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Memorial project for Bob Riffle


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#1 Jana

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 09:30 PM

Hi everyone,
It's so nice to come back here after a long absence and still see familiar names.  I'm very pleased to have a project to announce that I hope Bob Riffle's friends will want to support.  

As many of you know, Bob lived in Houston for many years and I remember him speaking fondly of the Mercer Arboretum in Humble on many occasions.  Since Bob's passing, I have become friends with Linda Gay, who is the director of Mercer Arboretum and also a good friend of Bob's.  Now that I have finally visited the Mercer myself, I fully understand why Bob was so enthusiastic about this wonderful garden.  It is truly magnificant.  

Over several months we have organized a memorial to be placed at the Mercer.  The Palm Society of South Texas is graciously spearheading the project with the purchase of a substantial bench.  It will be placed in the Mercer's tropical garden in view of Bob's favorite palm there, a Livistona saribus.  Linda and her staff members are preparing the site, placing flagstones and mossrock where the bench will sit.  

Bob was so much more than an extraordinary plantsman.  He was also an accomplished musician.  An element with musical qualities also seems appropriate, which is where his friends both near and far can help.  In addition to the bench, we would like to see a wind chime, a commemorative plaque and a clump of Otatea acuminata, Mexican weeping bamboo.  Several mature palms are in the immediate vicinity and ginger grows in this location on a seasonal basis.  The attached photo shows Linda Gay and Grant Stephenson standing under a magnificent Butia/Syagrus cross, looking toward the L. saribus, from the approximate location where the bench will be placed.  

I hope this is a project that Bob's friends from around the world will want to support.  I estimate the cost of the bamboo, chime and plaque to be around $1100.  The Mercer is ready to accept donations by US check or money order.  So sorry, no credit card capability is available for our overseas friends.  Linda has requested that we place "Robert Riffle Memorial Fund" both inside and outside the envelope when donations are mailed to:

The Mercer Society
Robert Riffle Memorial Fund
22306 Aldine Westfield Road
Humble TX  77338

The Mercer will be hosting PSST's June 23rd meeting to commemorate the bench, so please respond promptly.  It would be so wonderful to have the other components of the project in place when we meet.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask or send a PM.  
Jana Whalen
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editing to add photo that I thought was already attached...

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#2 Jana

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 09:38 PM

...well, how about a picture of the bench!  This is just a photoshopped image taken from the catalog.  We've chosen terra cotta for some color and the lettering and palm leaf are to be done 'hollywood walk of fame' style, whatever you call that technique.

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#3 PALM MOD

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 09:44 PM

Jana,

What a great concept. Let me be the first to publicly pledge $25 and get the ball rolling. The check's in the mail.

For those of you who are relatively new to the Forum, you can learn a little about Bob in the "Memorials" section. Besides starting this Forum, he wrote several "must have" books for palm and tropical plant lovers.
I would be remiss if I didn't also mention that Jana was instrumental in the "birth" of our Forum.
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Thanks to those of you who help make this a fun and friendly forum.

#4 Bilbo

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 07:22 AM

Aloha and welcome back Jana!
We all apreciate why you went "on leave" as it where as you had a lot to put up with.
Many mahalos for your return to us - we are all family.
Regardez
Juan (Jon)
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Juan

#5 epicure3

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 07:33 AM

I'm in for $25 as well. Thanks for putting this together.
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warm summer/mild winter

#6 ania

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 04:25 PM

We pledge $25 too, Jana. It is great way to remember Bob, and we will be there for the opening.



Ania
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Ania

Houston, TX
zone 9a


"God in his wisdom made the fly
And then forgot to tell us why"

                    -Ogden Nash

#7 Jana

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 05:38 AM

Thank you Jon for the welcome back.  Good to hear from you.  And thank you Dean, John and Anna for the contributions to the memorial.  

There were several people I expected to see reply.  Are the oldtimers all hanging in the palapa these days?  
Jana
Corpus Christi, Texas
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#8 bgl

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 02:25 PM

Jana,
Great idea! Meant to mail the check earlier in the week, but kept forgetting...
Anyway, as the saying goes: THE CHECK IS IN THE MAIL!
Aloha,
Bo-Göran
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#9 Jeff Wilson

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 09:08 AM

Hi Jana,

 Any chance that I can send a donation via PayPal? PayPal requires an email address to send funds via instant transfer. Thanks for getting this started. :D

Jeff
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Jeff Wilson
SW Florida - 26.97 N 82 W
Port Charlotte, FL, United States
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hot, humid subtropical climate - mild winters
approx. 50" rain annually during growing season
Summer came too early, springtime came too late...
went from freezing cold to bleached out summer days

#10 Jana

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 05:07 PM

Thank you for the suggestion Jeff.  We'll check into it and report back here.  And thank you Dean, Anna and Bo for your donations.  They are very much appreciated!
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#11 Jana

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 03:22 PM

At last I have an update on Bob's memorial project.  

First, I checked into the option for online donations through paypal.  The short answer is we came up with something that allows donations via credit card transactions online, but not paypal exactly.  The Mercer is a combination of county level goverment (Harris county) and non-profit (The Mercer Society).  Donations will be handled by the Society in partnership with PSST's web sponsor Digital Raingardens.  To donate, visit our Robert Riffle Memorial Fund page

The mexican bamboo has already been acquired with donations received so far.  Additional funds will provide for a wind chime and a plaque.  

Plans for the 23rd include lunch at La Cabana at noon.  The bench commemoration is scheduled for 2:00 at the Mercer Arboretum.  The bench is located (of course!) in the tropical garden section.  All of Bob's friends are welcome to attend.  Hope to see you there.
Sincerely,
Jana
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