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  Aroid Plantmen
From: DAVID LEEDY <djleedy at sbcglobal.net> on 2014.08.15 at 16:33:03(23044)
I appreciated the information given to us on this list by A. Sunjian with respect to Philodendron ‘xEvansii’ and Philodendron ‘Soledad’. However, I want to know more about the “Plantsmen” in the Aroid Plant Family. We can read about the old timey Botanist (e.g. Schott and Engler & Kraus), the Botanists of our life time (e.g. Cecil Prime and Monroe Birdsey), and the current Botanists. But how about the Plansmen?

What is the story of Anderson’s Red (Philodendron) and of particular interest would be Bob McCauley of Fantastic Gardens fame in Miami? What other Plantsmen should we know about? How about famous Plantsmen in Australia, the UK, Germany, etc.? What cultivars or hybrids are they responsible for?

I, for one, would really appreciate anyone taking the time to either write this down or tell me where I might otherwise find it.

Thank you.

David Leedy

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From: a sunjian <asjbiotek at gmail.com> on 2014.08.15 at 21:22:27(23045)
I think that's a good question David. So much information about the past has been lost because nothing was ever committed to writing...or if they were, such written notes have been lost to time and never digitized and archived on the web.

For example, I am currently interested in learning more about a fellow named Len Butt from Australia, who is mainly known for his work with Cycads before he died in the early 1990s. He also created several Meco hybrids that now circulate in trade, but whose history and origin are unknown. Everything after awhile becomes hearsay and rumor, and rumors slowly are treated as truth.

On a slight tangent, I should also like to point out that CURRENT information needs to be committed to permanent or semi-permanent storage for future researchers, and I don't mean on facebook (for example, you'll notice data on FB disappears after a few years, and of course is never archived by archival entities such as archive.org). There used to be a large number of hobbyist sites that focused on specific topics, but these seem to be replaced more and more now by group pages on social media, which i consider to be storage of transient information given again that the data is lost after a few years (and that copyright to such data is also unclear).

So in addition to "social" websites, we need more people like Steve Lucas who actually created something more permanent. He was a fellow meco guy who used to have a very good website called the Exotic Rainforest, which became a storehouse of very useful botanical information, as well as information that I would consider historical. Steve passed away unfortunately, but his website was fully archived and will hopefully continue in future to serve as a storehouse of data for future reference.

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From: Susan B <honeybunny442 at yahoo.com> on 2014.08.16 at 07:06:39(23046)
That would make good articles for the newsletter or Aroideana too.

From: DAVID LEEDY
To: Aroid-L List

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From: "derek burch" <dburch23 at bellsouth.net> on 2014.08.25 at 03:28:01(23047)
David,

The articles that Enid and I did for the
June Newsletter were attempts to stimulate more on this type reminiscence
(perhaps of a more serious nature than mine) –but, rather as
expected, there has been no follow up. The medium for publishing in an archived
form Newsletter and Aroideana) does exist. Now we need more people to join in
with submissions.

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From: DAVID LEEDY <djleedy at sbcglobal.net> on 2014.08.25 at 11:26:37(23048)
Thank you Derek,

The Newsletter is exactly where I was trying to direct that kind of information.

Over 35 years ago, I propagated Aroids for Bob Cole and Bill Cook's Botanical Gardens Plant Shop in Reseda, California. I recall that they mentioned Ed Hummel, but they always referred to him as "Mr. Hummel." Like so many, I can't remember what I knew about him.

I was of the opinion that Anderson's red was from Anderson's Nursery in the San Diego area,
possibly Carlsbad. I do recall visiting that nursery around 40 years ago and meeting his son, I believe his name was Rod. It is quite possible that Mr. Hummel named it.

I am of the opinion that one of the Bobs, Wilson or McColley, went to Costa Rica and built a rare plant nursery or area there.

David Leedy

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From: "John Criswick" <criswick at spiceisle.com> on 2014.08.25 at 17:58:56(23049)

Hi David,

Bob and Catherine Wilson did create a wonderful botanical garden in Las Cruces, Costa Rica. I understand it was off the beaten track and very difficult to get there. I was hearing about it in the 60s.

Yes I do believe that Anderson’s Nursery is in Carlsbad.

Did anyone know Bob See of Florida and of the aroids he created?

