news archive

This page contains items previously found on the "OSSC News in Brief" section on the home page, along with the date it was first published.  Topics and speakers from past meetings can be found here.

  • PHOTO OPPORTUNITY:   [Submitted by OSSC Webmaster Ted Augustyn on December 28, 2017]

    Ed Freeman is a photographer/artist, newly in love with orchids, and looking for orchids to photograph, particularly the more exotic varieties. He can go to your home but prefers to work in his studio, where he has better equipment. In return, he will supply copiles of the finished pictures to the owner of the orchid. You can see examples of Ed's current work with orchids here.

    If you are interested in this arrangement, take a look at his web site and contact him by email.Ed Freeman Photography: Website: Email:<.

  • ORCHIDS – CONTROL OF A COLLECTION, PART 1 [Submitted by OSSC Treasurer Wendy Fischer on September, 2017] .

    I have been trying to gain control over my orchid collection. Part of this is creating an Excel file of my orchids that enables me to easily add new orchids, sort when I want to know something specific, such as if I already have an orchid before I invest in another of the same. I find that when I go to an orchid show, I get obsessed wanting to buy buy buy, but without knowing if I already have that orchid. At the last Huntington International Orchid Show, I bought an orchid one day and, without realizing it until the show was over, bought another of that same orchid the very next day. One would think I could remember something for more than a day.

    In designing my Excel file, I wanted to write out the full name of the orchids, not just the abbreviation. The first one I wasn’t sure of was a “Rlc.” so I turned to the internet to find the full name. To this end I came across an article written by Sue Bottom called Changes in Orchid Nomenclature – Cattleya Alliance (get it HERE ). This introduced me to the genus Guarianthe which split off the Central American Cattleyas into Guarianthes. DNA had a lot to do with this. I sent her an email expressing my appreciation for the information in the article, where upon she wrote back saying change may still be in the air so don’t jump to changing all the names quite yet. Fifteen minutes later in a flash of synchronicity, my copy of ORCHIDS (AOS Bulletin) arrived in the mail. Flipping through it I came to an article written by, who else, Sue Bottom [coincidence?], on orchid triage. In it she addresses one of the major issues with my collection, that of not wanting to give up on anything. The term Sue uses is “culling” and involves getting rid of non-performing, poor growing plants. Our bench space isn’t big enough to accommodate all. I’m going to attempt to follow her guidance. We’ll see how that works for me. Stay tuned.

    Meantime, an unsolicited plug for ORCHIDS. It is a wonderful magazine, full of beautiful pictures and great information. If you aren’t already an AOS member, this is worth the price of admission. Join. You will gain back far more than the meager monetary outlay.

  • ORCHIDS – CONTROL OF A COLLECTION, PART 2 [Submitted by OSSC Treasurer Wendy Fischer in December, 2017] .

    Well, after reading Krystine’s article a couple months ago about getting rid of her first orchid — she waited until the trash truck was approaching her house before tossing the orchid in the container so it was gone an instant later and irrevocably irretrievable — I printed out a very incomplete and error-prone list of my orchids and set out to “cull” the herd [see my previous article (September 2017) referencing Sue Bottom’s article]. Clipboard in hand with list, pencil, pen, and blank tags, I ventured forth. I decided to start in my orchid house, a shade house crammed full of orchids organized with no rhyme or reason. I started on the top back right and picked up my first orchid... well tried to pick it up. Its roots had connected to the wood slats it sat on. As gently as possible I disconnected it, thinking it was desperate for repotting. Once undone, I realized it had two sheaths on it, and the process of picking it up caused 3 other plants to tip over and at least a dozen spiders to scurry away wondering who this interloper was, interfering in their private sanctuary. So not off to the best of starts I backed off to regroup. First things first, I found a bigger pot to set the overgrown plant in — repotting will have to wait — but, wait, I can give it its new number, and check it off the list.When I tried to pull out the tag to read it, it broke in 3 pieces, the bottom piece inaccessible and unreadable in the pot. I tried to push the other 2 pieces down in the pot near the 3rd and went in the house to do some non-orchid chores.

    Not one to give up, I have slowly over the last 6 weeks gone through almost all of the orchids in my shade house. As I do, I renumber, re-write new tags if necessary, find it on one of my lists, and consolidate information under the new number, including the checkbox for “needs repotting” — all updated on an Excel spreadsheet. I started my renumber with number 1000 and am now at 1172 plus another 35 in my 3000 series (orchids I have either lost the tags or that never had one.) Come to find out, all this has been the easy part. Probably half of the plants need repotting and many of those desperately need repotting. After updating Excel with the day’s work, I began repotting.

