Do you know something about our history? We're looking for information, photos, documents, or artifacts about
the early years of South Coast Orchid Society, particularly concerning the Fourth Annual Western Orchid Congress held November 11-13, 1955,
with our sponsorship, at the Lafayette Hotel in downtown Long Beach (with judging by Orchid Digest), and the Fifth World Orchid Conference held
in Long Beach in 1966. Also, we would like to find out more about the Presidents of SCOS from its founding in 1950 right
down to the present.
Another topic of interest is our participation in the development of judging standards. It appears SCOS used Orchid Digest judging standards until
1968, when the standards of the American Orchid Society and Orchid Digest were "merged" in some way, and the judging center supported by SCOS (under the
auspices of Orchid Digest Corporation beginning in December, 1954) became
a "Supplemental Center" for AOS judging. We have managed to document a large part of the awards prior to 1968 from old newsletters and from Orchid
the web master if you can shed any light on these events.
South Coast Orchid Society, Inc. is a tax-exempt 501(c)(5) organization promoting the cultivation, appreciation, and conservation of orchids. We were
founded in 1950 by local orchid hobbyists and growers. We are an affiliated society of the American Orchid Society (AOS) and
of The Orchid Digest Corporation (from October 11, 1953 to the present).
Our main activities, including our monthly meetings and our annual auction, are open to the public.
For information about donations, please
Members bring plants for ribbon judging
We meet monthly, usually on the fourth Monday of the month, unless there is a conflict due to holidays or inavailability of the meeting hall, at
Whaley Park, 5620 Atherton Street, in Long Beach, California.
The program presented by our featured speaker begins at 7:30 pm — see the current newsletter for details! However,
one of the highlights of our meetings, and a good reason to arrive by 7:00 pm, is the astonishing assortment of blooming plants that our members bring for
informal ribbon judging. Most of these plants have been grown outdoors by our members! In addition, there is usually a silent auction for a few selected
plants, and, at the end of the meeting, a raffle for plants donated by vendors or individuals to benefit the society. One of the best ways to learn about
orchids is to spend some time examining the plants at our meetings, and discussing them with other members.
For more information on topics that have been discussed in our meetings, see our new blog, Orchids Today and Yesterday.
We are also looking for pictures of our meetings, past and present, as well as any stories, newspaper clippings, etc. that you may have collected, for possible
use on our web site and other publicity activities. Please contact the web master.
Agnes and her award-winning Eulophia
In conjunction with our meetings, the society also hosts a formal judging center under the
auspices of the American Orchid Society. The AOS judging
program recognizes orchid plants of exceptional merit. Plants are brought in for judging by some of the best growers in our area, amateurs as well as
professionals. The judging center is open for visitors, an excellent opportunity to see what judging is all about, and also an opportunity to see some truly
There's more information about our judging center here.
Plants lined up for 2017 auction
Every October, we devote our meeting to our annual auction, our main fund-raising event of the year. The proceeds from the
auction help us pay for the activities of the society, such as the rent for the meeting hall (including the AOS judging center) and fees
for speakers. The annual auction usually includes hundreds of plants of many types, donated by local vendors and individuals, most of them suitable for growing
at home. Among the plants being auctioned, there are often divisions of very desirable species and hybrids that are not usually available at nurseries.
We have recovered the names of our past presidents from old newsletters and from a 2012 membership roster,
We honor our predecessors for their care in creating
a legacy of service to everyone who enjoys orchids today.
1950, 1951: Paul Noble Baker, 1892-1961
Born August 17, 1892, El Modena, Orange Co., CA, career in insurance and oil, President, Shasta Petroleum Co., died November 30, 1961. Married Maude Audry Daume
May 24, 1941, she was well known for her orchid corsages. Paul liked to enter his orchids in the Los Angeles County Fair at Pomona. We believe his
eldest daughter is still living. We would love to find pictures and more information about our first President!
Orchid Digest, September-October 1949, p. 473-474:
CALLING ON PAUL N. BAKER
J. P. Spitzel
We are headed for a visit with Mr. Paul N. Baker, one of our newer members. Turning off Long Beach Boulevard at 37th Street, we are rather startled to find
ourselves at the very edge of a busy oil field. Oil wells pumping, over there a typical little field office—yes, right here in the midst of it all, two
greenhouses. Mr. Baker’s greenhouses are not at his residence, but right among the oil wells. At first this seems rather startling, but when Mr. Baker
explained that his backyard at home is too small to indulge in his hobby, and that on the other hand he has quite a bit of time during the day to take care
of his plants, it all seems rather simple.
As we expected, we found Mr. Baker repotting and he was making a splendid job of it. His hobby dates back to 1942. His first collection consisted of a
dozen miscellaneous cymbidiums, seven laelias and three stray “catts.” Greenhouses were not available during the war, but there was a nice peach tree in the
back yard, so the peach tree pinch-hits for a greenhouse and evidently fills the bill well. Such little inconveniences as moving all the plants into the
kitchen when a cold spell was predicted did not deter nor discourage an enthusiast like Paul Baker.
Early in 1948 Mr. Baker built his first 10 x 12 greenhouse. Within a matter of months it proved too small and by November of the same year a second
greenhouse, slightly larger than the first one, was erected. Now, six months later, plans are under way for another of generous size.