John Criswick

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From: Kathy Upton <ku5 at yahoo.com> on 2014.08.25 at 17:02:13(23050)

Horace Anderson, created P. Anderson's Red , and was the grandfather of Eric Anderson who created this page, for those who are interested in the history of that hybrid. http://www.seedcoseeds.com/philoden.htm

Anderson's Seed Co
Anderson's Seed Co offers a wide variety of seeds for California natives, eucalyptus, cactus, palms, cycads and more.

style="color:black;text-decoration:none;cursor:pointer;">View on www.seedcoseeds.com

Preview by Yahoo

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From: Tom Croat <Thomas.Croat at mobot.org> on 2014.08.25 at 21:01:00(23051)
Dear David:

It was Bob Wilson:

He had a wonderful garden near Villa Neilly not far from Panama. Eventually the OTS became involved, built a big dormitory and classroom. I used it when I taught a class for Hal Moore from Cornell. Bob and Catherine lived in a nice house on the grounds. I visited them and stayed there before they built the dorm. It was electrified by a generator which had a kill switch attached to a string when he went to bed about 10 it was lights out for everyone. Catherine died while they were there and they buried her on the grounds, lowering her body into the grave and then covered her up with soil. Bob made trips to South America, notably to Colombia and he had a lot of material collected at Bajo Calima where I was working, also from Lago Calima much higher up. They had a lot of different people who lived there eventually to help him, including Luis Diego Gomez and several others who I knew but who’s names down immediately come to mind.

Tom

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From: "derek burch" <dburch23 at bellsouth.net> on 2014.08.26 at 01:59:36(23052)

I will see if I can stir up John Banta
about Bob See. John is a fantastic source of information, and we may be able to
put together something for the e-supplement to Aroideana which is due out in
December. Or even a longer piece from many contributors which I should be happy
to collate and edit for next years Aroideana (deadline December 15, 2014 before
you all get busy for the holidays) Thanks to every one who is poking the fire
to get this topic on the move. Derek

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From: Regferns at aol.com on 2014.08.26 at 04:23:01(23053)
I also made the trip to Costa Rica to Bob Wilson's place (don't know how we even found the nursery). It is quite a long and arduous drive from Costa Rica (and as Tom Croat mentioned, it is very near Panama). At the time of my trip, I was on a fern expedition, and at that time, had not developed a taste for aroids -- that eventually changed. I remember the nursery as being large and chock full of great eye candy.

Reggie Whitehead

In a message dated 8/26/2014 2:14:41 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, Thomas.Croat@mobot.org writes:

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From: DAVID LEEDY <djleedy at sbcglobal.net> on 2014.08.26 at 11:24:30(23056)

Derek et al,

On my only trip to the annual show and sale, I was invited to tour Bob See's place.

John Banta is a good source not only for other Plantmen, but for himself. His place is amazing (or at least was) and I don't know how many hybrids he is responsible for, but many. I remember one trip Dewey Fisk and I took to Northern Florida to visit some people named Worthman, I think. Although Dewey told me the were bromeliad people, he thought they might have some variegated Philodendron 'Florida'. Instead they had several dozen pots of Anthurium dresslerii, which was really uncommon at that time. I believe it was discovered that this was not really A. dresslerii after Rick Cirino brought the plant back from Columbia. Anyway, John crossed it with many of the velour Anthuriums (A. forgetii, A. chrystalinum, etc.).

Another very good Plantsman, in addition to being a Botanist, was Monroe Birdsey. I had the opportunity to visit his place with Dewey Fisk on one of my trips. Joe Wright was another good Florida Plantsman, but on the west coast. Surely some Floridians can elaborate on Monroe and Joe.

Other Botanists, who are Plantsmen are Tom Croat and, I understand Wilbert Hetterscheid. Also, from the experiences he relates, I think Peter Boyce might also qualify as a good Plantman. I have visited the Munich Botanical Gardens, where Josef Bogner was my host. Now there is another Plantman/Botanist.

Of course if you could get Dewey to share some
of his stories, you would have another really good source.

I sure hope others, with more knowledge will contribute to this thread.

David Leedy

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From: "John Criswick" <criswick at spiceisle.com> on 2014.08.26 at 13:23:36(23057)

Thanks Derek. I received this from a friend in Carlsbad:

Interesting john. I cannot add much. I remember my grandmother driving me all the way from Anaheim to Carlsbad to Mr. hummels nursery here in Carlsbad when i was maybe 13...So around 1964. It was a special treat for me to see all the bromeliads and who knows what else in his greenhouses. There is no sign of his place now around here. I imagine his nursery must have been very close to my parents’ present home on Chestnut but they have been here since 1976 and i do not ever remember seeing any greenhouses of tropicals here. Andersons nursery is in Leucadia still but different owners. Horace Anderson's grandson is Eric Anderson of Seedco...a tropical seed nursery near here. I do not know if Eric has survived the recession. I have not spoken to him in several years. ...