    Oh, and remember I talked of “culling the herd”? Well, I’m not any better than Krystine (and, it appears, far worse). Although I did find two totally dead ones that went into the trash without remorse, I now have a row of orchids that should be thrown out. They are not in good shape, but they are all still trying. They have little new growths amidst their shriveled mostly-dead leaves. They haven’t given up — how can I give up on them? Can you say “anthropomorphize”?

    Throughout this whole process, I have identified the biggest problem with my orchid collection, one I’m sure to which most of you will relate. I’ve run out of space. I have fit more in by going somewhat vertical; but while outer space may be limitless, space in my orchid house is quite limited. I shrug and move on…

    OK, I just walked into my guest room and found the 15 orchids I bought at the Huntington Show. These all need to fit in my shade house…. and repotted, numbered, added to the Excel file, etc. Back to work.

  • I THREW OUT MY FIRST ORCHID PLANT TODAY [Submitted by OSSC Past President Krystine Chaparro on June 4, 2017. Originally published in October 2011] .

    I waited until Friday, just before the garbage truck came by to pick up the barrels. I waited. I held the plant in my hands, almost to say good bye. I didn’t water it for some time. I watched it die, but it didn’t. It was the dry period for this plant and then the plant started its new growth with new roots. The new growth still looked pretty sad. I tested it and it’s bad! It’s virused and It must go! The garbage truck is turning the corner. Here she comes. She just set the neighbors bin down. It’s my turn. I quickly threw my orchid plant in the bin and closed the lid just in time for my garbage lady to drive up, reach out with her automated arm, pick up the bin, dump and it’s gone. I can’t retrieve it now. It’s gone like it should be. It was virused and because of that it had to go.

    What a pleasant surprise I had this morning. Cattleya Hawaiian Jewel x (C. angelwaker x white gem) bloomed today. It could have been easily infected if I had not tested and checked for virus and properly disposed of it.

    *When watering, never let water from one plant drip or drain into another plant.

    *Never, never cut or groom another plant with the same tools without sterilizing first.

    *Try not to have plants touching one another. Test! I say. If it’s virused, let it go! Because, the best is yet to come.

  • SMARTPHONE CAMERAS [Submitted by Ben Boco on April 24, 2017]

    Convenience and simplicity. That’s the best way to describe the phenomenal rise in the use of smartphone cameras.

    About a year ago, I made a presentation to OSSC on the subject of orchid photography. At that time, more photographers were taken with cameras than smartphones, probably a 60 to 40 ratio. But that’s no longer the case. When I visited the Santa Barbara Orchid Estate show in March, I was amazed to see that at least 80 percent of the attendees were using their smartphone cameras to take orchid photographs. In fact, on the photo-sharing website Flickr, the top five most popular cameras are now smartphones. There are several reasons for this change, all beneficial for the casual photographer.

    The compactness of the smartphone camera makes it easy to carry with you wherever you go. Accessories such as photo cards and extra lenses are no longer needed, and the cumbersome camera bag has now become a thing of the past.

    The technology of the smartphone camera makes sharing your photos easy. You can take a picture of your favorite orchid and share it with your friends, either locally or internationally, via the Internet or through Facebook or Email.

    It is also possible to electronically connect your smartphone to your home computer. Photos taken on your smartphone when you’re away from home can be transmitted back, and will be waiting for you when you return. If your smartphone camera is not compatible with your computer, you can still transmit the images by simply sending yourself an email with the photos as an attachment.

    The point and shoot aspect of smartphone cameras has made photographing orchids available to everyone. At a recent orchid show, I used only my smartphone camera and was thrilled by the quality of the photographs. And the fact that the pictures were waiting for me on my home computer took away the work and made everything fun.

    It has been personally rewarding to me to watch people become comfortable with cameras and see them enjoying photography more. The intimidating aspect of cameras can be forgotten. The smartphone has become a part of our everyday life and we never leave home without it. The fact that we also have a camera with us at all times means that we can record life’s special moments with convenience and simplicity.

  • IT WAS A WILD NIGHT: [Submitted by 1st Vice President Carol Beule on November 14, 2016]  It was a WILD night, wasn't it? Our monthly November meeting was certainly not staid, prim or proper. But hey…… the mold needs to be broken every now & again. Who else to break it but the OSSC, the oldest orchid society in Southern California? And we certainly made a great big mess that was easily cleaned up with the help of everyone. Thank you all.

