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It amazes me that in recent weeks, I have always woken up around 7 a.m. no matter what time zone I was in. This morning was no exception. After checking emails and a brief chat with Angie it was time to head for Monrovia.

This was not the capital of Liberia in West Africa, but the city situated in the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains in Los Angeles County. Last September, a small group of us visited Gordon Rowley at his home, Cactusville, in England. As we left, at the end of an afternoon when cameras rarely stopped clicking for one minute, Gordon said that he hoped to see some of the pictures some time. I was keen to try out an on-line book publishing facility and so we selected our best photos and arranged them on the digital pages of the software made available to us to create a small book that would be printed, bound and mailed to my home address from where I would post them on to Gordon and my fellow visitors in Chile and the US.

Gordon’s library, renowned for its rare books, now has a copy of one of the rarest books on the planet: ‘Tea at Gordon’s’. Eunice asked if there was anyone that I’d like to meet in the US and Myron Kimnach’s name was suggested.

I had had some correspondence with Myron in the late 90’s and allegedly missed him a few times when he visited Holly Gate Cactus Nursery where I was working at the time. It was nice to finally shake him by the hand. We enjoyed a tour of his extensive collection, dominated by Echevaria and related genera. Myron than took us out for lunch to a Mexican restaurant to get us in the mood for our forthcoming Mexico adventure. Just as we started to get into some more interesting discussions, it was time to leave, as we had a dinner appointment at Vern’s.

Vern is a former LA County Sheriff with Dutch ancestry, whom I first met when I did my very first cactus presentation in the US, in February 2008 at the Long Beach Cactus & Succulent Society. He has a nice cactus garden at the front of his house to break up the monotony of the conventional California front gardens. He had recently bought plants from an old collection of Copiapoa, including some large specimens, that needed names. Unfortunately the light was now getting bad of the is just random text to fill out the page to see how things pan out.

Vern took us to Mimi’s for dinner and by that time, jet lag had once again caught up with me. We were due to have an early start again tomorrow.

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