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  Re: [Aroid-l] Death of Julius Boos
From: Alistair Hay <ajmhay at hotmail.com> on 2010.07.13 at 04:57:06
I am sad to hear this. Julius was a real gentleman - charming=2C funny=2C clever=2C immensely knowledgeable and very generous. I am so glad I had the opportunity of meeting him=2C as well as corresponding with him over the years.


>=3B Date: Mon=2C 12 Jul 2010 09:11:24 -0400
>=3B From: oppenhauser2001@gmail.com
>=3B To: Aroid-L@www.gizmoworks.com
>=3B Subject: [Aroid-l] Death of Julius Boos
>=3B Dear Friends=2C
>=3B It is with great sadness that I report the passing this weekend of the
>=3B incomparable Julius Boos. Even passive readers of this space will
>=3B recognize the importance of this man for the world of aroids and in
>=3B the vitality of the discussions that are recorded here. While we are
>=3B blessed with a number of remarkable people in the International Aroid
>=3B Society=2C few will argue that Julius was one of the most remarkable.
>=3B Anyone fortunate enough to have met him personally will remember the
>=3B radiance of his personality. He was just as ready to speak on equal
>=3B terms with the greenest greenhorn as with seasoned aroid specialists
>=3B steeped in decades of experience. I am grateful to have known him as a
>=3B friend. Julius had many=2C many friends.
>=3B Of course=2C we all knew him as an authority on aroids=2C especially
>=3B regarding their practical cultivation and the fascinating interface of
>=3B the plants with humans. He was a special expert in the world of edible
>=3B aroid =93chubas=94 (=93chubas=94 is an endearing term invented by this aroid
>=3B list and refers to how Julius pronounced the ordinary English =93tubers=94
>=3B in his charming Trinidadian accent)=2C taking advantage of his lifetime
>=3B in South America=2C Florida=2C and the Caribbean islands=2C and his
>=3B unapologetic love of food. We were fond of joking that if a dispute
>=3B arose about the identity of an aroid =93chuba=94=2C we could always send a
>=3B specimen to Julius and he would figure out what is was by taking a
>=3B bite..
>=3B Trinidadian by birth and inclination=2C his understanding of the natural
>=3B history of tropical areas was profound. His interests were unlimited
>=3B as far as I could tell. For last year=92s International Aroid Society
>=3B Annual Show=2C I was fortunate to have the opportunity of driving him
>=3B from his home in West Palm Beach to Miami. Although already
>=3B experiencing the effects of his cancer at that time=2C he spoke to me
>=3B almost nonstop the entire way. Topics ranged widely. Invariably one
>=3B thing reminded him of another and so the threads of conversation would
>=3B wander here and there=2C but always coherent and never tedious. I should
>=3B emphasize that Julius=92s knowledge of his favorite topics was
>=3B extensive=2C well-considered=2C and typically included a host of acute
>=3B observations and facts that you would not find written down anywhere
>=3B (except perhaps in one of his own writings). He involved himself in
>=3B disputes on occasion with this or that =93expert=94. I would love to know
>=3B his lifetime batting average in these differences of opinion. My bet
>=3B is that Julius was right more often than he was wrong.
>=3B All his conversation was interspersed with an amazing set of anecdotes
>=3B drawn from his wide experience. Much of what he knew will die with
>=3B him=2C of course. Many of his stories related to interesting
>=3B individuals=2C now long dead=2C with particular knowledge lost to history.
>=3B Several of these stories were recorded by him in past months and are
>=3B available for all to hear on the web site of his friend and neighbor=2C
>=3B Ted Knight (www.tedknight.com/julius/julius.htm). I recommend
>=3B listening to them as they not only relate the particular history=2C but
>=3B capture the cadence and beautiful accent that made Julius such an
>=3B engaging raconteur. This site also hosts quite a few pictures of
>=3B Julius and friends.
>=3B Now we have lost two pillars of the International Aroid Society in a
>=3B short month=92s time: Julius Boos and Tricia Frank. We can only hope
>=3B that new blood will take up the leadership roles to ensure the
>=3B continued success of our organization into the future. This would be
>=3B the finest memorial for the both of them.
>=3B Readers here should also know how important Aroid-L was to Julius. In
>=3B his prime (not so many months ago) he would be in the thick of
>=3B extended back-and-forth discussions of identification clarifications
>=3B and of mysteries being hashed out. Frequently the topic would shift
>=3B slightly and involve any number of interesting tangents. Dry botanical
>=3B terms would be explicated. Recipes for tasty island dishes
>=3B incorporating =93chubas=94 would be exchanged. Cultivation advice would be
>=3B given. This life of the =93net=94 was a huge part of what inspired Julius=3B
>=3B and everyone who contributed helped pump up=2C even more=2C Julius=92s
>=3B already high energy level. In his waning days he would still read the
>=3B posts=2C occasionally typing in some abbreviated response despite being
>=3B so weak. Your postings inspired him to the last and made enduring his
>=3B miserable disease easier.
>=3B It is a sad time for all of us. As always=2C life will go on and all of
>=3B us in the International Aroid Society hope that the upcoming show this
>=3B fall will serve to continue Julius=92s and Tricia=92s work to inform the
>=3B world of the deeper joys of keeping our favorite plants. May they both
>=3B rest in peace and know that the work goes on.
>=3B Julius is survived by his dear wife=2C Suzie. My thoughts are with her.
>=3B Ted Held
>=3B Detroit
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