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From: Nancy Greig <ngreig at hmns.org> on 2014.08.26 at 11:45:00(23058)

What about Tony Avent of Plant Delights Nursery?

Nancy Greig

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From: Susan B <honeybunny442 at yahoo.com> on 2014.08.26 at 11:56:02(23059)

Very good, David,

Plantwomen, too. And all the folks that got the IAS off the ground. Tricia Frank. Genevieve Ferry, Lariann Garner, Mary Sizemore, Betsy in Memphis (I am blanking on her last name). The list goes on and on.

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From: Eduardo Gomes Goncalves <edggon at gmail.com> on 2014.08.26 at 12:35:48(23060)
Dear fellows,
Don't forget the Brazilian Roberto Burle Marx as one of the most Important Plantsman ever in the aroid family. He personally collected, crossed and used many of his discoveries in his gardens in Brazil, Venezuela and elsewhere. Although generally known as a landscape designer, he knew his plants in full depth and even described new species occasionally. Many species used today (including the famous P. mello-barretoanum - one of the forms sold as "P. selloum") where firstly brought to cultivation by Roberto's hands and/or coworkers'. I would also include Harri Lorenzi (another Brazilian) as a contemporary Plantman. As a writer (and publisher) of books in popular botany, he was able to sponsor many important field trips, including those that deciphered the real identity of Philodendron stenolobum, the trip that found the wild population of Philodendron spiritus-sancti and many others. He also keep one of the few private botanic garden in Brazil in which many rare aroid species are cultivated. He has even an aroid genus in his honor - Lorenzia. Very recently, sponsored a trip that discovered a new aroid genus in Rio de Janeiro, which is about to be published.

Very best wishes,

Eduardo.

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From: "derek burch" <dburch23 at bellsouth.net> on 2014.08.27 at 01:37:44(23062)
All of these emails are great and very
welcome. Right, now a question, would you like to see these published as is
(Newsletter, e-aroideana or Aroideana hard copy) or would you like to see them
(and I hope many others) digested and presented as a single article in one of
these sites?

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From: "John Criswick" <criswick at spiceisle.com> on 2014.08.26 at 17:49:33(23064)

I’m not a Floridian but have been visiting there since the 1960s, from my home in Grenada. I got to know Monroe Birdsey in the 70s and visited his home countless times. It was a must stop on my rounds. He had a sizeable house lot in SW Miami and since his house was small there was plenty of space for his collection of the aroids he had picked up on his travels. It was in fact a real jungle, but there were paths through it. Many of the species were just green without any particular horticultural value, but I did get one or two nice things from him. I always took plants with me from Grenada, so we exchanged. One philodendron he gave me was called by him “Catherine Wilson”. I guess she may have discovered it in Costa Rica. I seem to remember it as similar to P. plowmanii. Not especially striking.

I had been collecting on the Pacific coast of Colombia and one sp. of philodendron he was very keen to get from me was P. tenue. I took it for him no less than four times, because he always managed to lose it. Now, sad to say, I have lost it too. It is a very appealing species because its leaves are very long and narrow, widening only as it forms two lobes at the top.

One day I was spending time with Monroe when he had a visitor. This was Julius Boos. He had come from his native Trinidad with corms of a species similar to amorphophallus, but smaller. Apparently the indentured immigrants from India had brought it with them as a food item and it had become naturalized in Trinidad. I was later to get to know Julius very well.

On two occasions Monroe came to Grenada collecting and I accompanied him in the field. He was adamant that our native Philodendron ‘giganteum’ was no such thing, but he couldn’t say what it was. He never would pretend to know more than he did.

We had great times together, particularly because Monroe had a great sense of humour. He could tell stories that would have me helpless with laughter. I remember him describing a visit from two ladies from a tropical island who were much taken with several specimens he had, growing in the ground, of a gigantic fern. Monroe, being very generous with his plants, invited the ladies to help themselves to a few divisions. That acted as a signal, he said, for them to fall upon the plant in a frenzy and in no time at all there was nothing left of it. Perhaps it was because I myself knew the two ladies that I laughed so much.

However, he had another type of sense of humour that involved such corny puns that they made you squirm and groan. I only wish I could recall some of them now, but I’m sure there are many people out there who could. However, one thing that could indicate how “painful” his humour could be was told to me by one of his students at the University of Florida. As a memory aid to the name of the family Polygonaceae, he told the students to think of it as “the departed parrot family”. Well at least it certainly has worked as an effective memory aid!