    And additonal thanks to everyone who helped make this experimantal night a smashing success. It was was exciting and vibrant, something orchid meetings are not often found to be. OSSC Webmaster Ted Augustyn wrote a masterful piece for our website that drew new visitors to our fold last night. I think they will become new members in the future. Krystine Chaparo and Norma Skinner’s help with coordination couldn't have been more generous and positive. I thank all 3 of you again. And lastly, many thanks to Linus, without who's help this never would have happened. I'm sure Linus Bittner will know all about it wherever he happens to be right now! All of his plants have new and happy homes. David Dassey and I have several plants that we have kept to auction off either this winter at one of our monthly meetings when they are in bloom or next June during our annual money making auction for the society.

    Art Mendoza, Harry Sinanian, Donna Ballard and David Lafond all must be given kudos for how they all prepared and executed their participation in last night's meeting. Erin Maxick and Wendy Fischer both contributed a great deal to it's success as well. They also helped to rescue Linus’s plants as did David Dassey who was in New Zealand running another marathon instead of being at our meeting. We met over the weekend at Wendy's house to arrange for items to be delivered and chose what might be needed for the night. Lastly, Alberto Osso stepped in as an additional “orchid expert” to help new members learn how to repot orchids when we realized we needed more help.

    It was loud and raucous, if you can ever consider an Orchid Society meeting to be something of that nature. EVERYONE had a great time I believe and thought it was both a cultural and social success. There were calls for more of this in the future.

    Ben Boco and Donna Ballard both have connections to people who have Phalaenopsis in need of rescuing. I spoke with both and we will need to coordinate another meeting of this nature. Possibly in May of 2017. We will keep you posted.

    My thanks and sincere apologies to any I have forgotten. I doubt last Monday’s meeting can ever be equalled!

  • NEW MEMBER BENEFIT: [Submitted by OSSC Webmaster Ted Augustyn on March 2, 2014]. Starting this month, every new member and their sponsor will each receive a certificate good for one 1-gallon Cymbidium orchid, courtesy of Orchids by Art in North Hills, CA, which is owned and operated by OSSC member Art Mendoza. The society expresses sincere thanks to Art for this generous offer. This offer supercedes the prior offer from Rudvalis Orchids.
  • IN MEMORIUM: [Submitted by Mary Ann Yanes on February 1, 2012] 

    Jim E. Yanes passed away on January 11, 2012. He was always a nature lover. Flowers and plants were his passion.

    Jim became involved with orchid societies from 2003 to 2009, first with the San Fernando Valley Orchid Society then with the Orchid Society of Southern California in Burbank. Jim had a hot house and grew all types of orchids. He was able to grow cymbidiums outdoors. He also loved to photograph his orchids.

    He was also an avid golfer and belonged to several golf organizations. He is truly missed by all his friends and love ones.

    Jim’s wife Mary Ann has generously donated Jim’s orchid collection to our society. The society truly appreciates this donation, and conveys its sympathy to Mary Ann for her loss.

  • NEW  YEAR, NEW ORGANIZATION: [Submitted by OSSC President Ted Augustyn]  2011 ushered in a new OSSC Executive Staff and Board Members. I congratulate and applaud those members that stepped into new responsibilities to help our society grow. Check out the OSSC Organization page for a complete listing of our society's officers and board members.
  • IN MEMORIAM: [Submitted by OSSC Webmaster Ted Augustyn on November 30, 2010] Virginia Dickey, past OSSC member and mother of Past President and Golden Circle Member Dan Dickey, passed away on  Sunday, November 21, 2010. The following is her obituary as found in the Los Angeles Times:

    February 27, 1929 - November 21, 2010
    Virginia M. (Giese) Dickey died on Sunday, November 21 of complications from surgery for lung cancer. She was 81 and lived a full and active life. Virginia was born and raised in Los Angeles. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California where she was a Homecoming Princess and a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. Virginia graduated from the University of Southern California Law Center in 1952 where she had a distinguished record. She was on the Southern California Law Review and was the only woman in her law school class to graduate.
    Following graduation, Virginia worked as a research attorney for the Los Angeles Superior Court. In 1955 she married John W. Dickey, a fellow USC Law Center graduate. Virginia subsequently left law practice to raise her family. She found time to hone her skills in cooking, knitting, sewing and cake decoration. A lifelong resident of Southern California, she enjoyed travel to distant and exotic places. Virginia, her husband and her son Daniel shared a love of orchids. They raised many prize winning orchids and belonged to various southern California orchid societies. Virginia also loved long-haired dachshunds, beautifully designed clothes and all things Asian. She is survived by her daughters Dorothy and Denise, son Daniel, and granddaughter Deanna. Her daughters followed her (and their father's) footsteps and became lawyers while her son has carried on the family tradition of growing orchids. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 4 at 1 p.m. at Saint Patrick's Episcopal Church, 1 Church Rd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Santa Monica College Foundation (1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405) or to the charity of your choice.

