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Myself: The Unknown Stranger

Wow! What a day today-went to Half Moon Bay with Doug and toured a couple of orchid growers' greenhouses with the California Orchid Society and after the crowd left I went back to the first one (named Dennis, a Hawaiian native) who was nice enough to talk to me at length about the Paphiopedilum tissue culture project I had in mind (with Ted). Then he told me his friend, Don, knows a woman who knows how to clone plants "just like the sheep cloning" and that they, too, are going to work on Paphiopedilum (Lady Slipper orchid) asexual multiplication. Then Dennis added that he didn't think that sounded too accurate-after all there's a big difference between animal and plant tissue culture and I quickly agreed adding that I wouldn't take anyone with a claim like that too seriously.

Then I asked Dennis how I can get in touch with this Don guy (and find out just what the competition is up to) and he said "Oh he's over in Princeton-by-the-Sea" and I said "Oh that's where my business partners' lab is"...Dennis continued: "Yeah in the light blue building with the four units-yeah, when Don told me about this woman, I said that's ok I'll give you one plant and good luck in propagating it."

And THAT'S when I realized where the lone Paphiopedilum that Ted got from his next door neighbor DON a couple of months ago came from and that all this time Dennis was talking about ME!!!!

I GASPED: "THAT'S ME!!!" "AND I NEVER SAID ANYTHING ABOUT CLONING LIKE SHEEP!" horrified at the realization of how I have been portrayed to these strangers and potential business associates. aaack! Dennis and I just started laughing and Doug came by and was cracking up. Gad-what an afternoon: hearing about myself from a stranger, then criticizing myself and not even realizing it was me!

Everything turned out well after that and Dennis and I talked for an extended time about Paph culture, the business prospects (yes, there IS money to be made if i can get it to work), literature and possible ways to obtain plant material-I need the small lateral side shoots in order to preserve the mother plant and have meristems to culture.

Finally Doug and I said goodbye to Dennis, and as I walked away I called back to Dennis: "Say 'Hi' to DON for me!"

Jul 27, 1997

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