Wednesday, September 3, 2014

SHSU Botanical Study Continues to move forward

As the new Fall Semester begins to move forward, so does progress in my Botanical study.  Tuesday, 9/2/14 proved to be exciting for several reasons including people who are important to the success of this study which I am optimistic will help people of different ages and backgrounds.

The morning started out with getting to meet my Honors Botany professor and fellow classmates.  The class appears to be full of surprises.  Then afterwards I headed on to the Sam Houston Museum Complex, in particular to the Education Center, in hopes to meet the new Education Curator, Helen. Belcher.  We had previously spoken on the phone, and our meeting was production.  Helen is such a pleasant and helpful person.  We had the opportunity to chat a while.

I was able to gain access to a map of the grounds and literature with some information concerning some of the plants that grow in the Complex.

One of the most interesting stories that Helen shared, which she is not sure if it is just  an Urban Legend, concerns how the Bamboo which grows behind Sam Houston's home got planted there.
Bamboo thicket behind Houston's home
The story has gotten me curious, like a History Detectives, I am going to try and investigate this story further.  I will tell you what she shared.  If anyone who reads this post can help solve the mystery, please contact me.

The story is that Judge Elkins, who owned a large portion of land around Lake Elkins in the 1940's, employed a Japanese gardener.  Then when Pearl Harbor was bombed during WWII and Japanese Americans were being sent to interment camps, he found a way to keep this man from having to endure imprisonment.  So he supposedly contacted the grounds keeper of the Sam Houston Complex to give this man employment.  It was at this time when this Japanese gardener brought with him some bamboo seedlings that were planted behind Houston's home.

Helen is also looking in their library for information concerning the rare ferns that grow around the aqua duct area.  I am having so much fun discovering these little jewels of information to share.

If this was not exciting enough, I was introduced to the Huntsville Mayor and Board of Director Member, Mac Woodward.  He was passing through the facility.  Helen was kind enough to introduce me to him and as a result after the NGL exhibit is finished in October, it will be moved to the Education Center and exhibited in one of their foyer cases.

Later on a lunch I ran into Josh Mizrany who is an Arborist and SHSU Alumni.  He is thankfully still willing to assist me in this adventure and share his invaluable information.

Last but not least.  I was able to meet up with Aubrie Walker, a SHSU Journalist student.  She was updating information to be used in an upcoming feature article on the SHSU website (Today at SAM).

And my Printmaking Professor, Kate, has graciously agreed to help teach me some important papermaking techniques that will facilitate the making of Fine Art from my research in the Spring Semester.

I cannot wait to meet with Martin, my Research Sponsor tomorrow morning.  I hope he is as encouraged as I am.

Until Next Time.


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