  • IN MEMORIAM: [Submitted by OSSC Webmaster Ted Augustyn on November 30, 2010, acting on information from OSSC Member Norito Hasagawa]  OSSC Past President and AOS Gold Medal recipient Leo Holguin passed away on November 19. Highly regarded as a hybridizer for Armacost and Royston (subsequently named Stewarts Orchids, where he worked with OSSC Past President Ernest Hetherington), and trained by the legendary orchidist B.O. Bracey, Leo was one of the first  AOS judges in Southern California. He served as President of the OSSC in 1964 and 1965. In the words of AOS Past President Milton Carpenter, Leo was "truly the 'Gentle Giant’ of the Orchid World!  Certainly we all wish to pay homage to the memory of this exceptional man and I know Ned (Nash) will pen just the right words for 'Orchids'.  It was my great honor to present Leo with the AOS Gold Medal a few years back and I shall always remember that wonderful evening in California, (we tried so hard to keep it a secret and Leo was moved to tears)."
  • NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED: [Submitted by OSSC Past President Krystine Chaparro on November 6, 2010] This year's Nominating Committee, headed by Francine Lockhart, has announced the slate of candidates for 2011:

    President: Ted Augustyn
    1st Vice President: Rose Fistrovic & Alfred Hockenmaier
    2nd Vice President: Michael Salerno
    Treasurer: Norma Skinner
    Recording Secretary: Luis Pineda
    Membership Chair: Linda Bailey
    Hospitality Chair: Debbie Tarandek
    Publicity Chair: Francine Lockett

    Joe Herbert: 2011
    Marissa Mitchell: 2011-2013
    Harry Sinanian: 2011-2013

    Art Mendoza: 2011-2013

    Voting on this slate of candidates will occur at our Annual Holiday Party on December 13, 2010.

  • IN MEMORIAM: [Submitted by OSSC Member Norito Hasegawa on March 22, 2010]  Lloyd DeGarmo passed away on Feb. 22, 2010.  He was 86.  He served as an Orchid Digest Judge (no longer a judging system), a Cymbidium Society of America Judge, and an American Orchid Society Judge becoming an Emeritus Judge in the latter two judging systems which only very few judges ever attain in their lifetime! Lloyd was a retired librarian at the Compton Community College before retiring to Hawaii.  An avid reader, he amassed a large orchid library which was eventually donated to the AOS.  He was instrumental in editing the voluminous Proceedings of the World Orchid Conference held in Long Beach in 1966 sponsored by the Orchid Society of Southern California, introduced Cymbidium Peter Pan 'Greensleeves' when converted to a tetraploid became a very famous breeder of miniatures and novelties.  Probably his most lasting fame will be the registration of the trigeneric Oncidium alliance hybrid genus Degarmoara in 1967 combining Brassia, Odontoglossom and Miltonia. OSSC can be proud to claim him as one of our own.

  • OSSC MEMBER WINS BIG IN SANTA BARBARA: [Submitted by OSSC Webmaster Ted Augustyn on April 6, 2009]. OSSC member Art Mendoza came back from the 2009 Santa Barbara International Orchid Show with a trio of plaques, listed below. Way to grow, Art!

    • Best Miniature Cymbidium: Ruby Turner 'Black Diamond' (Black Forest x Ruby Eyes)

    • Best Pendulous Cymbidium: Miniatures Delight 'Stonehurst' (Touchstone x Clarissa)

    •  Cymbidium Beauty Trophy, Boopedoop 'Calga' (Miretta x Tongariro)

  • NEW FEATURE ON WEBSITE: [Submitted by OSSC Webmaster Ted Augustyn on May 15, 2009]  I've added a new page to this website called "Orchids We Grow" that features all those wonderful photos found in the OSSC flickr group, showcasing the most "interesting" photos up front. Be sure to check out these beautiful photos taken by Southern California orchid enthusiasts. My thanks goes to OSSC Publicity Chair Carlos Cruz for the code that accesses the flickr API that makes the page possible.
  • OSSC FLICKR PHOTO CONTEST WINNER! [Submitted by OSSC Publicity Chair Carlos Cruz on July 3, 2009] Congratulations to Alfred Hockenmaier!  He is the winner of the OSSC Spring 2009 Flickr Photo Contest.  Second place went to Charles Boco, and third place went to Jane Auerbach. Thanks to all the people who participated in the contest.  To see some of the other outstanding contest entries, please visit this page.
  • NEW FLICKR PHOTO CONTEST ANNOUNCED: [Submitted by OSSC Publicity Chair Carlos Cruz on March 24, 2009] Members of the Orchid Society of Southern California are formally invited to participate in a flickr orchid photo contest.  The primary goal of this contest is to promote our society by displaying our orchid photos on the most popular photo sharing website.  The secondary goal is to share our orchid photos with each other.

