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23 Jun 2007

Welcome to Mercer Gardens in Houston

 The bench and it's setting (by Ed Ladd)

(Please note: Placing the cursor over a picture gives you some info on it....)

 Linda Gay Mercer Director speaks about Bob (by Ed Ladd)

This month our society made a pilgrimage to the Mercer Gardens in Houston to dedicate a garden bench in memory of our late friend and palm expert, Bob Riffle.

A number of members from both the Palm Society of South Texas and the Houston Palm Society met up at La Cabana Mexican restaurant for lunch prior to the dedication. Members of the Houston Bamboo Society joined us as well for both lunch and the dedication. After our traditionally Texas meal, we all headed over to the gardens for the presentation and dedication of the bench.

At Mercer Gardens, we had everyone assemble in the conference room so that Linda Gay, Mercer's Director could open up the ceremony and speak about her late friend Bob. Bob's sister, Nancy, also attended the ceremony and spoke to the members, expressing her thanks for the dedication and bench. After Nancy spoke, our own Jana Whalen spoke of her fond memories of Bob and all of his special talents. Lastly, John Volk the PSST Chairman spoke to the members about Bob. Finally it was time to go out doors and see the beautiful bench and it's palmy surroundings.

Linda speaking to the crowd

Members taking in the ceremony

Bob's sister speaks words of thanks

The bench in Bob's memory

Bob's bench

The members enjoyed the welcomed cloudy and cooler weather as they made their way to the bench and the garden setting. At the bench site we had a few more words to say about Bob and his bench. I'd say nearly all were amazed with the beautiful garden setting the bench occupied. At this time members were free to roam the gardens at their leisure enjoying all of the wonderful plants. As the afternoon ended members re-gathered at the conference room for tea and snacks.

Jana speaks to the members at the bench site

Bob's sister honorarily takes the first seat at the bench

 The Livistona Saribus that Bob loved (as seen from the bench)

 garden view  (by Ed Ladd)

 black bamboo (by Ed Ladd)

 Mary, Bill & Rich speak of the gardens (by Ed Ladd)

 A needle palm

 another garden view

 an inviting garden path

We want to thank all those that helped make this dedication ceremony such a special occasion and one that went off perfectly, for Bob. Especially want to thank Linda Gay of Mercer for her dedication to establishing such a beautiful garden for the bench. To Jana for all the work that it took to pick and order the bench. Lastly to the members of PSST for their dedication in approving the purchase of the bench in Bob's memory. Thank you all for making this such a special palm meeting and for remembering a special member, who certainly is smiling at your efforts.

 beauty in the garden (by Ed Ladd)

Meeting summary by John Volk. Photos by John Volk unless otherwise stated.

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