JARS v52n1 - Northeast Regional Conference

Northeast Regional Conference
Bob Wilkinson
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Don't know what two golden eagles circling the sky mean to you - but to folks at the Northeast Regional Conference they were a good omen. Spotted by hearty trekkers on Friday's conference Hawk Walk, the golden eagles presaged a wonderful flock of almost 225 rhody enthusiasts of all feathers. Attendees swooped in from 31 chapters, 19 states, Washington DC, two provinces and Exbury for the Oct. 24-26 happening hosted by the chapters of District 8 - Greater Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley, Pine Barrens, Susquehanna Valley and Valley Forge. The presenters were excellent, on schedule, and entertainingly educational.

R. 'Saint Valentine'
By Jean Furman with R. 'Saint Valentine'

The book sale and signings by Ed Reiley and Dick Jaynes proved popular. Contest winners were determined by popular vote rather than by judges: photography "Best in Show" went to Jean Furman, Princeton Chapter while the foliage "Best" was a tie between Dick Brooks, Massachusetts ( yakushimanum species); and Joe Minahan, Susquehanna Valley ('Babylon'). The banquet place favors were hybridized and provided by Tom Ahem, Lehigh Valley. Tom also led the Hawk Walk and marshaled the many helpers from the local Lehigh Valley Chapter. The Plant Sale and Silent Auction were grand entertainment and successes. On Friday night the aforementioned flock flew into the plant room with hawk-like purpose, vision (and talons) leaving behind barren tables. They circled back Saturday and Sunday and swooped off with even more prize plants. All of the above took place under the watchful eyes of our district director, chief planner and motivator, Will Smith.