QBARS - v15n1 The Meeting Honoring Joseph Gable

The Meeting Honoring Joseph Gable
Betsi Kelius

Members of the Society at the meeting honoring Joseph Gable.
Fig. 11.  Members of the Society at the meeting honoring Joseph Gable.
Seated:  Mrs. Joseph Gable, Joseph Gable, Charles Herbert.
Standing: Guy Nearing, Dr. John Wister, Dr. Clement Bowers.

Taking the place of the Philadelphia Chapter's regular meeting, a dinner was arranged on November 10th, to honor Mr. Joseph B. Gable.
Mr. Casadeval of the New Jersey Chapter told us of his first knowledge of Mr. Gable, and gave his opinion that Mr. Gable had blazed a trail for us.
Mrs. Haag, also of the New Jersey Chapter, told of plans for the Union County Rhododendron Display Garden, and their hope to have a full collection of Gable hybrids in the garden.
Mr. Herbert, President of the Philadelphia Chapter told us of his first knowledge of Gable hybrids, at Andorra Nurseries in Philadelphia. He also read excerpts from an article in the Saturday Evening Post, in 1954, telling about the Gable hybrids.
Mr. Jefferis, Vice-President of the Philadelphia Chapter, outlined the Gable plants which had received the Award of Excellence-'Cadis' and 'Atroflo' in 1949, and 'David Gable,' 'Annie Dalton' and 'Catalode' in 1960.
Mrs. William Kelius of the Philadelphia Chapter read letters from Dr. Henry Skinner and T. Coleman Andrews, regretting their inability to attend, and telling how much Mr. Gable's work had meant to them.
Dr. Clement Bowers told us about 35 years ago he had a letter from Mr. Gable. He told us, "I have known Mr. Gable for some 35 years, and can testify to the enduring value of his work. Throughout long years of growing, testing and hybridizing thousands upon thousands of little Rhododendron plants from near and far, without much consideration for profit and even less for glory, he has produced a necessary but often thankless job of exploration. A great deal of the knowledge we now possess concerned the adaptability of exotic species to our climate of Eastern North America, which has been the result of Mr. Gable's past work and careful observation over the years. And, as a bright bonus he has given us a number of well-adapted hybrid azaleas and rhododendrons which possess enduring value too.
"So it is with great pleasure that I salute Mr. Gable, who in his lifetime has done more of real value than many of the internationally known hybridists from far away places, who have worked in congenial climates, and never would have been able to face the discouraging conditions that Joseph B. Gable has met and conquered."
Dr. Wister, who has also known Mr. Gable for about 35 years, told of the work he had done in bringing some of the Gable hybrids to Swarthmore, and of the esteem he had for Mr. Gable and his work.
Mr. Guy Nearing told us of asking "Chinese" Wilson for advice-part of which was to get in touch with Joseph Gable. He got some plants from Mr. Gable, then pollen, and seeds. Hardly a thing Mr. Nearing has originated hasn't in some way been connected with Mr. Gable. For example, 'Ramapo' ( carolinianum x racemosum ) is Gable's cross. Mr. Gable's 'Conestoga' seedlings produced 'Wyanokie' and 'Windbeam' at Mr. Nearing's. The Guyencourt hybrids are both Gable's and Nearing's. Mr. Nearing tried to get hardier forms of species. A white R. catawbiense , 'Catania', came from Gable.
Mr. Nearing showed us a group of some very fine slides, which bore out the close connection he and Mr. Gable have maintained for years.
Mr. Herbert showed some rhododendron slides, including the Gable plants, 'David Gable', A. E., 'Pioneer', 'Conewago', and 'Annie Dalton'.
Mr. J. Russell Sonneborn of the Philadelphia Chapter, presented a framed testimonial to Mr. Gable, on behalf of the Chapter, in appreciation of the work Mr. Gable has done. Following the presentation of the Testimonial, a check was tendered Mr. Gable, as a token of the gratitude the Chapter feels for the great amount of time and patience that have gone into the making of his fine hybrids.