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  Death of Julius Boos
From: Theodore Held <oppenhauser2001 at gmail.com> on 2010.07.12 at 06:11:24(21172)
Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that I report the passing this weekend of the
incomparable Julius Boos. Even passive readers of this space will
recognize the importance of this man for the world of aroids and in
the vitality of the discussions that are recorded here. While we are
blessed with a number of remarkable people in the International Aroid
Society, few will argue that Julius was one of the most remarkable.
Anyone fortunate enough to have met him personally will remember the
radiance of his personality. He was just as ready to speak on equal
terms with the greenest greenhorn as with seasoned aroid specialists
steeped in decades of experience. I am grateful to have known him as a
friend. Julius had many, many friends.

Of course, we all knew him as an authority on aroids, especially
regarding their practical cultivation and the fascinating interface of
the plants with humans. He was a special expert in the world of edible
aroid chubas (chubas is an endearing term invented by this aroi d
list and refers to how Julius pronounced the ordinary English tubers
in his charming Trinidadian accent), taking advantage of his lifetime
in South America, Florida, and the Caribbean islands, and his
unapologetic love of food. We were fond of joking that if a dispute
arose about the identity of an aroid chuba, we could always send a
specimen to Julius and he would figure out what is was by taking a
bite.

Trinidadian by birth and inclination, his understanding of the natural
history of tropical areas was profound. His interests were unlimited
as far as I could tell. For last years International Aroid Society
Annual Show, I was fortunate to have the opportunity of driving him
from his home in West Palm Beach to Miami. Although already
experiencing the effects of his cancer at that time, he spoke to me
almost nonstop the entire way. Topics ranged widely. Invariably one
thing reminded him of another and so the threads of conversation would
wander here and there, but always coherent and never tedious. I should
emphasize that Juliuss knowledge of his favorite topics was
extensive, well-considered, and typically included a host of acute
observations and facts that you would not find written down anywhere
(except perhaps in one of his own writings). He involved himself in
disputes on occasion with this or that expert. I would love to know
his lifetime batting average in these differences of opinion. My bet
is that Julius was right more often than he was wrong.

All his conversation was interspersed with an amazing set of anecdotes
drawn from his wide experience. Much of what he knew will die with
him, of course. Many of his stories related to interesting
individuals, now long dead, with particular knowledge lost to history.
Several of these stories were recorded by him in past months and are
available for all to hear on the web site of his friend and neighbor,
Ted Knight (www.tedknight.com/julius/julius.htm). I recommend
listening to them as they not only relate the particular history, but
capture the cadence and beautiful accent that made Julius such an
engaging raconteur. This site also hosts quite a few pictures of
Julius and friends.

Now we have lost two pillars of the International Aroid Society in a
short months time: Julius Boos and Tricia Frank. We can only hope
that new blood will take up the leadership roles to ensure the
continued success of our organization into the future. This would be
the finest memorial for the both of them.

Readers here should also know how important Aroid-L was to Julius. In
his prime (not so many months ago) he would be in the thick of
extended back-and-forth discussions of identification clarifications
and of mysteries being hashed out. Frequently the topic would shift
slightly and involve any number of interesting tangents. Dry botanical
terms would be explicated. Recipes for tasty island dishes
incorporating chubas would be exchanged. Cultivation advice would be
given. This life of the net was a huge part of what inspired Julius;
and everyone who contributed helped pump up, even more, Juliuss
already high energy level. In his waning days he would still read the
posts, occasionally typing in some abbreviated response despite being
so weak. Your postings inspired him to the last and made enduring his
miserable disease easier.

It is a sad time for all of us. As always, life will go on and all of
us in the International Aroid Society hope that the upcoming show this
fall will serve to continue Juliuss and Tricias work to inform the
world of the deeper joys of keeping our favorite plants. May they both
rest in peace and know that the work goes on.

Julius is survived by his dear wife, Suzie. My thoughts are with her.

Ted Held

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From: "Jean-Luc Gatard" <jlgate at caramail.com> on 2010.07.12 at 10:14:45(21175)

Ted,

What's sad new! Aroiders are now in mourning...
I never knew him personnaly, but he was a respectable aroid passionnate
for me.The aroid community is now orphaned ...
Alls of my thoughts are for Susie.
Julius,Rest in peace among the aroid jungle!

