I bought but the tour he gave me of his place was a dream !
My sympathy and deepest condolences go to Faith and their families.
sincerely
Lisa in Va
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LisaVaBeach
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SC - Beaufort area




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