Overhead lath is used in lieu of whitewash. The plants look well. Mr. Baker has his own ideas on potting. He believes in ramming osmunda down real
hard in the lower half or two-thirds of the pot, the balance is potted medium hard. He waters every week or ten days, soaking the material well; sprays
overhead on every sunny day. He thinks that by pursuing this method of watering he can lengthen the life of the osmunda to three years instead of the usual
two. In line with this thought he advocates the use of larger pots to allow for three years’ growth. Some of the mature plants and seedlings are potted
in Ashton’s mix. He likes this mix so well that he is experimenting with this material by potting in a combination of half osmunca and half Ashton’s mix.
Another of his experiments is potting the plants in Yucca Cactus Fibre. The cactus fibre is a by-product of water conditioning manufacturers. He claims
root action is exceptionally good. Mr. Baker is also attempting to raise the carbon dioxide contents in the air of his house by letting a layer of yucca
fibre decay under his benches. He hopes to raise the CO2 to 0.04 of 1%. Normal is supposed to be 0.03 of 1%.
Whenever possible, rainwater is used for watering the plants.
Only one plant was in bloom; an unidentified seedling blooming for the first time, beautiful, dark reddish color, with five flowers.
We thanked Paul Baker for having so generously expounded his theories for the benefit of the readers of the ORCHID DIGEST and we promised to drop in
sometime again soon.
1952: Rolan Reid Howard, 1896-1971
Born December 26, 1896 in West Virginia, served in US Navy in World War I, died January 7, 1970 in Escondido, San Diego Co., CA. Married Nell Grace Marsh June 25, 1921,
Snohomish Co., WA. She was born in 1901 in West Virginia. Both Rolan and Nell were orchid judges, first under Orchid Digest standards.
Eponymous orchids: Cattleya Rolan Howard (C. Nell Howard x Rondel, hybridizer Nell Howard, registered 1962), Cattleya Nell Howard 'Lisa Ann' HCC/AOS
(C. Ballerina x Dorothy Fried, hybridizer Joe Ozzella, registered 1956). Nell Howard created, or at least registered, a number of other hybrids
in several genera.
1953, 1954: George Dean Field
President, Orchid Digest Corporation, 1954, 1955. Also served as President of Orchid Society of Southern California, 1957.
1955, 1956: John W. Hanes
Born 1908, died December 20, 2005 at San Gabriel, Los Angeles Co., CA. He married Elva "Tommie"... They were both active in all phases of
the orchid world in the Los Angeles area, particularly as judges, first under Orchid Digest and then AOS standards. President, Orchid Digest
Corporation, 1959, 1960. He also served as President of the Orchid Society of Southern California, 1960 and 1968.
Obituary: John W. Hanes Jr., died Tuesday afternoon December 20, 2005 at the age of 97 at his home in San Gabriel, California. The oldest son of
eight children, he was born and raised on a farm in Ladonia, Texas. He worked in the east Texas oi l fields prior to joining the Navy in 1930. During
his naval service, he became interested in orchids and other botanical specieds as a result of a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Trinidad and
various shore leave experiences in Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Hawaii. He met and married his wife Elva (a.k.a. Tommie) while stationed in
Long Beach, California. They were married for 65 years prior to her death in 1999, and have lived in the same house in San Gabriel since 1949. After
leaving the Navy a second time after World War II, he worked in accounting and later sales but soon after he started to raise his family his avocation
and second love became raising orchids. His wife Tommie shared his renewed interest in orchids (from his Navy days) and together they were instrumental
in establishing the American Orchid Society and were active participants form the mid 1950's through the late 1990's. They were also active in the
Orchid Society of Southern California, the South Coast Orchid Society and vario us other orchid and botanical groups. During this time and after he
retired in 1973, John had a small orchid business that had customers visiting his San Gabriel home from all over the world. He won recognition and
many awards for his work hybridizing orchids, especially Paphiopedilums (lady slippers). John's work and love of orchids enabled them to travel the
world where they made presentations of American and World Orchid Conferences sharing his love, passion and knowledge of Paphiopedilums and other
orchids with anyone who was interested. John was loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He is survived by his son John, two
grandchildren Leah and Craig, his great grandson Evan and his youngest sister Georgia Elizabeth who still live in Texas. He was a good man and will
be missed by all. White Emerson Mortuary. (Published in Pasadena Star-News, January 7, 2006.)
John Hanes on Paphs: from The Orchid Collection, newsletter of the Genesee Region Orchid Society, December 1989: Gordon Barringham,
“Understanding Paphiopedilums”: John Hanes of Hanes Orchids of Distinction, has conducted careful experiments with a wide range of paph media
and concludes that the main differences in growth are found immediately after re-potting. Most plants are growing equally well two years later,
regardless of the mix. We amateurs should probably take note that this result was found when all other growing conditions were about as good as
humanly achievable. Perhaps the lesson to take home is that many problems in the medium can be compensated for by other cultural conditions,
such as water pH, watering schedule or repotting schedule.
(Orchid Digest, 1966, pp. 146-147) Conference Judging with an International Flair.An interview with John W. Hanes. —
Has any World Orchid Conference ever used an International Judging System before? The American Orchid Society System was used at the first
Conference in St. Louis, in Hawaii, and in Singapore. Or course there was ribbon judging at the shows, but the English Conference, No. 3, used the
Royal Horticultural Society form of judging, which is by committee. I understand that some foreign judges were included in the judging sessions at
Actually, no international form of judging was used before the Conference here in Long Beach. There were a few judges from various parts of the
world that were invited to participate in the judging at the other conferences, but it was basically AOS judging here or RHS judging in England.
