Eastern Chapter Conference
Edward B. Dunn
Your President held a very pleasant and interesting meeting last April with officers of several eastern chapters. Undoubtedly, this Philadelphia conference will result in better liaison between eastern and western chapters and a more closely knit organization for the Society.
James Beury, President of the Philadelphia Chapter, prevailed upon me to join their group on a bus tour to the National Arboretum the next day. It turned out to be a wonderful Sunday spent with delightful people.
George Arrington and John Schamenek did a grand job of organization. The weather was perfect, the countryside beautiful, and the Greyhound bus comfortably filled with about 45 members of the Philadelphia Chapter. Plenty of interesting rhododendron chatter, too.
More westerners should see this eastern landscape in Spring. In Philadelphia the deciduous trees-oaks, liriodendrons, elms-were just showing new green. As we neared Baltimore the green became more prominent and red bud and dogwood were starting into bloom. In Washington, every tree was completely in leaf and the dogwoods, both florida and rubra were magnificent.
This highway sets a good example in roadside development. Most of the road is lined with deciduous forest growth-the kalmia must make a good display in June and there is a pleasing lack of billboards, hot-dog stands and utility poles. May our Western highway engineers please take note.
A stop was made in Baltimore for a splendid lunch. In Washington we visited Mr. Frederick Lee and his beautiful and interesting garden. It was a memorable hour. Mr. Lee welcomed us most cordially and allowed us to wander through his remarkable collection of azaleas. Much film was exposed.
The National Arboretum of course, was ablaze with Glenn Dale azaleas. You can imagine what a pleasure it was to wander around this delightful garden with such a congenial and knowledgeable group. Here, too, the dogwood was at its best. The horizontal, up-turning white branches were most pleasing, in an almost oriental effect against the grey trunks and bright green of oak. Dr. Henry Skinner is doing wonderful work here and one needs several days to adequately take in the Arboretum.
On the way back to Philadelphia we stopped, again, in Baltimore for dinner. The town is famous for its restaurants; of course I think John Schamenek must have arranged this special opening for us on Sunday evening. Not only was the food delicious, but the decor, both static and animated, was done in a delightful gay ninety style.
Back in Philadelphia at about eleven we were still talking rhododendrons. It is one of the finest days I have had and one could not ask for nicer hosts than Jim Beury, George Arrington and the members of the Philadelphia Chapter. I hope that more of our western members will visit this beautiful Atlantic coastline in Spring. Those who are so fortunate, should check with eastern members as to any pending safaris. Jim Beury told me that their chapter had made several such trips. This is a chapter activity that could well be imitated everywhere. For all those bitten by the rhododendron bug it is a marvelous group therapy.