    Rules and Regulations

    • Only photos uploaded during the contest can be entered.
    • You can enter as many photos as you like.
    • To enter this contest you must be a member of the OSSC.
    • You can only enter photos that you have taken.
    • Orchid photos do not have to be of your own orchid.
    • Photos should be relevant to orchids and/or the orchid society.


    The top three winners will be able to select from among several quality orchids:
    • A specimen size Cattleya intermedia alba (donated by Charles Boco)
    • Cymbidium Lucky Shamrock 'Green Glenn' (large plant in a 2 gallon pot)   (donated by Alfred Hockenmaier)
    • Cymbidium Formby Geyserland x Kirby Lesh 'Spots'  (large plant in a 2 gallon pot) (donated by Alfred Hockenmaier)
    The 1st place winner will have first choice, the 2nd place winner will have second choice and the 3rd place winner will have third choice.

    Start Date

    The contest will start on April 20, 2009.

    End Date

    The contest will end on June 20, 2009.

    How to Enter

    Create a free flickr account and upload your orchid related photos once the contest has started.  When you upload the photo, tag it with "OSSCSpring09".  Tags can also be added at any time after the photo has been uploaded.  To increase the amount of views your photos receive be sure to include as many other relevant tags that you can think of.  You can add up to 75 tags per photo. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about using flickr!

    For additional information please visit

  • OSSC FLICKR PHOTO CONTEST WINNER ANNOUNCED: [Submitted by OSSC Publicity Chair Carlos Cruz on February 12, 2009] Click to see larger image of Encyclia mariae.Congratulations to Charles Boco! He is the winner of the first OSSC Flickr Photo Contest. Here is one of his beautiful photos: Encyclia mariae. Please visit his Flickr page to see more of his wonderful photos. Thanks to all the people who participated in the contest. To see some of the outstanding entries please visit this page. If you would like to participate in the next contest please sign up to flickr (it's free!) and join the OSSC group…  If you have any orchid related questions please post them in the group forums and I’m sure one of our resident orchid experts will be happy to help answer your question.
  • IN MEMORIUM: [Submitted by OSSC member Margot Thomas on January 13, 2009]  OSSC member Sam Thomas passed away December 22, 2008. He was a sweet and kind man with a loving heart filled with curiosity and knowledge. Sam was a man with both wit and humor and a fascinating conversationalist. His insights and his overview of this world were remarkable. He will be missed. 
  • IN MEMORIUM: [Submitted by OSSC member Art Pollyea on January 5, 2009] It is with great sadness that we must report to you the death of long-time member, stalwart supporter of the OSSC, and Golden Circle recipient, Diola Snell. Diola died at home of natural causes on Saturday in a hospital bed placed in front of the fireplace in her living room. At her request there will be no funeral or memorial service.

    Diola, along with her husband Paul, authored several monographs on orchid culture. Her hothouse was the "gem" of her property, and it was quite an honor to be invited to view her collection.

    Although failing health kept Diola from attending OSSC meetings the last 3 or 4 years, she was still available to make phone calls on behalf of our various activities. Whenever asked she always contributed plants from her hothouse for orchid shows and exhibits. In her "younger years" (her 60's and 70's) Diola wouldn't miss an OSCC meeting, except when she was on a freighter destined for exotic ports of call. She always took stacks of reading material and, of course, the requisite amount of vodka for her evening libations.