It was after the Third World Orchid Conference that I became interested in a form of judging that might unite the better qualities of all the
judging systems. For the World Orchid Conference should certainly operate with an international form of judging. This would give judges from all
over the world a chance to participate.
At that time I discussed this idea with several of the local judges and talked about the possibilities of unifying the judging systems into a form
that would make possible an international sytstem at a world orchid conference. We discussed it in general and wrote to judges in other parts of the
country, but some of them thought it would be too cumbersom to try to unit the ideas of committee judging and point scoring systems.
At the time that the Orchid Society of Southern California was chosen to be the host society, I went to work to see if we could not have a truly
international system of judging. Following the plans and ideas that had been noted in my diary and had been discussed with a number of people, I
began to make the recommendations more specific.
When did you finally complete the plans to have international judging? By September, 1965, J. Howard Carrington, Ernest Hetherington and I
had pretty well formulated the procedures and policies that were most important in getting the conference judging ready to present to the Conference
Committee. We felt that it was possible to incorporate the RHS system of committee judging, the Cymbidium Society of America form, the Australian
standard form of judging used in that part of the world, and the Malaysian system. We used the American system of point scoring as a base and extended
to other systems as we refined our ideas.
Did the Judging Committee include members from these judging areas? After the Orchid Society of Southern California was chosen to host the
Conference – actually all of the societies in Southern California were hosts and participated fully and should be given credit for their support – we
sent letters to all judging areas throughout the world to ask their advice and suggest changes to the proposed international system so we could work
together. We sent letters to judges in 18 different countries.
How many countries were finally represented in the judging? There were eight countries that produced judges for the judging teams. Including
the artistic division, we had roughly 200 judges.
Were the judges able to work together on this system? Actually, the judges found that their objectives of judging were quite similar throughout
the world. Some judges are more strict in their evaluation of the flowers than others. We found that this was true from all the areas, and I have
found it true with AOS and ODC judges. People who have had more experience in judging and are familiar with a greater number of species and varieties
naturally are more apt to be critical of a flower (type and breeding) than persons with less practice in judging.
Were there any particular phases of judging that predominated the interest of individual judges? Some judges were more interested in color
and scored the plant high for this quality, while others were more apt to score a flower high on form, if it met their idea of perfect shape. Really,
\there is probably more variation in the eight regional areas of judging in the United States than was noticeable among the judges working at the
Conference. The norm for quality was consistent among the judges throughout the world.
What would you suggest to make this system work on a larger scale? What kind of form would you recommend after using the judging procedure in
Long Beach? Before you developed a “form for judging,” and international group of judges would have to set some standards and then develop a
“system” that would work for all areas. It would have to be a system that would not pur a straightjacket on perfection. In a broad sense, appreciation
of perfection would be the standard. You know, the Australians have a system for judging commercial flowers that would be worth further investigation
along these lines. Back to your question though, the “form” is just an aid in helping judges evaluate the total flower. Perhaps committee judging like
the RHS would work if our standards were more completely uniform, but each judging team and area does not have the vast file of colored paintings to
refer to as does the RHS. This might be an ideal to work toward, and you know the importance of orchids in color. But you also know the problems of
obtaining colored slides that are true to the flower – even after a few years, the color may change.
Would you recommend award pictures to be taken in stereo? Photographic technique and equipment is constantly improving and it certainly
world be worth while. It is every expensive to do this kind of work, especially if you were going to do it for all judging areas. This would be
most advantageous to the judges. Here again, the three dimensional flower in this special slide device would be costly, but it would be a vast
improvement over our present method of having to remember a flower that was awarded ten or more years ago.
I believe we could make large colored pictures from the slides that we normally take and have a reference to a previous award – something like the
British have. It would be costly, but very practical to have a set of these pictures for each judging station. You really need documented proof that
a former aware was of the standard indicated by the awards register. The picture could help you confirm the mental image you retained of the previous
Eponymous orchids: Besides the two Paphs named after John and Tommie, which were created by Rod McLellan & Co., there are many other orchids
associated with the Hanes. John created many hybrids and sold them through his home business in San Gabriel, Hanes Orchids of Distinction.
1957: Glenn W. Hamilton, 1916-2009
(The Tribune, San Luis Obispo, CA, October 18, 2009:) Long time central coast resident, Glenn Hamilton, 93, son of Fred and Verna Mae Hamilton,
died at his Arroyo Grande home on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009. He retired from a career in aviation, developed and raised orchids commercially and loved building
and flying private planes.
In an early SCOS newsletter (February, 1958), we found this notice: Seed Sowing. Prompt attention — reasonable rates. G. W. Hamilton, 2510
Palm Drive, Signal Hill, GA 7-0897. He was also chairman of the Orchid Digest judging center at Long Beach at that time, held during our regular
meetings on the fourth Monday of the month. Glenn had just received a letter from a Mr. Johnson in Mexico, who had a collection of about
2,000 plants collected there from the "wild", and offering to sell soon-to-mature seed pods from about a dozen species.
1958, 1959, 1969: Charles Edward Bowman, 1907-2003
Born March 6, 1907 in Monrovia, Los Angeles Co., CA, died August 28, 2003 in Rancho Mirage, Riverside Co., CA. President, California Fraternal Order of Eagles,
1955. Life member, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. President, Orchid Digest Corporation, 1964, 1965.