Monroe was a vegetarian, and for him this meant eating things like granola bars at various times during the day. Hardly a healthy diet. I never saw him cook. It would have seemed a waste of precious time to him.

One day I arrived at Miami airport to be told that Monroe had been found dead in his chair by a lodger who was staying there. It was a great loss and after there had been a sale of his plants the lovely jungle in suburbia has become, I am told, much like any other in the street.

John Criswick.

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From: =?UTF-8?Q?Genevi=C3=A8ve_Ferry?= <jpcferry2 at wanadoo.fr> on 2014.08.28 at 10:08:48(23065)

Dear Susan and dear Aroiders,

I am very moved to find my name in your list and I thank you sincerely.

I hope to continue my work for a long time and also my help from Dr. Croat.

Best regards,

Geneviève Ferry

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From: DAVID LEEDY <djleedy at sbcglobal.net> on 2014.08.28 at 20:11:26(23066)

Dear Susan,


Her name is Betsy Feurstein and both trips I took to Ecuador were under her auspices. Betsy was
always concerned with our interaction with the locals.


My first trip was to Lita, an area rich in Aroids. Next to the place we were staying was Mary’s cantina, where we would go for a beer after a day of collecting. One night the Federal Police came in and were passing around a bottle of their own version of moonshine. They offered me a swig, but being no fool I pursed my lips together and pretended to drink with them. That went on for many hours and I was afraid to leave, so I stayed with them.

We usually left around 5 or 6 AM to go plant collecting. When the Federal Policemen got up, around 10:00 AM with hangovers, they inquired as to my whereabouts. When they were informed that I had left with my group around 5 or 6 AM, they named me Dos Galones. Evidently they thought I had drunk a lot more than I did.

David Leedy

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From: "Betsy Feuerstein" <ecuador10 at comcast.net> on 2014.08.28 at 17:40:58(23067)

Please do not forget original members as Ron Weeks and Charlie McDaniel. Tricia is one whom the society in total owes a huge debt of gratitude with her many years of dedication as the treasurer but also the banquet arrangements. Tricia never endingly did for the society. Then of course, Denis’s many years of dedication and contribution to the society and now of course, his son is on the bandwagon. So many have contributed to the society. Bettye Waterbury was one of those early contributors as was Dorothy Henkle and on the list goes. Dewey Fisk was a major contributor for ever so many years and years. Those located in the Miami or South Florida area are due so much credit for keeping IAS going from the beginning to this very day. Dr. Croat and his staff have been major contributors to the continuance of the society. Maybe someone from the Miami area will pipe up and list some of those ever so dedicated members who contributed to IAS. Those early members really were a dedicated bunch to get this society off of the ground and to keep it going when times were tough and there were those times. There are many I am sure I have not listed and I know others can fill in the blanks because these folks truly do deserve to be recognized for all of their dedicated efforts. Please someone add some of these names to the list of those who have done so much and are due so much credit. There have been those foreign members who contributed to the society as time went by. I know there were Australian members who did their part to add to IAS in those early days. For that matter, there still are foreign members who contribute. Let’s add those to our list of those who have done for the society. Please as we widen the potential list of IAS enthusiasts, add the names and memories you have of what they did for the society to the information. Just returned from travel and the mind is not generous with names and such, but I know there are many we owe a debt of gratitude for from the Miami and South Florida area and for that matter, all over the world. Please help fill in the names.

Betsy Feuerstein

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From: Tom Croat <Thomas.Croat at mobot.org> on 2014.08.29 at 15:02:47(23069)
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Dear Derek:

Speaking just for myself and not the Editor of the Newsletter I think it would be highly appropriate to published an edited version of this correspondence in the IAS Newsletter. The editing would probably be necessary to avoid a repetition of information from the various correspondents. Moreover editorial content could be added that would make everything more clear, such as defining who the mentioned individuals were and giving a brief history.

Tom

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From: Susan B <honeybunny442 at yahoo.com> on 2014.08.30 at 13:01:36(23075)
It could be nice to have these stories and reminiscences written down and put in the newsletter. One each edition, or two if they are shorter. A list of Aroid plantmen and women could be made and people could send in their stories to one location.


It's very enjoyable and educational, reading these! The name Roberto Burle- Marx is instantly recognizable as a famous plantman, but if I've heard stories about him, I've forgotten.