    We are sure that those who knew her would agree that orchid world has lost one of its greatest supporters.
  • OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW: [Submitted by OSSC Webmaster Ted Augustyn on December 27, 2008] Our December 2008 meeting was the occasion for the election of the new OSSC executives and board members. The following people were newly elected:
    • President: Lucille Banks
    • 1st VP: Estee Magid
    • Deputy 1st VP: Marissa Mitchell
    • 2nd VP: Rose Fistrovic
    • Publicity Chair: Carlos Cruz
    • Hospitality Chair: Luis Pineda
    The following people will continue in their current positions:
    • Treasurer: Norma Skinner
    • Membership Secretary: Larry Freeman
    • Librarian: David Dassey
    • Newsletter Editor: Ralph Keating
    • Newsletter Publisher: Linda Bailey
    • Ribbon Judging: Alberto Ossa
    • Webmaster: Ted Augustyn 
    • Administrative Assistant: Susan Roberts
    • AOS Contact: David Dassey
    • SOSC Contact: Carol Beule
    The following people have been elected to the OSSC Board of Directors:
    • Linus Bittner
    • Pedro Elizondo
    • Astrid Ferency
    • Marie Maize (2 year term)
    Many thanks to outgoing officers (Krystine Chaparro, Marie Maize, Kay Van Eps) and outgoing board members (Susan Roberts, Harry Sinanian, Maria Yee) for the tremendous job they have done for the last two years. And congratulations to all of OSSC’s newly elected executives and board members. We look forward to great work from all of you!
  • TEMPERATURE COMPARISON CHART AVAILABLE: [Submitted by OSSC Publicity Chair Carlos Cruz on December 24, 2008]  Understanding an orchid’s temperature requirements is important to its successful cultivation.  With that in mind, I just finished developing a temperature comparison chart webpage that will create a chart that compares the average temperatures of an orchid grower’s location to that of an orchid’s native habitat. You are invited to check it out!
  • IN MEMORIAM: [Submitted by OSSC Member and AOS Judge Norito Hasegawa on June 22, 2008] Clark Day Jr., one of the original charter members of OSSC, passed away early June 2008 after relocating to Texas approximately two years ago with his wife Grace. (The last remaining charter member to our knowledge is Glen Hiatt). Clark was one of the most gracious commercial people of his time, sharing much of his knowledge with hobbyists, especially cultural aspects. Any plant with the cultivar name 'Cerritos' or 'Picardie' originated from his immaculate greenhouse located in Cerritos, CA. He is well known for his cymbidiums (a champion in the use Early Bird 'Pacific'), Cattleyas (received a rare FCC/AOS for Sophronitis coccinea) and his paphs such as Ali Taba, a re-make of St. Ouens Bay and Cerritos.  He received an FCC/AOS for an albinistic P. micrenthum 'Picardie'.  
    Mr. Day was 90 years old.  We extend our sympathies to his wife Grace and his daughters.
  • OSSC DONATES TO OCA [Submitted on 4/19/08 by OSSC President Krystine Chaparro]  With the world population growing and needing more of the land, we need to set aside parcels of land to continue to grow and flourish in the same way it always has before us and after us for all time, and this is what the Orchid Conservation Alliance (OCA) is setting out to do.

    Dr. Peter Tobias, a Director of the OCA, came to our Monday night meeting to speak and point out the habitats that have been set aside so far and the good things the OCA has been funding.  And this is why I am glad we, the Orchid Society of Southern California, presented Dr. Tobias with a donation of $1000 to the OCA, the largest donation from an orchid society to date. Additionally, OSSC Past President Alfred Hockenmaier presented Peter donations from several OSSC members.  Might I say Peter Tobias was impressed?

    I’m proud we are conservation-wise.  Our donation is a small price to pay for us to help the world save the birds, wildlife and why we attend our Monday meetings, the orchids.

  • [December 2007] Elsie Hetherington passed away on December 11, 2007. She was the wife of OSSC Past President Ernest Hetherington. Both are members of the Golden Circle Honorary Board of the Orchid Society of Southern California.

    Elsie was a designer at The Annual Pasadena Showcase House for more than 20 years. She featured her orchids and cymbidiums in her displays.

    Our condolences go out to Ernest Hetherington and family.

  • [November 2007] Two new OSSC officers have been elected by the Board to replace outgoing officers.  First, Ralph Keating is taking over as Newsletter Editor from long-time editor Rita Desilets.  In her tenure as Editor, Rita managed to considerably enhance both the look and content of our monthly newsletter with numerous innovations.  We thank her for her superior years of service in this position, and commend Ralph for stepping into this position.  Next, Norma Skinner has been elected to be our next Treasurer, replacing Susan Roberts.  Norma's experience in bookkeeping makes her a natural for this position!  OSSC wishes to thank Susan for her service as Treasurer this year.