(Los Angeles Times, September 3, 2003) Obituary: Bowman, Charles E. "Charlie" Born in Monrovia, a second generation Southern Californian, he
lettered in varsity basketball, track, and football at Monrovia High School, studied civil engineering at U.S.C., and in 1924 married his high school
sweetheart Esther A. Laughlin (deceased in 1993). From that union a son Del, of Monrovia, daughter-in-law Nancy J. Bowman of Illinois; grandsons Greg of
Los Angeles, Norm Bowman, California, Scott and Dana of Long Beach, CA; great-granddaughter Nicole of Medford, OR; sisters Margaret, Marjorie, Elizabeth,
and Betty, brothers Albert and Louis, were all born in Monrovia.
A 64 year Long Beach resident, Charlie joined the Southern Calif. Greenhouse Co. in 1950 as Sales Manager and eventually assumed partial ownership,
retiring in 1986. He enjoyed family, friends, neighbors and especially those engaged in plant growth and orchid plant cultivation. He served as president
of the South Coast Orchid Society in 1958, 1959 and 1969, also active in the Calif. Nurserymen's Assoc. and Living Plant Growers Assoc. Other
affiliations included the Fraternal Order of Eagles (former State President) and Life Member B.P.O.E. In later years he traveled extensively with special
friend Ann Wilson to exotic botanical gardens and orchid collections across the U.S., Canada, and Hawaii. Both were active in Orchid Societies, particularly
the endowment and publishing of the Orchid Digest Magazine. His request was that memorial contributions be made to the Fordyce Marsh Endowment Fund
in care of Orchid Digest, P.O. Box 10360, Canoga Park, CA 91309. Private services were held at his request. Douglass Mortuary-El Segundo.
1960, 1961: Woodrow Calvin Wilson
Born in Washington State about 1915. He married Ann Marie Magallon in 1938. They lived in Seattle, then moved to California
after 1940. Woody served in many capacities in SCOS, including at least Treasurer and President, and then he got interested in judging. He worked his way up
through Associate Judge to Accredited Judge, and made the transition (at the beginning of 1968) from Orchid Digest judging to American Orchid Society judging
along the way.
Eponymous orchids: Cymbidium Woody Wilson 'Ann' (Loren's Treasure x Solana Beach, hybridizer Loren Batchman of Casa de las Orquideas). Woody was a
tall, imposing man who took judging very seriously and wasn't shy about expressing his opinions. He seems to have developed a rather fearsome reputation.
His opinions (about the orchid flowers), according to the Batchmans, were well founded
and largely respected. However, when Loren Batchman presented his new hybrid Cymbidium Woody Wilson 'Ann' for judging (that would have been
around 1993), he found that some of the judges were reluctant to deal with anything named "Woody Wilson"! Nevertheless, this cross, Cym. Loren's Treasure
x Solana Beach, produced some great plants. Loren thought it was the right one to name after Woody: a white Cymbidium for a guy with a stunning head of
white hair. The clone 'Ann' is named after Woody's wife, who was also a member of SCOS. Nancy Batchman told us this plant is hard to exhibit, because the flower
spikes want to droop, and the plant itself is much too big to grow safely in a hanging basket. But it's gorgeous!
1962: George McKee Hudson, Jr., 1906-1990
Born October 2, 1906 in Starbuck, Columbia Co., WA, died June 9, 1990 in Tacoma, Pierce Co., WA. Married Donna Pratt in Alameda Co., CA in 1926.
He was a partner in the Rheinfrank & Hudson firm, apparently an agricultural and horticultural supply company, in Los Angeles.
1963, 1964: Paul Isaak Brecht, 1919-2007
Born March 22, 1919 in North Dakota, died April 7, 2007. He was a founding member and first President of Newport Harbor Orchid Society, in 1979 and 1980.
After working for Rod McLellan & Co. for some years, he established his own business, Paul Brecht Orchid Co., in Costa Mesa in 1962, also known as
Brecht Orchid Garden or Gardens, where he offered an orchid boarding service. The business was eventually converted to a parking lot in
(Orange County Regiser, April 11, 2007) Brecht, Paul, a long time resident of Orange County, passed away on April 7, 2007 at age 88. He was born in
North Dakota on March 22, 1919. In 1962, he founded Brecht Orchid Gardens in Costa Mesa. He was well known for his extensive community service. He is survived
by his wife of 60 years, Jane, and their two daughters and six grandchildren. There will be a Memorial Service at 12 noon on Saturday, April 14th at Pacific
View Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations in memory of Paul to St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation.
Paul Brecht, quoted in Orange Coast Magazine, April, 1992: After 50 years of researching and growing orchids, what’s my greatest accomplishment?
That would be a botanical garden somewhere in Orange County devoted to orchids and tropical flora—and I’m still waiting! I have the collection—almost 10,000
plants and close to 8.000 horticultural books—but no place to go with it.
(Daily Pilot, January 15, 2000) Final bloomAndrew Glazer — Next month, contractors will knock down his little piece of paradise
and build a parking lot in its place.
Bulldozers will level the shacks where orchid owners left their white, fiery orange and fuchsia flowers with Paul Brecht — owner of Paul Brecht Orchid
Garden on Harbor Boulevard — to water, feed and baby-sit until they bloomed.
