Now, orchids bloom at odd times. If your wonderful orchid happens to bloom a week after the OSSC meeting, how can you show it off? The flowers will be gone by the time the next OSSC meeting is held. It stands to reason, therefore, that when Paul Baker (living and working in Long Beach, with two greenhouses next to his oil wells hear Long Beach Boulevard and 37th Street, and a member of OSSC) and his friends decided to start a new orchid club in Long Beach, the natural choice of the meeting date would be as close as possible to half-way between the OSSC meetings, on the 4th Monday of the month. The earliest mention of SCOS that we have uncovered so far, an account of our first holiday party, indicates that the next scheduled meeting would be at the Silverado Park clubhouse, on the 4th Monday of the month. These meeting dates, OSSC on the 2nd Monday and SCOS on the 4th Monday, have continued right down to the present day.
SCOS followed the OSSC practices in another way, too. OSSC was meeting in Los Angeles park facilities; SCOS did the same in Long Beach. We also know that a large number of the members of SCOS were OSSC members as well. Many of the SCOS members who are identified in newsletters, meeting summaries published in Orchid Digest or the AOS Bulletin, or in newspaper articles, can be found either in the early OSSC newsletters or in the 1957 OSSC membership list that has turned up in the Botanical Center "orchid archive" at The Huntington. And we can see from the various lists of awards, that as soon as judging was implemented at SCOS, in December, 1954, our members were exhibiting plants and having them judged at the meetings of both organizations.
Howard A. Anderson Sr. (June 1, 1890 - October 5, 1979) was a distinguished member of OSSC and also of SCOS. He was very active in orchid judging as well as many other aspects of the life of both societies. He has much greater fame, as one of the pioneers of "special effects" for movies and television. His production company was passed on to his sons in 1954, and his son Howard A. Anderson Jr. led a team that built the 11-foot model of the starship Enterprise for the original Star Trek series, invented the effects used for the transporter beam, etc. There would have been no "Beam me up, Scottie" without the Anderson family! The elder Howard Anderson was the host for a party for the Novice Class of OSSC (the Novice Class, a series of monthly gatherings for beginners at the homes of society members, was another innovation continued by SCOS as well) on August 25, 1957. The party was announced in the August, 1957 newsletter of OSSC: "Mark August 25 on your calendar right now! HOWARD CARRINGTON, Chairman of the Education Committee, announces a treat for the Novice Class on that date. A combined swimming and class party will be held at the home of MR. AND MRS. HOWARD A. ANDERSON, 9312 Bianca, Northridge. There will be swimming from 1 to 2 and the Novice Class meeting from 2 to 4 P.M. Genial Howard loves beauty and arranged his greenhouses so that swimmers in the pool may see the beauty of the orchid blooms through the tinted glass windows. In addition to viewing the Anderson's fine collection of orchids, there will be a discussion on photographing orchid blooms. As a technical camera effects expert, Mr. Anderson knows whereof he speaks when it comes to the subject of photography. Please note that this is not the Sunday following the regular August 12th meeting, but a week later. Those who attended the fine meeting at the home of Dr. Wallar in July reported a most informative and enjoyable session." (Dr. Lloyd Wallar was another SCOS member.)
We know which of the Andersons was the orchid enthusiast, because we have a picture of him at the January 1957 SCOS awards banquet.
How influential was Howard Anderson in the SoCal orchid scene? He was President of OSSC in 1953, and Judging Chairman for that organization in 1954. Toward the end of 1952 (and announced in the AOS Bulletin), the Trustees of AOS formed a subcommittee of the AOS Committee on Awards, "in an effort to provide increased opportunity for members on the West Coast to have their fine orchids judged for American Orchid Society Awards." The members of that subcommittee were Morris Holmquist (active in SCOS and in OSSC, he also presided at the 4th Western Orchid Congress held in Long Beach in 1955; not to be outdone by George Dean Field of SCOS and OSSC, he, too, reported having 4000 Cattleyas, and he operated three real estate offices in Long Beach), Jay A. (Julius Alphonse) Muller (1898-1989, masonry contractor, lived in La Cañada, President of OSSC in 1954; we have not been able to determine if he also belonged to SCOS), Robert Casamajor (one of the founders of the Cymbidium Society of America and recipient of many honors), Howard A. Anderson, and Dr. Etta Gray, MD (active in OSSC). The subcommittee was tasked with conducting AOS judging in January, April, and September, 1953, utilizing the facilities of the Orchid Society of Southern California, with Certified AOS Judges, the first session to be held January 12, 1953 at the OSSC meeting at Fiesta Hall, Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, at 7 pm. In other words, Howard Anderson was a member of the team that brought regular AOS judging to Southern California.
He put his movie magic to good use for SCOS again on June 25, 1962, with a screening of "The Orchid and the Grower". Our newsletter had this to say about the event: "We are again fortunate in having one of our own members bring us our program this month. Howard Anderson is an Orchid Judge and a director of the Orchid Digest Corporation and is very well known to all of us. His program will be a color movie he photographed himself. With sound and music, this movie protrays the life history and care of the Orchid. The official showing of this movie was given at the American Orchid Society's trustee's meeting in Portland on May 24th and from all the excellent reports this should be a very enjoyable program."
Howard Anderson was not the only SCOS member to make an orchid movie! Jimi Fox, another of our past presidents, made a movie about growing Cymbidiums in 1992, but that's another story.
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