Susan Bryant

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From: Susan B <honeybunny442 at yahoo.com> on 2014.08.30 at 20:22:56(23080)
And Craig Allen. I was blown away the first time I went to Fairchild Gardens and saw Mr. Stinky (the Amorphophallus titanum) and all his superbly grown friends. I took photo after photo of all the wonderful Amorphophallus and that hooked me on Aroids completely. Tricia introduced us and he even shared some tubers of Pseudodracontium with me. That trip to see the collection and my first IAS show & sale was very memorable.

From: a sunjian
To: Discussion of aroids

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From: Tom Croat <Thomas.Croat at mobot.org> on 2014.08.31 at 09:55:59(23083)
I am wondering if there is some kind of email archive. I remember that in the past there was a way to go back and revisit older messages. I agree that it would be nice to pull together the messages by theme and after editing them make the available as a single unit by theme. I can’t even remember how the series got started but its focus has shifted back and forth so that we definitely arrange the comments by theme. Two such themes were 1. Good Growers 2. Persons who played an important roll in the IAS.

Tom

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From: Hannon <othonna at gmail.com> on 2014.08.31 at 11:45:43(23085)
Though he is already in this discussion (in fact he started it) I would add David Leedy as well as the late Richard Shelton to the list of catalytic aroiders. I met them both at about the same time, a few years after I joined the IAS. There were (and still are) few aroid collectors on the West Coast and it was energizing to know of their efforts in the Los Angeles area. Unfortunately I never made it to David's place before he moved to Texas. Here at the Huntington we still have plants that he had to leave behind. Dick had a small greenhouse in Fullerton and was keen on the chemistry of our favorite plants. I'll never forget the big Gymnostachys anceps he had obtained from Dennis Tsang (Australia), planted in his front yard.

Dylan Hannon

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From: Greg Ruckert <greg at alpacamanagement.com> on 2014.08.31 at 14:50:21(23087)
There have been so many wonderful posts that I may have actually missed
these names; Alistair Hay and our mant asian specialists, not the least
of whom are the amazing Li Heng, Jin Murata and Sin Yeng Wong. Also Dr
Hu who I believe was still publishing in her late 90s. We also have
wonderful plantsmen from India including the Pradhans and Dr M. Sivadasan.
Greg Ruckert
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From: Hermine Stover <hermine at endangeredspecies.com> on 2014.08.31 at 19:50:01(23088)
At 11:45 AM 8/31/2014, Hannon wrote:
>
>Though he is already in this discussion (in fact he started it) I
>would add David Leedy as well as the late Richard Shelton to the
>list of catalytic aroiders.

Richard Shelton was the man who said, MOVE TO ORANGE COUNTY, YOU WILL
NEVER BE ABLE TO AFFORD A HOUSE IN SANTA BARBARA! he was a very fun
guy, meticulous, and full of facts about EVERYTHING!

hermine

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From: "Betsy Feuerstein" <ecuador10 at comcast.net> on 2014.09.01 at 10:27:42(23089)
>From what has been posted I realize something I said lead to the wrong
impression. Bruce McAlpin now lives on the west coast of Florida, not the
west coast of the US. He is still a fabulous grower to perfection. Last I
heard, he does not operate on email.
Betsy

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From: DAVID LEEDY <djleedy at sbcglobal.net> on 2014.09.08 at 16:21:39(23100)
A TRIBUTE TO ROBERTO BURLE MARX (1909-1994)

Simon Mayo

Roberto Burle Marx was one of the world’s most outstanding

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From: "T.H." <taylorholzer at yahoo.com> on 2014.09.09 at 14:06:24(23106)
I understand that there is another couple that did a lot for the IAS in Miami. This couple is Dale and Wilma Magrew. From almost the very beginning of the IAS they were at every event and every meeting. Doing their share and more of the work. For years they were active helping anyone that had a job to be done.. In her later years Wilma mostly supervised Dale but the work got done. So, add them to the great list of contributors to the IAS

Also on the list of Miami Natives that helped the IAS to grow was Susan Staiger. Susan volunteered for everything. She was always in the middle of the group inspiring all to do their best. For years she volunteered her home as the meeting place of the IAS Board of Directors. Susan had a small but very well grown collection of many different kinds of plants. Most of her plants were Aroids.

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From: Conrad Fleming <conradfleming at yahoo.com> on 2014.09.11 at 13:12:01(23107)
Dear Greg,

You are in a decidedly untropical part of Australia but I'll ask you anyway: I'm trying to locate a source of Scindapsus crassipes, which I had years ago, lost and am trying to replace. Do you know anyone who can help me? Please write directly to my better e-mail: conraddfleming@gmail.com Many thanks. Cordially, Conrad

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