"People around here want instant color," said Brecht, 80, whose eyes are the same blue-green color as leaves on a Hawaiian Peach Delight orchid. "They don't
have room for a flowerless green plant on their windowsill." Brecht, who has sold flowers on Harbor Boulevard for nearly 40 years, said it's finally time to
close shop. And by Feb. 15, Brecht's business will be no more. "I'm looking forward to enjoying life," he said. "I almost waited too long."
His wife Jane recently suffered from a series of strokes. And he is feeling pangs of arthritis in his sinewy fingers.
Galaxy Rent-A-Car will open its first Orange County location on the land in early March. Nat Panah, who owns a Galaxy branch in Westwood, said he will convert
the main greenhouse — where Brecht displayed more than 1,000 orchids that were for sale — into the rental car store's offices. His son, Arash Panah,
will run the new Costa Mesa store.
Brecht said he tried to find another plant store to lease the land from him, but had no luck. "The property's just too valuable," he said.
The car lot will replace one of the few businesses with deep roots on Harbor Boulevard — which was just a two-lane road when Brecht first opened his
"That's progress, I guess," said Evelyn Hart, the former Newport Beach mayor who until recently left her orchid collection in Brecht's care. The store's
charming organic disarray — with a flower garden and 12-foot totem pole in front — drastically conflict with the orderly right angles, hard concrete,
chrome and glass that dominate the neighborhood. A 15-foot Jacaranda tree fans its branches in front of the store on Harbor Boulevard. It grew from seeds Brecht
planted more than 30 years ago. A Mexican artist, who painted Brecht's orchids on her canvases, brought the seeds wrapped in a white handkerchief from Mexico
Brecht asked Galaxy to keep the tree and totem pole on the property. Panah said he would honor his wishes. "We're not cutting down any trees or that statue,
whatever it is," he said.
Hart said there would be a void once the garden closed. "The neighborhood will lose character," she said. "You lose personality with the big chain stores.
They're very convenient, but people don't know you."
"You can call Paul and say 'I've got a problem. What should I do?"' added Arlene Schafer, another former mayor, but of Costa Mesa. "If you call up one of
the new huge stores, they'll say 'Can you hold?' Everything's automated."
Brecht said he won't let his passion for the flowers wilt in retirement. He'll continue taking care of his at-home orchid collection, which numbers in the
thousands. And he'll remain an active member of the Newport Harbor Orchid Society, which he founded. Brecht will start selling his orchids at half price on Feb.
2. Ever the businessman, he explained why people should buy planted orchids for Valentine's Day.
"How much do bouquets cost? Twenty dollars?" he asked. "After three days, you throw them in the trash. Planted orchids cost just a little more, but last
Eponymous orchids: Oncidesa Brechts' Fiftieth (Rod McLellan & Co., 1996, on the occasion of Jane and Paul's 50th wedding anniversary.
1965, 1966: Lloyd De Garmo, 1924-2010
(SCOS newsletter, April, 2010 — a similar notice was published by the Orchid Society of Southern California, where he was also a member) Lloyd
DeGarmo — SCOS Past President 1965-1966, by Norito Hasegawa. Lloyd DeGarmo passed away on Feb. 22, 2010. He was 86. He served as an Orchid
Digest Judge (no longer a judging system), a Cymbidium Society of America Judge, and an American Orchid Society Judge, becoming an Emeritus Judge in the latter
two judging systems which only very few judges ever attain in their lifetime! Lloyd was a retired librarian at the Compton Community College before retiring
to Hawaii. An avid reader, he amassed a large orchid library which was eventually donated to the AOS. He was instrumental in editing the voluminous
Proceedings of the Fifth World Orchid Conference held in Long Beach in 1966 sponsored by the Orchid Society of Southern California, introduced
Cymbidium Peter Pan 'Greensleeves' when converted to a tetraploid, amd became a very famous breeder of miniatures and novelties. Probably his most
lasting fame will be the registration of the trigeneric Oncidium alliance hybrid genus Degarmoara in 1967, combining Brassia,
Odontoglossom and Miltonia. SCOS can be proud to claim him as one of our own.
Degarmoara was a great idea, an important step in the development of the Oncidium alliance intergenerics, which are today extremely popular
and found in grocery and home improvement stores. Unfortunately, the taxonomists had other ideas. First, Odontoglossum was split into about a dozen
pieces; the most popular species ended up in new genera. Then, essentially all of what was left of Odontoglossum was lumped with Oncidium. Also,
quite a few of the more interesting Oncidium species were split out into other genera. Alas, without any officially-recognized Odontoglossum
species remaining, there cannot be any Degarmoara hybrids!
Eponymous orchids: Cymbidium Lloyd DeGarmo (registered in 1970 by another SCOS member and nurseryman, Clark Day, Jr.), Cym. Agnes
DeGarmo (named after his wife), and of course, the intergeneric Degarmoara created in his honor but now completely empty, as mentioned above.
He is also noted for introducing the tetraploid cultivar Cym. Peter Pan 'Greensleeves'.
1967, 1968: Charles Virgil Stockham, 1914-1991
Born February 19, 1914, died June 26, 1991. Captain in the Long Beach Fire Prevention Bureau (photographic portraits 1960 and 1967 in
Long Beach Fireman's Historical Museum Photographs Collection, California State University, Dominguez Hills).
1969: Charles E. Bowman, see above
1970, 1971: Dr. Charles Joseph Aucreman, 1912-1980
Born December 16, 1912 in Indiana, died March 17, 1980. US Army Air Corps, M.D.
