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From: ExoticRainforest <Steve at ExoticRainforest.com> on 2010.07.13 at 04:03:17

Thanks Tom.  I was moved by both your and Ted's posts. 

Julius quite literally insisted we all remember him with joy and not with sorrow.  I am certain Tricia would want the same so let's all plan to make the IAS meeting in September one of the most joyful we can possibly make this year's event. 

Because I spent so much time trading phone calls, email and info with Julius I know for certain one of his major goals was to have members of Aroid l join the IAS.  One of the first notes I ever responded to on Aroid l was just such a request he had just made for everyone to join.  Once again, let me ask all of you that are not members to go to the IAS website and look to the left of the page to join in honor of Tricia and Julius.  Right now!

After that, make your reservation for September 18 and 19 to be with us at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami for this year's show.  I can guarantee it will be a special event.  I will forever miss that jovial and boisterous Trinidadian voice.

Julius with me at Fairchild, 2009                 Julius on the phone with Leland Miyano  2009

Julius with Tom Croat at Fairchild, 2009

All photos by Ted Knight

Jules, we will all miss you this year and next year and all the years after that but we know you are with us!


On 7/12/2010 07:47, Tom Croat wrote:

Dear Aroiders far and wide:


            I was out of touch from email over the weekend because my wife is out of town and has my little cell phone tower receiver that allows me to read my email at home so I did not learn about the death of Julius until I came to work this morning.  Like the rest of you who know him well, we realize that his departure will leave a big void in our lives and especially the International Aroid Society. He played such a large role in our little group that the void this September will be immediately obvious, the booming Trinidadian voice, the stories and joviality will be missed as well as his astute and forceful presence at the IAS Board meetings.  Though he was opinionated he always had good suggestions. He will really be missed in his important role as auctioneer and co-promoter with me of the plants at the auction table to boost the prices and spur on the auction bids.


            I recall the first time I met Julius.  I was standing near the front door of the Display Hall at Fairchild talking with someone and heard the booming voice of what appeared to be a black man, probably a native of St. Thomas where I had lived and taught school during the 1962–1963 school year.  I was shocked when I turned around to find Julius.  I though surely the man I had been listening to had slipped away! Thus began a long and fruitful association with a wonderful and intelligent man. I recall that when I was short of time and being unable to keep up with the messages on some subject on Aroid-L I would begin deleting them without so much as reading them. But I never could just delete a message written by Julius because they were invariably filled with useful information.


            Julius was very helpful to students and beginners in the aroid field.  He was very helpful to many of my Latin American students who stayed with me at my house during the 1999 International Aroid Conference at the Missouri Botanical Garden.  With some students, he continued to communicate for years. There were 26 people staying in my house and Julius offered to sleep on a rather uncomfortable roll out couch but he slept well. He was especially close to my late student, Guanghua Zhu, and regularly corresponded while Guanghua was working on the revision of Dracontium.  Julius knew a lot about Dracontium and provided us with living plants and a lot of detail about the species he knew, especially information about the fruits and seeds, plant parts that came to be known as the most important parts of the Dracontium from a taxonomic standpoint.


            Interventions by Jules to get plants were often very productive. He had close friends all over the world, especially in the New World. Conrad Fleming in St. Croix and Joep Moonen in French Guiana were close associates, but perhaps most interesting was his contact with herpetologists, ornithologists and entomologists. Perhaps a lot of this was owing to his brother Hans, Director of the Port of Spain Botanical Garden. Probably no one with less formal education published paper on so many disciplines. I am proud to have counted Julius as a co-author on a plant paper.


            Julius was particularly familiar with Urospatha and even had a couple of species in cultivation.  His strong powers of observation, learned as a child in his native Trinidad where he spent a lot of time in the field, followed by his experiences in the jungles of Ecuador, allowed him to have hypotheses on nearly every biological phenomenon.  In Ecuador when he had time free from the toil on the oil rigs, he poked around in the surroundings.  I have been to many such sites and in Ecuador these rigs are plopped down right in virgin jungle so only a few steps from the bunk house allowed him to be neck deep in wildlife. It allowed him to become intimate with the local flora and fauna and he dearly loved this experience as most of you know from his many stories.  Julius could, of course, tell a story like no one else as all of you know. Perhaps this is what I will miss most, to realize that the stories are over. As I told him only shortly before he died in a letter, Heaven will be a must livelier and interesting place this Monday.


Tom Croat


PS.  Carla Kostelac and I would like to devote the next IAS Newsletter to the lives of Julius Boos and Tricia Frank, two IAS Members of Legend that have passed from this earth so near together in time.  It would be nice of anyone who wants to write articles about either or both of them would submit these to Carla soon for the August issue. There are many good comments that were on Aroid-L and we will use these with your permission but if any of you wish to update or modify your comments, please do so.  The piece by Ted Knight was especially moving.  Ted, of course, was blessed to be able to help Jules and spent precious moments with him during his ordeal so he was in a position to share this with the rest of us.  God bless you, Ted, for this wonderful gift.



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