I don't have a CLUE who took this. I suspect we must have taken the picture in Mexico, on the fateful trip Paul Maslin, Baldassare Mineo and I all took to collect the Chihuahuan phloxes way back in October of 1981--almost precisely three decades ago. It was about the time that Steve Martin and Dan Akyroyd invented those intrepid Brothers, although I daresay we were seeking Mexican phloxes rather than American foxes...our taste was nearly as brash in retrospect.
I scanned a hundred or so old pictures like this of friends and acquaintances that I would like to bring out of the land of boxed transparencies into the new digital realm.
The pictures have brought forth a tsunami of remembrance and nostalgia. There I was at 31, relatively svelte. Of course, Baldassare is still svelte and remarkably similar nowadays (he no doubt has a hoary portrait in his closet). Little did I imagine thirty years ago that this would be the last big trip I would take with my mentor, Paul, and that a few years later he would develop brain cancer and die in February of 1984.
I have a very few other pictures of Paul, to whom I owe so very much. The one above is from our first trip in 1978 (if you look carefully you can see Phlox 'Mary Maslin' to the left of him!) Would I had taken many, many more pictures and notes and paid better attention to this greatest of Colorado gardeners of the 20th Century. Oh, if I could only bring him back to see Denver Botanic Gardens. I can imagine few things on earth I would rather relive than my trips to Chihuahua with Paul. To hear his gentle voice and chuckle and listen to his stories one more time...
Phlox 'Mary Maslin'
Phlox lutea 'Paul Maslin'
Oh yes...and I'd like to have these phloxes back too (which I once grew in vast swaths...)
Times do indeed change.