If it wasn’t for me no one would be writing this. If it’s demonstrably true it must be true. So glad “Poetry Week” is over. It’s always a trial, but it’s always good.It’s hardly justice to these beauties, but at least we’re giving them their day. They were born of the finest flowering of Primulaceae.
It’s just that I didn’t know primulas originated in the Himalayas and environs. The unimpeachable source is, once again, the “Sunset Western Garden Book” 7th ed. We’re throwing a lot of books out in this teardown. And then what do you do with all the National Geographics?
“From Katmandu, at 4,200 feet, the expedition’s route cut across the Himalayan watershed, surmounting passes higher than the Pyrenees and threading forests bright with 40-foot rhododendrons, pastel-tinted primulas, magnolia flowers of snowy white.”
It’s 1953 and the writer is “Brigadier Sir John Hunt, C.B.E., D.S.O”. The source? National Geographic. The president of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, is shaking the hand of Edmund Hillary in the picture at the end of the piece. John is to the side. Ed along with “Tenzing Norgay” were the first two human beings to top out on “the massive eminence called Chomolungma, ‘Goddess Mother of the world'”. Tenzing, my guess is, was back in old Nepal that day. He’s not in the picture.
Later it was Sir Edmund Hillary. I had a girlfriend once whose mother I thought looked like Sir Edmund Hillary. It was sort of my own little private joke. I definitely would never have told “Hillary” that. She lived with her mother on Pender Island. It was a fun few months but it ended.
And the point is? It’s primulas. In all their permutations. If anybody in range of our transmitter has an idea for all these old “Geographics” please let me know. There’s only about 800 of them. They’re free along with the piano.