Jean-luc from Sarkoland



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From: "Eduardo" <eduardo.goncalves at inhotim.org.br> on 2010.07.12 at 10:29:58(21176)
Dear aroiders,

I cant write properly right now, because my mind is a little disturbed by
this message. Even considering that we were already aware about his state,
is hard to wonder our world without our good friend Julius and I confess I
have been avoiding this subject in my own thoughts. You only had to spend a
few hours in a free conversation with him to fall in love with that "Julius
way of life". His passion for plants (and for people), his charming sense of
humour and his deep sense of humanity. It is really hard to imagine that
Julius lived in Trinidad, since his heart was bigger (and warmer) than
Venezuela! Our chubas will never look the same without him. Even considering
that we have lived pretty far from each other, Julius was the best friend I
have ever had. The world lost a fantastic naturalist and we lost one of the
most complete human beings I have ever met in my whole life. It is a sad day
for the aroid people...

My deepest condolences,

Eduardo.

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From: brian lee <lbmkjm at yahoo.com> on 2010.07.12 at 12:24:38(21177)
Dear Friends,

Aloha("In the presence of the breath of life").

I am celebrating the life of the vibrant, living, Julius Boos. He and I were kindred spirits and we bonded as, "brothers". The physical loss of my brother is very hard to take, but, I had told him that I would make offerings of beer to all of his favorite plants that are growing here in Hawaii. Topping this list are the Philodendron of the subgenus, Meconostigma. Cush-cush, Dioscorea trifida, is Julius's favorite eating, "chuba"...and I gave extra offerings to these plants. We often toasted each other long-distance for this or that. Julius has never left me in spirit.
He is here in the garden and enjoying the plants he never actually saw. I will miss my dear brother, but, each time I look at my Philodendron and cush-cush, flourishing, I know he is with me. My quest now is to test as many edible aroids as possible and to collect and grow as many Meconostigma as I can. One day we will both be exploring the rainforests of our mutual dreams.

Aloha,

Leland

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From: "Sherry Gates" <TheTropix at msn.com> on 2010.07.12 at 13:08:22(21178)

To all of Julius' family, friends and the botanical world as a whole,

I send my deepest heartfelt condolence and sorrow for this great loss. The only comfort is in his relief, and
release, from this evil disease. I pray for God to send His comfort and strength to Julius' family and well loved friends.

Rest well, Julius, in the place our Father has prepared for you.

Sincerely, Sherry Gates

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From: michael kolaczewski <mjkolaffhbc at sbcglobal.net> on 2010.07.12 at 21:25:05(21181)
I never had the pleasure to met either Tricia or Julius. However,

after joining IAS, and reading the journals, newsletters, and participating

in the Aroid-L forum, it is obvious that I was among special people.

Several years ago, I was speaking at a local community college, to

budding horticulture students. I was asked how you gained experience

and knowledge in this field.

I told the people assembled, that your classroom education,

was just the beginning of your assembling a body of work ( or knowledge).

Getting out into the world, and actually practicing your craft was another chapter

in your
career.

I also said that some of us are lucky enough to have a mentor, and that

we find ourselves standing upon the shoulders of others. In the realm of

horticulture, there are those who have blazed a trail, who have taken the time,

or experienced failure, and after a time coupled with success, figured out the

mechanism of how something grows, or how a seed germinates,

and how to propagate the plant, that many said could not be propagated.

As I read Julius' writings, listened to his booming voice on those incredible recordings,

and digested his thoughts and words, it was apparent to me, that here

was one of those gifted people, whom we all have been enriched by.

I mourn his passing, and rejoice in his beginning a new adventure beyond this world.

To me, he is a friend I never had the chance
to meet.

Michael Kolaczewski

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From: Alistair Hay <ajmhay at hotmail.com> on 2010.07.12 at 21:57:06(21182)
I am sad to hear this. Julius was a real gentleman - charming, funny, clever, immensely knowledgeable and very generous. I am so glad I had the opportunity of meeting him, as well as corresponding with him over the years.

Alistair

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From: a san juan <kalim1998 at yahoo.com> on 2010.07.21 at 19:23:29(21221)
a week or so back, i came out to find that my Philodendron mello-barretoanum had tipped over and fallen in its pot. i righted the meconostigma aroid but wondered what had caused it to tip over.

perhaps this was its way of telling me something calamitous had befallen the aroid community, that one of the best among us had gone on to other things.

julius loved the meconostigma aroids, and i will always remember all the times we spent identifying and tracking down the history of various cultivated specimens.

dude, u will be missed! :-(

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