  • [August 2007] OSSC Past President (1966-67) and Golden Circle Honorary Board Member Gene Boyd died August 1, 2007. He was 93. Gene was an avid orchid grower for over 40 years and a respected orchid judge. He was awarded the honorary status of Judge Emeritus by the American Orchid Society in 1999. In 2000 he donated his orchid collection (1,657 plants) to the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino. Blooming plants from his collection are regularly on display in the Huntington conservatory. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

  • [June 2007] Jean Luey Campbell passed away on June 14th, 2007. She was a member of the OSSC for many years and served on the Board as Membership Chair from 1994-1998. Our condolences go out to her husband Ian Campbell a along with family and friends. 

  • [June 2007] OSSC is pleased to announce that we have new Hospitality Chairperson: Ralph Keating, and assisting him is Norma Skinner. Ralph and Norma will replace Kathleen Dupree, who has done a great job of our refreshment table each month. Her efforts are greatly appreciated.

  • [February 2007] The OSSC welcomes Susan Roberts as our new Treasurer, having been elected by the OSSC board at the April board meeting.  Susan replaces Astrid Ferency, who has done a great job of managing our finances for the last three years.  Her efforts are greatly appreciated!

  •  [January 2007] As the New Year rolls in, changes are afoot in the executive ranks of OSSC. Congratulations to the new OSSC executive staff and board members on their election at our December meeting. The membership has entrusted the following people to lead our society for the next two years:

        • President: Krystine Chaparro
        • 1st VP: Marie Maize
        • 2nd VP: Kay Van Eps
        • Recording Secretary: Estee Magid

    And the following people have been elected for three year terms on the OSSC board:

        • Mary Hoffman
        • Bobbi Palmatary
        • Norma Skinner
        • Harry Sinanian
        • Maria Yee

    All other executive staff positions will remain filled as before. We congratulate those elected on their decision to become a more active part of the society, and look forward to working with them to realize our shared goals. And we recognize the service provided in the most recent term by the outgoing executive staff and board members. Thank you all!

  • [May 2006]Sincere congratulations go to our newest Golden Circle Honorary Board inductees, Dan Dickey and Alfred Hockenmaier.&.  It's been over 6 years since OSSC has added anyone to this very exclusive cadre of distinguished OSSC members.  Both Dan and Alfred are long-time members of OSSC, and both have served as president and in other offices of the society.  They have made, and continue to make, a tremendous contribution to furthering OSSC, and are always happy to share their considerable knowledge of orchids with other members.  When the OSSC board approached the question of who was deserving of this special recognition, Dan and Alfred were the immediate and only choices considered, such have been significance of their contributions.  OSSC is honored to have had the benefit of their dedicated service, and looks forward to their continued participation.

  • [January 2005][Note from the OSSC Webmaster]  It is with regret that I must shut down our orchid discussion board, as it has been swamped with WAY off topic postings coming from automated posting bots, some intruding from as far as China.  I'll be looking into revamping the board with bot-proof technology in the future.

  • [Note from the October 2005 OSSC Board Meeting] It's been over five years since OSSC needed to institute an increase in member dues.  Since then, our annual costs have increased over $7.25 per member, largely due to a 67% increase in hall rental and liability insurance and a 28% increase in postage rates.  Accordingly, the OSSC board unanimously voted an increase in annual membership dues from $20 per year per household to $25 to partially cover this shortfall.  The "half-year" dues, for those members joining from July through October,  will go from $10 to $12.50.

  • [May 2004] [Note from the OSSC Webmaster]  It is with great excitement that I announce that OSSC members and supporters now have the option of receiving the OSSC newsletter via the Internet. I’m excited because this capability brings great benefits for all involved:

        • Electronic newsletter recipients will get access to the newsletter significantly earlier than those receiving it by surface mail.

        • Electronic newsletter recipients will get to experience the newsletter in COLOR, while the mailed version will continue to be black and white. And orchids ARE colorful!

        • By distributing the newsletter via the Internet, OSSC saves the cost of printing and mailing the newsletter. Currently, almost 2/3 of OSSC newsletter recipients have email addresses. Converting these to electronic delivery will save over $1200 per year, which is money we can use for things like more international (= higher cost) speakers.

        • And the environment wins because we save a few trees!

    And how does electronic newsletter delivery work? At the time the newsletter becomes available, an email will be sent to members and vendors that have signed up for electronic delivery. That email will contain a link to a PDF file on the members-only part of our website. Clicking on that link will allow the recipient to view and optionally print the newsletter. We plan to restrict availability of the most current newsletter to our members and vendors only for a period of 30 days, after which it will be available to anyone with an Internet browser. Those signed up for electronic newsletter delivery will no longer receive a newsletter by surface mail.  If you're an OSSC member and would like to start receiving the newsletter electronically, please email me at

  • [February 2004] It is with tremendous sadness that we report the passing of OSSC Treasurer Ronald Alvert Smith, who died the evening of February 29, 2004 at a local hospice of a brain aneurism, after being hospitalized on February 3 for a stroke. While he raised a broad selection of orchids, he is perhaps best known for his cultivation of Cattleyas. Ron brought a quiet sense of enthusiasm for orchids to our society, along with a wonderfully dry but infectious British sense of humor. And he was always happy to share divisions from his collection with other OSSC members.

