Report on Fifth Annual Show
C. T. Hansen, General Show Chairman
The American Rhododendron Society held its 5th Annual Show May 14th and 15th in the Portland Chamber of Commerce Information Center. This building proved to be an ideal place to hold a Rhododendron Show, as there was ample space for both outdoor and indoor exhibits. The Information Center is a very modern style building which is located with an unobstructed view of the Willamette River. A spacious arbor walk connects it to an enclosed garden court, in which a rectangular pool features water lilies. It was in this enclosed court that the commercial exhibits were displayed. The reflection pool blossomed overnight with cut trusses of rhododendrons floating on the lily pads which made a most effective type of water lily.
The decision to hold a show this year was made just three weeks ahead of this date which did not give much time to complete arrangements. The weather seemed against us from the very start by giving Oregon the worst winter ever recorded. It was the effects of this Winter which caused us to abandon plans for a show earlier in the season, but as the rhododendrons began to bloom we found that they had not been so badly damaged as originally thought. This renewed our hopes and spirit so plans were hurriedly made for a show. Then a heat wave early in May brought most of the rhododendrons in full bloom two or three weeks ahead of schedule.
This freak weather combined with the short notice left most of the Commercial growers in a very bad shape for putting in a competitive exhibit. There were only six Commercial exhibitors where we had hoped to have at least twelve.
The show opened about an hour late on Saturday due to the terrific job of classifying the abundance of cut blooms. The Attendance on Saturday wasn't what it should have been but from 9:00 A. M. to 10:00 P. M. Sunday there was a full capacity crowd. The show was free to the public and enough pamphlets were sold to pay expenses.
This event proved to be the largest show of cut blooms ever staged by the American Rhododendron Society. There were about 300 entries in the cut bloom class alone. In breaking this down there were 30 exhibitors each entering from one to 37 blooms. Flowers were brought in from both Oregon and Washington. Mr. George Grace won the Dr. Corbin trophy for the second time in succession. Mr. Grace, at the time of the show, was in England attending the Rhododendron Conference. The runner-up to the top prize was M. W. Lyons of Eugene.
The show was a success, and I want to personally thank all the Commercial exhibitors for the excellent quality of their exhibits. To all the members and non-members who brought in their finest trusses, you have my sincere gratitude for making the cut bloom show the biggest and best ever exhibited here. The thanks of the society are extended to Pete Peterson, John Bacher and Mr. Sersanous for the use of their trucks as well as their hands. Mr. Bill Robinson for his Rhododendron "Water-lilies," Rudolph Henny and all those who helped in the Classification of the cut blooms. To Mrs. Sersanous who worked untiringly at the Information desk we all owe our thanks. To this list I must add a few more names of workers who did jobs too numerous to mention, Joe Johnson, Milt Fland, Van Bruggen, Sherman Greene, and Glen Savage. Charlie Vollum for his exhibit on propagation.
Mr. Del James was chairman of the Judges. Judges included Mr. Donald Graham, M. W. Lyons and Ralph DeClements for the Commercial exhibits; and Halfdan Lem, Andre Ostbo, Halmar Larson and Lester Brandt judged the cut blooms.
I would like to extend the Society's appreciation to the Portland Chamber of Commerce and to Mr. McLean for placing the Information Center at our disposal and for the fine cooperation we had in the way of advertising.