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Journal American Rhododendron Society

Current Editor:
Dr. Glen Jamieson ars.editor@gmail.com


Volume 40, Number 1
Winter 1986

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Down To Earth
Austin C. Kennell
Afton, VA

        I guess I may be just the only person around who buys rhodos and azaleas by weight. That's right - by weight!
        I don't want to mislead anybody. I'm not talking about "scale" weight but "heft" weight. I don't put plants on a scale and check their avoirdupois weight. I heft them, i.e., I test their heaviness by lifting them. (No, this has nothing to do with scaly and non-scaly rhodos.)
        If a plant is nice and light and easy to heft, it's not for me. I leave it for someone else to lose. But if it's heavy, it registers on my built-in heft-meter and is a potential purchase.
        You see, I'm not much for soilless mixes or planting mediums with a low percentage of soil. I like plants in honest-to-goodness soil - the kind of stuff that's done a pretty good job of growing things since the dawn of time. Since the difference in the weight of a plant in soil and in other mediums is so great, it is readily apparent to hefters like me.
        Hefting is an example of what my friends charitably say is another of my eccentricities and others call damned contrariness. I admit I don't like most new-fangled, time-saving, cost-efficient products which are replacing so many of the things to which I've become accustomed. I don't argue the value of new developments. I just don't feel comfortable with most of them.
        I like real whipped cream, good old-fashioned butter and made-from-scratch biscuits. I don't like mashed potatoes out of a box, pancake batter out of a carton, money out of a machine, or prayer out of a telephone.
        I like my soft drinks out of bottles, not cans. I like water with my bourbon, not in a bed. I like George Washington in my pocket, not Susan B. Anthony. I like inches, not millimeters; gallons, not liters.
        Calculators are alright, I guess, but I get along okay with finger-and-toe and occasional pencil arithmetic. Plastic credit is convenient, but there's something about real money that's reassuring to me. I find the honesty of " tax increase" much more palatable than "revenue enhancement". I hate to correspond with computers and like talking to them even less.
        I can do without mock chicken, imitation vanilla and non-bacon bacon, paper plates, and plastic spoons. I don't like powdered milk nor powdered eggs (I particularly didn't like them in the Navy). Pseudochrysanthum I like, pseudonyms I don't. I understand Miss or Mrs. but Ms. doesn't seem right to me. And artificial Christmas trees are not for me.
        I have always made out alright with my name and address but progress brought me a Social Security number, a five-digit Zip Code (later improved by a nine-digit figure), an Area Code plus a seven digit telephone number, a hieroglyphic bank account number, a blood type number, a License number, and hundreds of computer identification numbers. I sure ain't outnumbered! And since I've always felt there were some pretty good ways to kill around already, I question the need for improvements like lasers, star wars, and nuclear devices.
        Like I say, I don't argue the value of all the wonderful new things bestowed upon us. I just prefer my way.
        So, I heft!


Volume 40, Number 1
Winter 1986

DLA Ejournal Home | JARS Home | Table of Contents for this issue | Search JARS and other ejournals