    WeWe will all miss Ron’s kindness, his self-deprecating wit, and his selfless contributions to our society. Perhaps most of all, we’ll miss his puckish attitude and ever-watchful eye on OSSC expenses.

    Ron is survived by his widow, Sheila. He requested that his body be cremated, and Sheila will be returning his ashes to his native Great Britain at an unspecified time in the future. No services are scheduled.

  • [January 2004] OSSC congratulates the newly elected members of the society's Board of Directors:   Krystine ChapparoKathleen Dupree, and Norm Franzle.  In addition, Art Mendoza was elected to serve the remaining two years of Sandra Sinanian's board term, as she has been elected our new Recording Secretary.  We look forward to this injection of "new blood" into the society's board.  OSSC would also like to acknowledge the contributions made in the past years by outgoing board members Alfred Hockenmaier, Joe Herbert, and Herb Rohwer, and Recording Secretary Derek Kemp.  The energy and devotion you showed toward the society is very much appreciated!

  • [January 2004] One of the exciting new initiatives to come out of the OSSC January board meeting was the institution of a “Mentor Program”, whereby an inexperienced member can be paired up with a more experienced orchid grower who is also geographically close.  We’ve already created a computer-generated map of the greater Los Angeles area showing the location of all OSSC members so that it will be easy to identify the closest member should a "newbie" need some orchid advice.

  • [July 2003] The results of OSSC's Annual Auction have been tabulated, and we have set a new record for the society for both gross and net receipts.  Profound thanks to everyone involved in this event, the success of which helps insure the financial viability of our society and allows us to continue to increase the quality of our programs and other efforts.  A complete recap of this year's auction results can be found here.

  • [May 2003] The contents of the OSSC Library are now searchable and browsable!  Just go to the new Library page and check out the new search features that will enable you to easily find just the right items to help in your orchid endeavors.

  • [April 2003] The Society recently added 14 new items to our Library, including books written by May's speaker, Bob Gordon.  Click here to see a list of the new titles in the library.

  • [March 2003] OSSC is sad to report that Jerry Rehfield, owner of Starbek Farms, noted orchid hybridizer, and long-time member of our society, passed away on February 17, 2003.  Over the last 30 years, he was a regular and treasured lecturer at OSSC meetings.  He is survived by his wife, Louella, son Mark, daughter Diana, and three grandchildren. Jerry was born in Glendale in 1926, ice skated with professional shows, including Frosty Frolics, and taught figure skating, notably at many of the movie studios during the heyday of orchestrated ice spectaculars.  When he turned his attention to orchids, his early hybridizing efforts produced champion results in the Cattleya alliance, many of which were sold through Stewart's Orchids.  Jerry eventually turned his focus to Odontoglossum hybrids, where he also made many valuable contributions.   In 2000, in recognition of his efforts with Odontoglossum intergeneric hybridizing, the new genus Rehfieldara (Ada x Odm x Onc) was registered by his friend and fellow hybridizer Helmut Rohrl.  A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 5, 2003, starting at 1:00 PM at the First United Methodist Church, 305 East Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara, California.

  • [May 2002] Also new to this site is the addition of the new American Orchid Society culture sheets.  Click here to download and view them.

  • [April 2002] The OSSC Library has grown by 10 new volumes, including authoritative reference books as well as cultural guides.  Click here to see the complete list of new titles.

  • [March 2002] OSSC is sad to report that on Monday, March 18th, one of its longest term members, Fordyce ‘Red’ Marsh passed away. Members who wish to do so are urged to make a donation to The Orchid Digest. See the President's Message for Dan Dickey's comments on Red's passing.

  • [March 2002] Congratulations go to OSSC President Dan Dickey for winning 2 trophies at the 57th Annual Santa Barbara International Orchid Show.  The Dickey Collection was named winner of Best Collection of 5 or More Cattleyas and Best Other Oncidium.  Click here to see a picture of his display.  Way to grow, Dan! 

  • [October 2001] OSSC's display of hundreds of beautiful orchids at the East West Orchid Show was a huge success!  Thanks to all the volunteers who worked on it.  See the article for full details.

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