The Cactus Patch
February 2015

Robert Carey Hargreaves 1939 - 2015
A Letter From Bruce
by Bruce Hargreaves

My older brother Robert was able to speak at the memorial for my mother on 20th Dec., but then had a stroke on the 22nd and died on the 6th of January. A memorial service for him was scheduled for the 31st of January. He was not involved in succulents. He was a veterinarian specializing in chickens. In recent years he wrote numerous letters to the editor of the Californian and published a book Mr. Bob the Chicken Engineer, which told of his time as an agricultural volunteer in Viet Nam.

I kept the Jan. newsletter comments short, so now I will catch up. Of course we were at both the Fresno and Bakersfield potluck suppers in December. Our son James and his wife Emily arrived on the 19th of Dec. and on the 23rd we went for a baby viewing – they now have ultra-sound scans on screen for the whole family – and we saw Emily’s baby which is due in May. The next evening we went out to CALM and viewed the lights. It was warmer this year and the lights were better than ever. On Christmas Day we had breakfast and dinner at Lora’s. That Saturday (the 27th) we went to Tehachapi to view ostriches.

On 8th Jan. we heard Steve Frieze speak on Namibia and South Africa at the Fresno CSS. It was a good talk, but it was a bit offputting when he showed the name of the plant by itself before we saw the plant. I prefer the name with the plant. We heard John Matthews, of course, at the BCSS meeting on the 23. I think passing plants around worked better with our smaller club, but it is still difficult to keep track of both plants and speaker in this format.

On the 17th we went to the Huntington for the Desert Forum. As usual, the Aloes were in glorious bloom. I managed to buy some interesting plants which I will bring for the brag table in coming months. We had lunch at the Chinese pavilion and then went to the teaching greenhouses to see the giant arum in fruit. The head of bright red fruits is quite spectacular! It was a lovely warm day –quite a contrast to overcast Bakersfield.

The Cruise part two: The 16th Nov. we spent the whole day at sea. For lunch we had a so-so Mongolian BBQ. When we returned to our room we found chocolates and a towel animal- this was repeated each day of the cruise. In the afternoon we visited the rather impoverished library. At 3 we sang along with some karaoke. That evening was a dress-up affair and only two out of our four couples deigned to do so. (The others missed out on a lovely lobster dinner!) Bill and I both had similar blazers, but he outranked me. His sleeve had four buttons to my three.





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