1972, 1973: Dr. A. G. Tharp, 1927-2011
Born in Kentucky January 6, 1927, died in Lakewood, Los Angeles Co., CA in 2011. His initials apparently did not stand for anything else (he listed his full
name as A. G. Tharp on his World War II draft registration card, for example). He had a long career as a chemist and university professor, specializing in
the properties of the rare earth elements. As an orchid judge, he was another of those fearsome characters who had very
strong opinions about orchids, but he left us a clear account of why he was reluctant to award every pretty flower than came along (see below).
(Californa State University at Long Beach, Chemistry and Biochemistry Department newsletter, Fall, 2011.)
A.G. Tharp 1927-2011, By Drs. H.N. Po and N.M. Senozan. Dr. A.G. Tharp, who taught in our department from 1959 to 1987, passed away in his
Lakewood, Calif., home on June 20. He was 84 years old.
For 28 years, A.G. almost always taught one of the two lecture sections of the second half of general chemistry, known originally as CHEM 1B and later as
CHEM 111B. He also taught advanced inorganic courses, served as graduate advisor and conducted research on rare-earth elements, including ytterbium,
samarium and holmium. This research led to a total of 13 publications in leading chemistry journals. It is not an exaggeration to say that our department's
tradition of excellence in inorganic chemistry can be traced to Dr. Tharp.
A.G.'s stoic demeanor sometimes masked an affectionate and generous person who had a deep appreciation of natural beauty. His passion for orchids reflected
this appreciation. On the roof of Peterson Hall III, now replaced by the Hall of Science, he tended an orchid garden resplendent in color and form. His
extensive knowledge of orchids landed him a position as an orchid judge in the Southern California section of the American Orchid Society, and later,
recognition as a Distinguished Emeritus Orchid Judge.
After retiring in 1987, A.G. went to the Philippines and ventured into the orchid growing business with a Filipino grower. The tropical climate and the cheap
labor helped the business thrive for some 10 years. Then, salt water seeped unexpectedly into the artesian wells, and the business went downhill. Dr. Tharp
returned to California not a bitter man but happy that he had 10 great years to do what he loved.
Dr. Tharp's deliberate, slow cadence in speech and motion hid another surprising skill from a casual observer. He was an avid flyer, who often treated his
students and colleagues to the unforgettable thrills of flying in his small plane.
At times, A.G. could be quite quirky, and his charm, in part, rested on his idiosyncrasies. One that we remember well was his revulsion to any mention of
the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation or any use of this equation by a student on an exam. He apparently could not accept that a simple rearrangement of the
equilibrium constant expression would immortalize these two names.
Dr. Tharp is survived by a sister and her family in Kentucky.
(Awards Quarterly, 1993, 77-78.) The Philosophy of Judging, By A. G. Tharp, PhD.
The Handbook on Judging and Exhibition recommends that the "The Philosophy of Judging" be incorporated into all training programs for American Orchid
Society judges. There does not seem to be a source that enunciates or suggests what aspect of philosophy should be taught or espoused and it is expected that
one would not get a very uniform view from the present judges as to what philosophy or what aspect of philosophy is applicable to judging flowers. The views
might well range from procedures and policies to be utilized to a much more academic definition. I once heard philosophy defined as "the search for the truth."
This would seem to be an applicable concept where judging orchids is concerned because the central question is what award does the plant warrant, if any.
Certainly, such aspects of philosophy as ethics and logic are germane to making judgments that are factual and supportable. Following is my perception of some
factors that a judge must possess or know before making factual judgments.
Central to our philosophy must be the reason that a judging system even exists. The Handbook on Judging and Exhibition answers this question fairly
competently when it states something to the effect that the purpose of the judging system is to encourage people in all phases of orchidology. Another way of
stating this is that if judging orchids is to severe a useful purpose, then granting recognition to plants and to people associated therewith, should encourage
people to further all facets of endeavors associated with orchids. Is it not equally important to preserve those plants that produce rather innocuous flowers
as it is to preserve those species that produce the generally accepted truly beautiful flowers? The answer is obvious. The entire range of possibilities must
be covered. Central to the issue of having judges who are truly qualified to make factual judgments are the qualities absolutely essential for the prospective
judge to possess, as well as the knowledge already gleaned or that can be gained.
Any prospective or current certified American Orchid Society judge must have an aesthetic faculty if he or she is to be a qualified judge. Obviously, if
one cannot recognize actual beauty, one doesn't possess the most fundamental quality necessary to be a judge. Assuming this observation is true, and it seems
obvious that it must be, then those persons passing judgment on another person are faced with an awesome dilemma.
How does one determine the degree to which another possesses a purely subjective quality? This is especially awesome when it is relative to people involved
with the orchid family since the diversity of color, form, size, etc., is so large. About the only way one can deal with this important aspect is to utilize the
consensus of opinion of a group of people who are presumed to be able to recognize actual beauty, or the lack thereof, when they see it. Everyone who must make
these judgments is placed in a tenuous position because they are faced with making a decision that is based upon a presumption that may not be fact. It is
suspected that very few people possess an aesthetic faculty to the degree that is desirable to function as an exceptionally competent judge. Clearly this area
is a very argumentative one, with no finitely correct statements that can be made — and proved to be correct. Nevertheless, one should be aware that it exists,
and we should increase efforts to be more cognizant of its existence when selecting new judges.
