Twenty-Five Years Ago This Year
Reflections on 1983

Ken Cobb
AHS Archivist/Historian

Siloam Baby Talk Pauline Henry
Shown above is her Hemerocallis 'Siloam Baby Talk'
Photo by Ralph Henry.


Perhaps one word exemplified the year 1983 - "Siloam." Pauline Henry of Siloam Springs, AR, was certainly the hybridizer of the hour and was featured in a 15-page article in The Daylily Journal. Everyone wanted those small, eyed flowers of hers, which were very hard to acquire.

The Society had roughly 3700 members in 1983. John Allgood was editor of The Daylily Journal and Joan Senior was Secretary. Seven of the fifteen AHS Directors for 1983 eventually would go on to be awarded the Helen Field Fischer gold medal for service: Bill Ater, Frances Gatlin, Wayne Johnson, Luke Senior, Sarah Sikes, Selma Timmons, and Betty Woods.

Long-term AHS Registrar, William E. Monroe, spent the year entering over twenty-six thousand cultivars into the computer. Yes, he entered the computer age when the AHS Board of Directors authorized the purchase of a computer for his use! He had been using a typewriter for the past twenty-five years. The Board also authorized computers for the Secretary and Editor.

Like Dr. Stout decades before, when only a few thousand named daylilies existed, AHS President Ned Irish of Pennsylvania, reflected upon why so many similar daylilies were being registered. He wrote, "Distinction is easy to spot. In one glance, we can pick it out on the show bench more often than not, and most times just as easily in the gardens we visit." Irish went on to note that "the problem arises in our seedling patches." His words carry across the years as meaningful today as then. We have to be registering that which is "genuinely, sublimely, superbly, radiantly, gorgeously, distinctively DIFFERENT ... Not just to our own eyes, but to the world's." Good advice!

The President's Cup was won at the 1983 Birmingham, AL, National Convention by Hemerocallis 'Green Puff'. Birmingham had previously hosted the 1971 AHS Silver Anniversary National Convention. Announced at the convention were the winners of the Helen Field Fischer gold medal and the Bertrand Farr silver medal, Mildred Schlumpf and Ury Winniford, respectively, both from Texas.

The national, not regional as now, 1983 Popularity Poll (based upon 1982 voting), showed Sam Baker's Hemerocallis 'Ruffled Apricot' leading the way.

More reflections on 1983.

© Copyright 2008 by the American Hemerocallis Society, Inc.