The Diablo View Orchid Society


September 1998


This month the DVOS Newsletter interviewed Nathalie Smith, another of the original members of our Orchid Society. Since Lancer’s passing, Nathalie now maintains two and a half greenhouses as well as an orchid supply business (see the advertisements on the next page), herself. Much like most of our lives, how all of this happened is just a natural sequence of events for the orchid addict. The business grew out of necessity since in the early days of DVOS, no one carried orchid supplies. As a result, Lancer would buy potting materials and later chemicals and more. Finally, Lancer was the one-stop-shop for local orchid supplies. Today, Nathalie maintains that business. While looking at the storage area and the yard, a woman’s touch was quite in evidence as everything had a cleaned and orderly look about it, neater than before. Nat did say that she had a long way to go but, I’m sure that the trend will continue. A tour through the greenhouses showed numerous plants in bloom and many in bud. Nat’s vandas are her pride and some of them looked truly spectacular.
DVOS: Nat, you’ve read the Newsletter Interviews so far where we discussed how the DVOS came into being. Have we left things out and what other details should be added?
Nathalie: There are some details about how the group got started that have been left out. For example, how we got the Water Company auditorium for the meetings and how we have attracted many of our members.
DVOS: How did we get the Water Company?
Nathalie:Back when we first began, we got the Water Company for the first meeting. Back then, the school district used to hold all their meetings there. It was the only place around where you could hold a meeting that didn’t cost a lot of money. In fact, it was free. We got that because I was working for the school district at the time and when we needed a hall for our first meeting, Lancer went all around and checked out all the other places and found that they cost quite a bit of money. I suggested that Lancer go down to the Water Company and talk to them about using a meeting room. So, we agreed upon a date and got a room. We held the first meeting there in the refreshment room. It was pretty crowded but, we didn’t know what to expect or who would attend that meeting. Marlene (Marlene and Floyd Lundquist are two of the original members of the club), then suggested that we put orchids into some of the local restaurants, which we did. We got a lot of new members because of that - and still do. The people come to the restaurants, see the orchids, ask where they came from and come to a meeting.
DVOS: What about the barbecue?
Nathalie: Don Baker was the one who suggested that we have a barbecue. Then, it was called Baker’s barbecue. We had it at his house in September. That first weekend that we had it got cold - it was just too cold so the next year we held the barbecue in August.
Bob VanGalder offered to have it at his place after that because he has a big place with a shady lawn and could accommodate everyone. We got the tables from a church that was selling them cheaply and then we found the chairs for cheap too. The barbecue has been there at Bob’s ever since. One thing that has always been a problem for this society is storage space. Early on, we had the use of Marlene’s mother’s garage. Each time we would need them, Lance and Floyd would take a truck and go down to the garage and get the chairs and tables and bring them to the meeting and set the whole thing up. The garage was down in Oakland and it was always quite a ride.
DVOS: The club did orchid shows... how were they organized.
Nathalie: The orchid shows were done pretty much like all the other activities. Lancer would find a place to hold the show for free. He and Floyd would set it up and go get everything to hold the show. They were always done for free. In fact the first time that we ever paid for anything was at Treat when we had to pay for electricity and water.
DVOS: It sounds like we have pretty well covered the root origins of the club and now everyone should have an idea of where we came from, the effort that all the club activities require and an idea of how to move the organization forward from here.


Our latest trip was held on August 16, at the Orchid Ranch in Livermore. The topic was ‘Growing Cattleyas Indoors and Outdoors’. Our president Frank Fordyce, owner of Fordyce Orchids gave the presentation, with approximately twenty-five people in attendance. The presentation was very informative and at it’s conclusion everyone showed their appreciation with a fine round of applause. Frank spoke of the many aspects of caring for and raising Cattleyas. I especially liked the advice on testing before watering by stuffing a newly sharpened pencil into the media to determine if it’s sufficiently dry. After the presentation we toured the various greenhouses next to Frank’s. All in all, it was an informative and fun afternoon. Thanks again Frank and Madge.

We are currently in the process of preparing a schedule for additional Indoor/Outdoor trips. In order to bring you the information that you need, we are soliciting your ideas. If anyone has any preferences, ideas or suggestions, please send them to Dan Chiappone or bring them up at the General meetings. Thanks. [DC]


As the long days of summer begin to wane into the shorter days of fall, time has come to change that growth fertilizer for bloom fertilizer. New growth is slowing while the mature growths are preparing to bloom for the fall. That means change the fertilizer so that the big first number is now a small first number and the small second number is now a big number. Simple, huh?! This will help your orchids to larger, better blooms as summer proceeds into fall.


Memorabilia - We are seeking memorabilia of DVOS. Old pictures, postings, whatever that may be vintage DVOS related that DVOS could borrow, would be appreciated. Please contact Kathy Barrett about any find. (925) 370-6520.

Nominating Committee - Bob VanGalder chairs the 1998 nominating committee and together with Barbara Tague and Yvonne Sumner are developing the slate of officer candidates for DVOS. There will be both elected and appointed positions available this year. If you ever thought that you would like to have a say in the DVOS programs and direction, here is your chance to make a statement. Nominations for positions open to the general membership in either October or November. For appointed positions, such as host or hostess, make your wishes know by contacting either Bob, Barbara or Yvonne.

Newsletter Editor - As of January, Rick and Yvonne Sumner will be moving from the area so DVOS is looking for a new newsletter editor for 1999. Typing skills and a desire to either continue or improve the current newsletter is all that is necessary. Software and templates provided.
*** Because of their move, Rick and Yvonne Sumner will be selling their home with greenhouse. If anyone is interested in a nicely finished 1600 sq ft home on a beautiful view lot with automatic greenhouse in eastern Concord, near Clayton, call Rick or Yvonne at 925-672-4133.

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