Ideally, every judge should be free of bias and prejudice. Unfortunately, this is never the case. Bias and prejudice come in all forms and with respect
to all things. If we are to make competent judgments, everything must be done to eliminate beliefs and ideas that are detrimental to ascertaining the facts.
Everyone should be able to recognize, and to some degree, be able to control their biases and prejudices. The fact remains, however, that some people prefer
certain colors, sizes and forms, etc., over others, encompassing the entire gamut of diversities found in orchids. How does one deal with these human qualities?
One simple answer is for an individual to disqualify himself or herself when he or she is aware of specific prejudices. If one doesn't find a particular genus,
e.g. Paphiopedilum, to be appealing, the obvious thing is to not make judgments on plants within this genus. Another, somewhat more
difficult-to-achieve-method of dealing with bias and prejudices is for the chairman of judging to refrain from assigning a plant to be judged to be one or more
individuals who might not find some fundamental aspect of the flower to be appealing regardless of its qualities. If one dissects this phenomenon to the most
finite degree, the logical conclusion is that judges should be certified to judge only certain genera. The fault with this line of thinking is that there are
certain persons who have no particular prejudices or favorites, equally qualified to judge all genera with their almost infinite variations. They could be
classed as some type of master judge. The prudent individual is bound to reject this latter line of reasoning because it is inherently unwise to have a caste
system in something as restricted as our judging system. Probably a caste system is unhealthy in all circumstances, but this line of argument is not relevant
to this discussion. What is relevant is that bias and prejudice exist and they must be dealt with or the truth will not be achieved.
A very important human trait that influences whether or not one can reach a valid and supportable truth is attitude and emotion. How many people can really
remain coldly objective at all times? Are there not some who would let their emotions unduly influence their judgment if they viewed for the first time a flower
that, to them, was new and of unsurpassed beauty? Conversely, would there not be some who would view rather negatively a flower that really deserved recognition
for the elementary reason that they had seen similar flowers over a long period of time and had thus become too familiar with genus, color, size or type of
flower? Although it overlaps another facet of reaching valid judgments, a good example that is presently occurring can be cited. How many judges had viewed a
reasonable population of Paphiopedilum armeniacum when a FCC/AOS was awarded to the first one that had been presented for judging? Since this occurred in
this writer's region, he knows that all were viewing this species for the first time. Considering, the subsequent equivalent awards to this species, it is not
unreasonable to assume that it was the first paphiopedilum the judges had seen that possessed a yellow flower, and this fact generated undue influence. Because
yellow is a generally pleasing color, could this fact have led to a rather emotional conclusion?
Another similar example is the recent awards to the red-flowered Phragmipedilum besseae. The intent here is not to say that attitude and emotion are
irrelevant to making supportable judgments. After all, isn't it an emotional as well as sensual experience to view anything that one perceives as beautiful? One
should simply be aware of the need to exercise reasonable control and not be "carried away." In short, one needs to see a representative population of a species
or grex before any valid judgment can be made.
Associated with the preceding discussion is the phenomenon of judging one's own plants, plants owned by one's employer, etc. The Handbook on Judging and
Exhibition, for good and just reasons, prohibits a judge from judging a plant with which they obviously have some close connection. This is allied with
judging plants whose owners are known to the judges. Can a judge arrive at a supportable award for a plant belonging to an individual that is personally
distasteful to the judge? This would lead to a lengthy dissertation because some judges would be influenced and others would be objective. Hopefully, most would
be objective since the owner of the plant is totally irrelevant to the quality of the plant. It should be remembered that when a plant is presented for judging,
the only thing that matters is what award, if any, the plant should receive.
Probably a not-too-frequently-considered fact is that attitudes can be created. Consider a person walking into the judging area making a comment to the
effect that the plants available for judging are a rather sorry-looking group of junk. Despite the fact that all judges should be able to make independent
judgments based upon their own knowledge, perceptions and experience, it is a fact that people are influenced by the conduct of others — some positively,
others negatively. Discussion or comments within a judging area, as well as during the judging process, should be limited to factually, finite statements,
both positive and negative, based upon one's own knowledge and expertise. Further, everyone should remain cognizant of the presumption that other certified
judges are qualified, and extraneous opinions are not needed unless elicited.
Central to arriving at a consensus that is at least nearly factually correct is that those people making the judgment must possess a vast amount of knowledge.
It is impossible for any one person to possess enough knowledge to be truly competent with all species and hybrids. However, a certain amount of knowledge is
absolutely essential. Every judge should have sufficient knowledge to know that if presented with a full-formed, large, dark purple flower, labeled
(C. araguaiensis x C. iricolor), the chances are negligible that it is correctly labeled. One just cannot evaluate something without knowing something —
actually, a lot — about its origins. Thus, it is clear that one must know the species and also have a broad knowledge of the hybrids. It is clear and not
argumentative that to be a competent judge, one must be a devout student of orchidology.
A good example to illustrate the point is that in recent years a number of awards have been granted to Vanda coerulea. A few have been FCCs and several
highly scored AMs. Now ask yourself, who knows V. coerulea the best — Thais or Americans? How many FCCs have the Thais and Americans awarded? How many
FCCs have the Thais given to this V. coerulea? Remember, they have seen thousands. American Orchid Society judges have granted awards to plants of this
species that are so ordinary they would be sold for a few baht in Thailand. To compound the errors, several of the plants awarded are not even V. coerulea.
The errors made are so contrary to the facts that it is obvious something has failed.
Obviously, everyone cannot visit every nursery regularly, even in their own country, but everyone can read books, study magazine, view slides and photographs,
study catalogs, visit many nurseries and collections and maintain such activities with a view to learning so their knowledge will be greatly enhanced. Any judge
who does not do these things cannot possibly keep current and thus, judgments will frequently be flawed.
In summary, a competent judge must be objective, remain coolly unemotional within limits, be ethical, possess vast knowledge, have no aberrations in vision
that aren't corrected, and probably several other traits. It is not an easy task to be a competent judge; one must continually strive to keep abreast in these
fast-moving days in orchidology.
Dr. Tharp encountered several of our members and friends during their college years. Norito Hawegawa and Norman Fang were in his chemistry classes, where
they had to put in long hours in the lab next to Dr. Tharp's office — probably the reason they are not chemists today! Norman remembers a big display case
in the hallway next to Dr. Tharp's office, filled with orchids. Until much later, he had no idea that the orchids were in any way connected with Dr. Tharp. When
they later encountered each other at an AOS judging center, confusion ensued: "What are you doing here?" "I'm looking for the orchid judging center. What are
you doing here?" "I'm the orchid judge." Norman remembered something else about Dr. Tharp's chemistry class: The professor would walk into the
lecture hall on some mornings and stand motionless for a long time before speaking; the students could barely breath, fearing that he was about to berate them
for something. It was only after learning about orchid judging that Norman put the pieces together: Dr. Tharp had been up late at SCOS meetings on certain
Monday nights judging orchids, and so on the following Tuesday mornings, he was still tired and had trouble starting his lectures! Dr. Tharp also served as
orchid judging mentor to Peter Lin, now chair of the AOS Pacific South supplementary judging center that shares our meeting place, and current President of
Orchid Digest Corporation.
We understand Dr. Tharp may have worked with Andres Golamco Jr. in the Philippines. Both men were involved in the publication of the new species
Phalaenopsis philippinensis (See Orchid Digest 51:92, 1987.)
Eponymous orchids: Dr. Tharp, as far as we know, did not hybridize orchids, but his name is found as "registrant" for a number of popular hybrids.
Among these are the highly awarded Rlc. Waikiki Gold and Rlc. Toshie Aoki, which were created by the famous Hawaiian orchidist Masatoshi Miyamoto,
said to be "a superb orchid grower but a poor correspondent" — so averse to writing letters, we understand, that collectors learned to contact
him by long-distance telephone calls. Somewhere along the way, Dr. Tharp must have called Mr. Miyamoto and volunteered to take care of registering some of
his hybrids with the Royal Horticultural Society so that they could win the awards they deserved.
1974, 1975: Paul Shaub
1976, 1977, 1980 ? : Art McCann, 1913-
Born May 13, 1913. He was one of the founding members of Newport Harbor Orchid Society in 1979.
1978, 1979: Dr. James H. Miller
1980: Art McCann ? , see above
1981, 1982: Jane Ewing Brecht
Born Jane Ewing, August 22, 1919, in Santa Clara Co., CA, wife of Paul Brecht, also a past president of SCOS, died September 15, 2014 in Colorado.
Orchids Aweigh, newsletter of the Newport Harbor Orchid Society, Costa Mesa, CA, September, 2014) In Memoriam: Jane Brecht.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Jane Brecht in Colorado earlier this month. Jane was the wife of Paul Brecht, founding member and president
of the NHOS. Up until a few years ago Jane was active in other area orchid societies and activities. In late March of this year she suffered a fall that resulted
in cracked ribs and the compression fracture of a vertebrae. As a result, Jane spent a significant amount of time in hospitals and skilled nursing homes trying to
recover from the fall, which took both a physical and mental toll on her. In August her daughters, Polly Juneau and Molly Polidoroff, moved their mother to
Colorado, per her wishes. Jane passed away peacefully in her sleep on September 15. She was 95 at the time of her death. There will be no funeral, but rather a
private family graveside service. Should you wish to remember Jane, donations can be made to the DCB Foundation for the Brecht Floriculture Scholarshio, c/o
Dakota College at Bottineau, 105 Simrall Blvd., Bottineau, ND 58318. The Brechts established the fund in 1986 and over the years a number of students have
benefitted from this financial assistance. Our sincerest condolences to Polly, Molly, and their family.
Eponymous orchids: Rhyncholaeliocattleya Jane Brecht.
1983, 1984: Don Pollard
1985, 1986, 1998 (part), 1999: Dick Nerio
He also served as President for Newport Harbor Orchid Society, in 1987 and 1988. He has the distinction of being the only SCOS past president
commemorated by a bronze plaque that mentions South Coast Orchid Society: our only monumental inscription so far!
1987, 1988: Dr. Linda Miller Iger
She is a psychologist specializing in clinical neuropsychology, and especially, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, on which she is widely
regarded as a pioneer and researcher. She has won 5 AOS awards for her orchids. Her clinical practice is now based in Palm Desert, CA.
1989, 1990: Don Fraiser
1991, 1992, 1996: Dr. Phil Plocher
1993, 1994, 1995: Tony Glinskas
1996: Dr. Phil Plocher, see above
1997, 1998 (part): Jimi Fox
1998 (part), 1999: Dick Nerio, see above
2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, also 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019: John Reyes
2005, 2006: Ruben Colmenares
2007: Jim Miller
2008, 2009, 2010, 2011: Russ Nichols
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019: John Reyes, see above